Petplan: A Case of Personalization for Your Pets

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McGoldrick and his team at Petplan met with BlueConic for a demo-and came away impressed, so much so that the company signed up with BlueConic in June. BlueConic, McGoldrick says, "really gave us ... everything that we always wanted that all the other tools lacked."

He adds, "It's really [BlueConic's] approach that's different. It's the kind of data, the amount of data, that they can ... put a ‘spotlight' on that was a lot different" from other tools. One of the things BlueConic brings to the table is its "listeners"-which, as BlueConic CMO Dan Gilmartin explains, is "a mode through which we begin to collect information." Information is collected, Gilmartin says, on any individual who "engages the brand at any touchpoint." Data is gleaned on new users as well as on returning ones. And the more the user engages, the more info BlueConic collects-and the larger its profiles of a particular customer becomes.

With all this information, Gilmartin says, Petplan can "deliver experiences across their digital properties" that mirror the intent of the user, "based on the different signals that they've provided the brand." For instance, when someone visits Petplan's website, she may indicate the species and breed of her pet, look at the pricing page, or review what's covered and how. By collecting this data on an individual basis, Petplan can provide an experience that is more tailored to that person when she returns to the site.

For example, if a pet owner visits the site and indicates he has a 5-year-old golden retriever, Petplan uses that knowledge to add information to email lists the owner may be subscribed to that offer health and safety tips for goldens. "Instead of just following someone around the internet," Gilmartin says, Petplan can use that data to "tell a story in the banners that is personalized to that prospect." And when that person returns to the site, Petplan welcomes him back-and focuses the content it presents him around the information he's shared.

The data collected about a user doesn't just sit online-it's also available in the Petplan call center. So when a customer calls in, she can receive a truly personal, one-on-one connection. Using BlueConic, Petplan collects data from customers' interactions across its digital properties and syncs that data with its CRM system. When a customer service representative gets a call and the dog owner identifies herself, the representative can check to see if she requested an online quote and know what species and breed she has-and even know if the owner reviewed safety tips. All of this, Gilmartin says, gives the representative "deeper insights" into the needs of the caller.

And while it may be true that more and more of the world's transactions are done on the internet, the old-fashioned telephone has been quite beneficial to Petplan. "The call center is huge," McGoldrick says. "We do get a lot of activity within our call center-more so than I really would've expected."

"You can learn a lot-you can do a lot-just by listening," Gilmartin says. And when you understand the implied intent of the user, it helps an organization "deliver what's the next-best action, based on what that user's looking for."

And regardless of what the type of company is, that approach "still applies," Gilmartin says. "It's still about understanding the objectives of that user and delivering the right experience to match that objective."


Gilmartin says Petplan is still "in the early innings" of leveraging the data it collects through BlueConic across its acquisition and retention programs-and points to the aforementioned example of leveraging data in retargeting efforts. Petplan, he says, can use the data to tell a story in its ads that is personalized to the prospect. It can also use the data to connect the dots between ad spend and conversion-which, in turn, helps reduce costs of acquisition by making sure Petplan is "targeting the right type of prospects in the right places."

Overall, both McGoldrick and Gilmartin are happy with how the partnership has worked for both companies. In fact, McGoldrick says he's already recommended BlueConic to other people. Even beyond the technology BlueConic provides, he says, it's been a great company to work with. "We've had no issues with their customer service or their responsiveness," McGoldrick says. "It's just been a great relationship."   

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