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How Trinny London improved marketing attribution and GDPR compliance after replacing Google Analytics with Snowplow BDP

Learn how beauty brand Trinny London transitioned from Google Analytics to Snowplow Behavioral Data Platform to improve marketing attribution and GDPR compliance.

Trinny London , one of Europe’s fastest-growing beauty brands, partnered with Snowplow to switch from Google Analytics to Snowplow’s Behavioral Data Platform (BDP) for its analytics needs. Working closely with Snowplow’s Professional Services team, the UK-based online beauty company generated the customer insights needed to implement multi-touch marketing attribution ahead of key gifting seasons. 

The company can now use dbt to link first-party customer data provided by Snowplow with its e-commerce transaction data and store it in Big Query before visualizing it in Looker. At the same time, Trinny London has addressed its concerns about Google Analytics’ non-compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Background

Trinny London was born with one goal in mind – to give people of all ages the tools to be their best with effortless, personalized beauty. From its iconic stack (cream-based, multitasking little pots of joy that click seamlessly together) and bestselling skincare-makeup hybrids to Match2Me, its unique personalisation tool, Trinny London is constantly innovating to make its customers’ lives easier.

Challenges

To achieve the level of personalization and customer segmentation Trinny London wanted, the UK-based company had to find a better way to understand its customers. The company’s data and marketing teams realized that their existing solution, Google Analytics,  wasn’t providing the level of information required.

We needed something better than Google Analytics because we weren’t gaining meaningful insights and building a complete customer picture with the tool.”

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

Trinny London’s data team was also concerned about Google Analytics and its compliance issues with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In 2022 several EU countries banned the solution and in early 2023, Norway’s Data Protection Agency (DPA) raised concerns about the compliance of Google Analytics.

The data team wanted to resolve these issues quickly by finding and implementing a new analytics and data solution before major e-commerce events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other gifting seasons.

Identifying an alternative solution

Trinny London’s data team knew it was best to develop a clear use case and set of criteria to filter out unsuitable options if they wanted to find the most suitable analytics partner in time to meet their customers’ seasonal requirements.

The team needed a solution that would help them:

  • Enable accurate multi-touch marketing attribution;
  • Provide data that could easily fit with their marketing tech stack, currently dbt, BigQuery, Looker and Google Cloud;
  • Remain GDPR compliant in the long-term, regardless of changes in the law in individual countries.

These clear requirements allowed their data team to weed out packaged solutions, such as Mixpanel and Adobe Analytics, that do not give users insight into how the data is processed. In contrast, the data team identified Snowplow as the solution that met all three requirements.

Snowplow initially supported Trinny London in preparing a proof of concept (PoC) that helped them confirm Snowplow’s Behavioral Data Platform (BDP) as being the best alternative to Google Analytics. Furthermore, it allowed Trinny London to gain an accurate view of its customers and enable GDPR compliance.

Solution

We are now using Snowplow’s data to completely change our performance marketing strategy and the way we promote Miracle Blur (Trinny London’s flagship product) to our target customers.”

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

Since launching Snowplow BDP, Trinny London has experienced several benefits:

Multi-touch marketing attribution

Multi-touch marketing attribution describes the process of assigning credit for conversion to multiple touchpoints in the customer journey. To develop a complete picture of its customers’ journeys and behaviors, Trinny London now uses Snowplow data to perform multi-touch marketing attribution.

We have things like Trinny Tribes, blog posts, and Trinny herself being in the media, which means we need to understand how people interact with many different touchpoints. Snowplow is the only way to get a complete picture of the brand, which you cannot do with Google Analytics.”

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

This insight is critical to helping marketing teams justify their spend and fully understand the results of the marketing mix and its impact on conversions. Trinny London achieves this by linking Snowplow data with transactional data using attribution models built with dbt.

We have developed a set of attribution models that we share with our marketing team. We combine our order data with Snowplow data, and each order has an attribution path depending on which model we use. We then package this into Looker so our marketing team can see how many orders a particular ad triggered.”

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

GDPR compliance

Snowplow provides Trinny London with first-party data and full pipeline ownership as it is deployed within its Google Cloud Platform.

Snowplow’s solution also enables the creation of data sets, rather than using pre-built data or data extracted from solutions such as Google Analytics. This gives Trinny London’s data team full visibility into their data and control over what is tracked, which is critical for enabling GDPR compliance.

Accurate reporting

Inaccuracies in Google Analytics, meant Trinny London’s marketing team regularly encountered issues in the data available to them. For example, the data indicated that Facebook Ads had brought in more sales than the company had actually generated.

These issues are often caused by Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Safari and ad blockers that block or delete the Google Analytics cookie, making it difficult to get a clear customer picture.  Snowplow solves these problems by setting server-side cookies that are not subject to ITP restrictions.

Snowplow Professional Services

Trinny London wanted to implement Snowplow quickly to take advantage of major gifting seasons like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Holiday Season. The company was able to do this with the support of Snowplow’s professional services team, who ensured a smooth and rapid implementation.

Whenever Trinny London’s data team had a question or encountered an issue, they could easily contact their dedicated Snowplow Solution Architect. This support provided the data team with the insight they needed to meet their target use case.

Any time I had an issue, there were multiple ways to contact people at Snowplow. It was unique how much help Snowplow provided. You do not get that level of support anywhere else.

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

With the support and insight of Snowplow’s professional services team, Trinny London was fully operational with Snowplow’s BDP 13 days ahead of schedule meaning it was ready to start collecting meaningful data in time for the major gifting season.

Results

Trinny London is now able to collect rich, granular, and highly accurate data from Snowplow that provides the company’s data and marketing teams with a detailed picture of the customer journey.

The marketing team is using these new insights to reshape its marketing strategy, with the aim of driving revenue and increasing return on ad spend. And most importantly, the company now has the foundation for long-term data and analytics success.

Asked what advice she would give other organizations looking to replace their current analytics solution, (such as Google Analytics), Holly believes the introduction of Snowplow at Trinny London has been successful because of several key factors:

We had a really clear use case that helped us choose Snowplow over other tools. I would say that’s key. I also think you have to get good buy-in from your company, making sure everyone understands the added value Snowplow brings. If everyone is on board, it’s much easier to implement Snowplow in your organization.

HOLLY FOSTER | LEAD BI ANALYST, TRINNY LONDON

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