Data science and creativity pull the covers back on mattress e-commerce.


Smaller Bets. Better Results.

Silentnight, is the UK's most trusted sleep brand for over seven decades. With a customer-first approach, Silentnight’s mattresses and brand are continually ranked the best in innovation, quality and service.

Silentnight faced mounting competition from disruptive direct-to-consumer mattress brands like Eve, Simba and Casper. Not only were these companies built from the ground up to sell direct online, they were also in growth mode. Silentnight’s competitive boxed-foam mattress line, Studio, suffered from slow market adoption.

We set out to determine how best to get traction. Silentnight branding, photography and messaging were clean and easy to consume, but a key issue still existed: which messages were working and which ones weren’t?


A Methodical Approach

Connecting meaningful insights to validate and test brand interactions is part of the data story that often times is overlooked. We started by mapping consumers to a unique ID which provided us a complete view of data sources. Pre- and post-sales data, patterns of consumer behavior, third-party input, each consumer interaction captured by marketers’ existing data. We then aggregrated those sources in meaningful ways to drive a whole consumer view.

We build a fully dimensionalized view of a customer, and then we can model performing audiences to test against – before any creative message is written. We then create messaging to target smaller groups of current consumers to learn which messages garner a positive response, and which messages don’t.


An Experiment in Real Life

Leveraging first-party data for meaningful creative insights is part of the data story that is often times overlooked. But it’s where we start. Our process for Silentnight began by unifying their marketing data to give us a multidimensional view of their consumer audience (moving well beyond simple true/false statements typically used to build audiences). We then began to run thousands of simple, cost-effective “experiments” in real media to better understand which messages resonated best with which audiences. This process, called “Creative Experimentation”, allows us to know more definitively which messages will perform best and with whom before any major marketing decisions or investments are made.


Sex Sells Mattesses, Too

For Silentnight, we made small creative bets on messages like free shipping, foam quality, social reviews, comfort and even sexual innuendos (hey, not everyone is sleeping). As we learned which messages worked with different audiences, we optimized and refined. And then we scaled.

One powerful advantage of this approach, beyond discovering new audiences who raise their hands, is also learning what stories they respond to. Our UK clients were surprised (flabbergasted, really) to learn that sexual innuendo messages outperformed other messages exponentially, especially in paid search. But despite initial reluctance, the data didn’t lie and it fueled the brand team’s confidence to sell up internally, and press forward.


Results That Help You Sleep at Night

Here you can see how the “Suggestive” message category had the lowest cost per action and the highest conversion rate. These kinds of powerful data insight fueled future marketing and spend decisions for Silentnight. Since 2017, and based on message experimentation like this, we have seen significant conversation rate among unique new customers of 456%.