How Arduino built privacy-first, personalized experiences for B2B and B2C customers using Twilio Segment and CustomerAI
Time to read: 5 minutes
Arduino wanted to transform the way it interacts with its website visitors, categorizing them into ‘casual browsers’ and ‘ready-to-buy’ consumers.
By using Twilio Segment’s CustomerAI, Arduino could compliantly predict customers’ shopping intentions based on hundreds of data points across 12 websites, server-side data from Big Query, and various APIs. This allows Arduino to focus their advertising spend exclusively on shoppers that are ready to commit, while providing personalized assistance to those still browsing.
“By focusing our marketing efforts exclusively on people who have demonstrated a purchase intent, while simultaneously filtering out inactive or disengaged customers, we have been able to optimize our advertising spend”
Arduino offers an accessible, open-source electronic prototyping platform to create interactive projects. Since its founding in 2005, the company has grown to serve both consumers and businesses — each requiring distinctly different engagement strategies. Arduino’s Data Analytics Team, led by Claudio Scafesi, together with Digital Marketing Specialist Alice Luzzi, led a critical company-wide initiative to establish a modern customer data foundation.
The cornerstone of this initiative was to transform the way Arduino interacted with its website visitors, categorizing them into ‘casual browsers’ and ‘ready-to-buy’ consumers. Utilizing this categorization they triggered an advertising campaign based on these predicted actions, powered by CustomerAI Predictions. Predictive audiences are created for customers who are considered ‘ready to buy’ or ‘dormant’ depending on their likelihood to purchase, then sent to downstream advertising platforms for activation.
But before this strategy was implemented, there was critical groundwork to be laid. Scafesi and Luzzi embarked on an extensive evaluation process where they benchmarked over 15 different tools and ended up choosing Twilio Segment due to its predictive and scalable segmentation capabilities powered by AI, ability to manage sensitive global data, and compliance with GDPR. Given Arduino’s global operations and significant presence in Europe, ensuring compliant collection of sensitive data and maintaining GDPR compliance became the top priority in their selection of a Customer Data Platform (CDP). Segment’s regional infrastructure (with EU as an option for data processing) played a crucial role in enabling Arduino to meet these requirements effectively.
Scafesi and Luzzi found a solution for the company’s data silos in Segment’s unified CDP, and were able to implement a first-party data strategy to better connect with customers, while fully complying with privacy legislation. As Scafesi puts it, “We needed a tool for every team to use, so that they were empowered to connect with customers. Before Segment, data silos existed across multiple tools and teams, so we couldn’t fully trust our metrics.”
Scafesi’s team started the Segment implementation by first connecting customer data from a plethora of sources — including 12 websites, server-side data from Big Query, and various APIs — to provide a complete view of the customer base and unlock precise audience segmentation for the marketing team. Arudino’s data team has put Segment at the center of their tech stack.
“A big benefit of Segment is being able to activate our first-party data all in one platform. Our previous tool required more manual effort, and therefore limited our marketing communication options.”
Prior to implementing Segment, the data team had to manually upload CSV files of audiences and regularly fix data discrepancies, draining valuable technical resources. This also slowed down campaign launches, and hindered efforts to efficiently deliver personalized customer experiences.
Since implementing Segment, Arduino has set up over 150 audiences and 22 journeys, tailored communication to different customer types, easily integrated customer data into advertising platforms, and saved resources on fixing data discrepancies. In addition, customer support was improved by equipping support associates with a comprehensive view of customer interactions, allowing for an effectively personalized response.
Unraveling data silos
Arduino’s previous tech stack siloed data, leading to data discrepancies, which the engineering team spent time reviewing and fixing. This meant the marketing team could not personalize experiences for customers, impacting their ability to hit growth goals. An additional challenge was Arduino’s web tracking, which encompasses more than 12 different web properties.
As Scafesi explains: “Arduino is a complex ecosystem with dozens of websites across millions of users. Thanks to Segment we can control all our web properties through a single script. This is particularly beneficial given the diverse technical architecture across Arduino’s platforms, which includes a blog, Project Hub, stores, forum, and more. By embedding the Segment script and thereby unifying our tracking approach, we’ve significantly simplified data management across our vast ecosystem.”
Building better customer support
With a comprehensive view of customer interactions across their various web properties in place, Arduino was able to make meaningful improvements to customer support, adopting an increasingly proactive approach. With a 360-degree view of the customer and unified data from their customer service tool, Arduino’s customer support team can now offer tailored support with insights on interactions across websites, products, and services.
One such initiative included proactively improving Arduino’s Help Center based on how customers were interacting with different services on their site and leveraging both qualitative and quantitative data in Segment to determine what to improve.
Delivering precise customer engagement
One of the main objectives behind implementing Segment was to improve Arduino's customer engagement strategies and experiment with new ideas, which was limited by their previous tech stack.
Previously, data discrepancies had encumbered Arduino’s efforts to accurately build audiences across their B2B and B2C customers. This meant the marketing team struggled to build precise, targeted campaigns, or effectively use first-party data for paid media – potentially allocating budget to ‘disinterested’ or ‘already converted’ customers.
Now, Arduino accurately cohorts its customer base across B2B and B2C, and effectively builds targeted experiences for both. Utilizing Segment, the marketing team unifies and tracks B2B leads in Segment and then sends hot leads to their sales CRM, for the sales teams to follow up.
For B2C customers, tailored customer engagement campaigns were built within Twilio Engage, a data-first multichannel marketing solution built on top of Segment’s CDP. Arduino uses Segment's CustomerAI Predictions to compliantly anticipate customers' shopping intentions, saving their advertising spend for those ready to commit while providing personalized assistance to those still browsing. This not only makes their advertising spend more efficient, but ensures that Arduino is able to offer the best customer support. For instance, a customer ready to buy would be provided with comprehensive product information and additional support to facilitate their purchase. In contrast, the casual browser gets additional content to be able to explore more, with extra guidance and perks to entice them to dive deeper.
The other notable improvement to customer experience was a new onboarding flow. Now, when a customer signs up for an account, a five-part email series is triggered with tailored product and service recommendations. With Twilio Engage, Arduino can natively build each email within a single platform powered by first-party data, implementing custom communication with any number of customers. Thanks to their new targeted email campaigns, average email open rates have maintained a healthy 38% in a 90-day period.
Product launch optimization
Segment has also played a crucial role in optimizing Arduino’s product launch strategy. For every product launch, the marketing team now delivers a unified campaign powered with insights on page visits, blog and article interactions, and purchase history. For example, for one of Arduino’s newly launched development boards they were able to track users who visited related product pages or blog posts as a purchase intent indicator. Using these customer insights, Arduino effectively retargeted these customers through GDPR-compliant, personalized emails and advertising campaigns with the right message to meet customers’ needs, improving reach and audience engagement. They also quickly spun up reminder emails for those who risked missing promotions or other opportunities.
Arduino plans to continue improving their customer engagement strategies built within Twilio Engage. One such initiative includes leveraging CustomerAI Predictions to trigger certain Journeys with the goal of increasing Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) for the Arduino store, as well as cross-sell and upsell campaigns. They also plan to test out SMS as a channel, which they can natively build within Twilio Engage, reducing the cost of experimentation.