Signify's D2C Journey

Watch the recording of the Signify success story at DMEXCO 2021!

signify philips hue

Signify's D2C Transformation: Understanding real people through data

On DMEXCO 2021, I had the pleasure to join our colleagues from Adobe to talk about our success story Signify, the company behind Philips Hue. You can re-watch our conference talk in the embedded video below (in German only).

Philips Hue, Signify’s premium smart lighting brand, was on a mission to make lighting simpler, more inspiring and personal. Signify shifted Hue’s growth strategy toward a direct-to-consumer model, putting the online customer experience in focus, and setting about to transform their digital landscape.

Merkle was engaged as their agency partner of choice to grow their business with direct-to-consumer revenue for Philips Hue with the goal of creating a solution where connected data could enable more personalised journeys, drive insight back into the business, and grow their customer base.


The challenge

Hue’s existing data landscape held a lot of data, but it wasn’t very connected, and it wasn’t readily accessible to the marketing team for activation. The data couldn’t be used to coordinate campaigns across channel, and the commerce journey was outsourced to an external partner.

To support their new direct-to-consumer growth strategy, there were four main challenges to overcome;

  1. The ecommerce process needed to be brought in house and the UX on the website required a revamp;
  2. A single view of the consumer needed to be built by housing as much data as possible into one system using existing identifiers with build of future connections using additional cross channel identifiers;
  3. Personalised journeys across channels, using behavioural data and/or 1st party data needed to be initiated and tested;
  4. Support was required for organisational change to ensure Signify could continue to maximise value.


Our approach

Together we chose the Adobe Experience Platform to create Hue 3.0 and build out a full stack ‘Experience Personalisation Engine’.

We created the backend services to collect customers data into a single unified profile and initiated organisational transformation to accelerate the platform’s value using blended agile marketing squads hyper focused on the customer. Each squad was given a phase in the customer’s journey and could now rapidly build and test; campaigns, personalised journeys, custom landing pages, and automate trigger campaigns.

Finally, we deployed Adobe’s measurement capabilities, giving Signify near real-time access to journey and campaign data.

1. Leading UX & Brand - we redesigned and deployed key web journeys with a mobile-first framework for web, all based on UX best practices and focus group validation of designs. In parallel, we ran a technical SEO audit to improve site speeds and organic findability of the content across the Hue websites. After deployment, we continued to optimize with a continuous CRO workstream to enhance engagement, Hue device activations and revenue even further.

2. Shop & Fulfilment - we worked with Signify to in-house Magento as their eCommerce solution, optimising processes along the way and implementing headless commerce to unlock eCommerce functionality across any channel.

3. People-based Marketing - we launched the first full-stack deployment of Adobe Experience Platform in combination with Adobe Campaign. This marketing personalisation engine builds a unified consumer profile with real-time journey orchestration connecting inbound web, transactional email, outbound email and paid media.

4. Analytics - we built a new consumer segmentation and product recommender model that can be unlocked across channels to better target communications and to drive cross-sell within existing Philips Hue households. Media science modelling also enables us to determine optimal budget spend across channels.

5. Change Management - to maximise the value gained from the technical implementation, we helped Signify set-up a consumer centric organisation to operate the above capabilities. This ranged from designing new teams and their respective KPIs and defining new roles with ways-of-working.

The result

With over 200 people, across 12 countries, and during a national pandemic, Signify and Merkle deployed the Adobe platform across all of Hue’s markets in under five months. For the first time the marketing squads gained a unified perspective of the customer’s journeys and Signify became a true direct-to-consumer retailer. The marketing squads can now build and test new campaigns every two weeks and have already dropped cross market deployment times from months to days. And the improved customer experience speaks for itself.

With greater speed, reach, simplicity and relevance, content performance has improved by 25%, site load times by 70%, and conversion by 30%.  Looking ahead, the improved customer experience is well on its way to realising its targets and delivering 100% year-on-year growth.

Keys to success

  • Clear understanding of approach and roadmap of deliverables
  • Close collaboration with committed teams and programme management
  • Agile and flexible ways of working
  • Signify’s confidence in the Merkle team, allowing them autonomy once high level deliverables agreed