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Case Study: Hotel Chocolat

The challenge

The UK’s luxury chocolate marketplace has changed dramatically in recent years. Established confection brands have been joined by retail giants including Waitrose and M&S, skewing the market landscape and contributing to a shift in consumer expectations. Hotel Chocolat engaged us to overhaul their approach to customer acquisition and retention.

Hotel Chocolat logo

The solution

First and foremost, we had to respond to the increasing importance of personalization by developing an omnichannel, persona-led marketing strategy. To maximize ROI, we designed a methodology that empowered Hotel Chocolat to identify—and specifically target—their most profitable customer segments. Marketing dollars were to be focused on driving fast, efficient growth while simultaneously improving the customer experience.

1 Customer segment analysis

Conduct a 360-degree analysis of current customers to build distinct customer segments and profiles.

2 CRO strategy

Activate those defined customer segments in order to maximize relevance, optimize UX, and drive performance.

This was initiated as a series of 14 experiments across two rounds targeting four customer segments. Custom campaign landing pages were created for each segment—consisting of personalized content and products known to resonate with each audience—and traffic was sent to these landing pages by a paid search program structured by behaviors, socio-demographic characteristics, device, and affinity groups.

3 Data visualization

Build custom customer segment dashboards to allow non-analysts to make meaningful use of the business intelligence generated.

These dashboards unified all digital data across the company into a single user-friendly platform, enabling data-informed strategic and tactical decisions to improve campaign, website, content, and product performance. In Hotel Chocolat’s words this was a “truly innovative response to what was an extremely challenging brief”.

The impact

Our strategy led to a major commercial success for Hotel Chocolat during the key 2017 Christmas campaign. Traffic grew, conversion rates grew, paid search ROI rose exponentially—and the company achieved double-digit revenue growth year on year.


increase in conversion rate (Audience A)


increase in conversion rate (Audience B)


increase in conversion rate (Audience C)