Best use of FastStats 2013 Award

Using FastStats® to create a single customer view and to manipulate, target, segment and output close to 400 different mailing, email and retail campaigns a year

Company Overview

Scotts & Co. is the parent of a group of nine leading multi-channel brands that form the largest group of independent specialist catalogues in the country, but they are still family-owned and run. The individual brands in the group are some of Britain’s best known catalogue retailers including Scotts of Stow, Artigiano, Ancestral Collections, Bloom, The Verdict, The Original Gift Company, The Traditional Garden Supply Company and Solutions World.

the original gift companyEach of these brands retains its unique character, but with the backing of a group that understands the importance of diversity in catalogues, shops and online retailing. As you would expect from Britain's premier mail order specialist, quality of product and service are their hallmarks. All products are tested for quality and performance before they can appear in catalogues, websites or retail stores, and they take pride in offering customers the very best possible service at all times.

Scotts & Co. also output mailing lists to over 150 third party companies to allow them to send their packs to customers (but only where customers have opted in to this). They work with many leading agencies whose clients include many well-known household names from the charity, mail order, financial, insurance, health, publishing and travel sectors.


In 2010 Scotts & Co. took the decision to bring all of their marketing operations in-house and start to produce their own mailings and email files as well as gather insight from their data. The dependence on external bureaus to code the ever increasing complex campaign selections required were putting a strain on both the briefing and execution process leading to campaigns having to be made less targeted and insight driven than they would have liked.

FastStats® was chosen as the in house tool to give the team direct access to the data, allowing them to move towards insight led targeting, helping grow the business.

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FastStats® was chosen as the in house tool to give the team direct access to the data, allowing them to move towards insight led targeting, helping grow the business.

The first FastStats® session created with Apteco partner Aszent bought an instant improvement in all aspects allowing Scotts & Co. for the first time to see the true nature of their customers. This new solution bought large efficiency savings enabling increases in the number of campaigns produced by roughly 30% year on year without the need for additional resource.

Single Customer View

In 2013 Scotts & Co. has completely designed and rebuilt their FastStats® session to make use of a new group wide single customer view database which has enabled them each day to take data from call centre, websites and retail stores and consolidate this into a true marketing orientated database.

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Their new FastStats® session has over 3,000 permanent variables all of which are actively used in marketing selections and reports. The new FastStats® session has a fairly simple table hierarchy designed around speed and ease of use.

Discoverer forms the central point of the FastStats® system with 8 active users answering a wide array of business questions using this tool each day.


Scheduled reports running in excelsior provide key management reporting to the rest of the business and scheduled data extracts run each week out of the FastStats® systems to other systems in the business to allow them to make use of the insight gathered in FastStats®.

Their cascade session is linked directly with Pure360 for the broadcasting of email data and Scotts & Co. have developed their own bespoke mailing extraction process extracting data directly from the cascade database to be able to send mailings directly to their mailing house without the need for anyone in the team to extract and manually manipulate the data.


Scotts & Co. are using multiple profiles and PWE models to assist their campaign selections including some built purely off the Census data provided with FastStats® which they have named their Geo-demographic models.

They are also using decision tree in a process they have named the MOT (mailing optimisation tool) which is looking at a previous promotion they have run and splitting it down into those pockets that have worked and those that have not. This is then used to help optimise the promotion for next time it is ran.

5 members of the team have now received the advanced Discoverer training to maximise the amount of work they can do and FastStats® has now become the tool of choice for the business when they need to answer more complicated business questions.

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The improved production speeds for campaigns has reduced from around 5 days per promotion before FastStats® to only a few hours in FastStats®, allowing Scotts & Co. to increase the number of promotions they are running each year by over 30% without the need for additional resource.

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