IMPOSSIBLY FAST. DANGEROUSLY ACCURATE.
Chico’s is driving online sales thanks to a bold CDO — and Clario.
This former Coast Guard captain is not your typical CDO — and he doesn’t settle for typical results. See why Chico’s Jay Topper credits Clario for supercharging the brand’s customer data and marketing results.
He didn’t realize it at the time, but when Jay Topper, CDO of Chico’s FAS, was crawling around the jungles of Panama in the 1990s, snapping surveillance photos for naval intelligence with a $12,000 digital camera, he was laying the groundwork for a lifetime in data.
“I was human intelligence — that’s what they called me,” says Jay. “I was just collecting data and getting it out there.”
The military’s cutting-edge technology fascinated him enough that, once he finished commanding his own Coast Guard ship, he enrolled in a master’s program in telecommunications and computing management at NYU.
Since then he’s been leading brands through digital transformation and helping them leverage their data to make strategic decisions.
Recruiting the smartest people to the team
Jay, who currently fills the role of CDO, CTO, and CIO at Chico’s, while also overseeing the supply chain, has never pretended to have all the answers — but he surrounds himself with people who do.
“I’m really good at hiring people to build solutions,” he says.
His track record proves it. He helped lead FTD from zero to ten percent EBITDA and now he and his team have moved Chico’s beyond the walls of its brick-and-mortar stores to build a thriving ecommerce business. Today, over 40% of Chico’s sales are digital, with a 12 point gain in the last two years.
Jay credits a meaningful part of that success to Clario, the team he trusts most when it comes to using customer data and marketing measurement to drive results. He relies on Clario not just for smart technology and people, but also for guidance. “They provide me with high-level consultation around which functional and technical architectures are most effective within the customer-management space,” he says.
Jay credits at least part of that success to Clario, the team he trusts most when it comes to using customer data and marketing measurement to drive results.
Targeted audiences make the difference
“At the end of the day,” says Jay, “you want your marketing messages to be as relevant to the person receiving them as possible. The more data you can tie around a customer record, the more powerful you can be for her.”
When it comes to marketing, he insists on putting “rocket boosters” behind it, through good customer data, targeted audiences, and smart marketing measurement.
“I just know for a fact Clario can do that,” he says.
Chief disruption officer
Throughout his career, brands that are ready to disrupt the status quo have called in Jay.
Chico’s hired him to help manage and elevate their digital efforts. “Digital-first” is a key strategic pillar for the brand. (The others are “customer-led”, “product-obsessed”, and “operationally excellent”.)
In that role and each one before, Jay has focused on finding ways to do things better, faster, and smarter — and he looks for the experts who can make it possible.
“I’m a cowboy, actually,” he says. “I like to go really fast. I hire a lot of people around me that are really good at having a little bit of a cowboy mentality, but also doing it in a logical, best-practices way. I still like them to push the envelope.”
It’s this approach that drew Jay to Clario. When it comes to leveraging customer data, Clario takes an entirely different approach. Clario builds hyper-targeted audiences in minutes instead of days, tracks customer characteristics for years instead of hours, and provides marketing measurements with greater precision than any CDP.
“I would recommend Clario to anyone,” says Jay. “They’re super responsive, they’re hands-on, and they can be strategic or tactical.”
Ready to add “rocket boosters” to your marketing?
Clario is not just a tool, it’s an entire team of experts ready to help you build highly targeted audiences in minutes instead of days so you can power up your marketing results. Check out more examples of what Clario can do — or schedule a demo today.
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