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Customer segmentation & pen persona development to drive on & offline marketing strategy & visitor attendance

“S2’s help in clarifying our transactional, behavioural and demographic data has been invaluable. We have been able to gain real insight into our key customer segments and their media consumption habits which will now provide us with a more informed approach to sales, marketing and operational execution.” 

Stephanie Hendley, Head of Marketing and PR, Blenheim Palace

The Brief

The principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of Palace, the magnificent Blenheim Palace Historic House and Gardens situated in Oxfordshire is open to the public.

Activities are rich and varied including guided tours of the house, visits to the extensive gardens and grounds, excellent shopping and restaurant facilities and attendance at one of the many events hosted on site such as country fairs, horse trials, jousting tournaments and food fairs.

Blenheim wanted to gain a better understanding of the different reasons that incentivise people to visit and to encourage up and cross sell opportunities. A greater insight into the lifestyle and behaviours of their customers across visit type, location, geography and transactional behaviour would enable a more informed approach to customer retention and acquisition. The ultimate objective of developing a single customer view was central to the brief.


Blenheim Palace wanted to gain a better understanding of their customers by visit type to improve the relevancy of news, events and promotions driving sales and marketing activities. Blenheim had 4 broad visitor profiles which they wished to map to their actual visitors by analysing transactional spend, behavioural and demographic data.

To build repeat visits and to attract new visitors, Blenheim Palace also needed to have a much better understanding of media communication habits within the context of its own transactional sales data.

Using Blenheim’s online sales and annual pass data combined with S2’s external data sets, S2 drilled down into the media consumption and behaviours of each of the 4 target groups. The difference in visitors versus potential visitors by each target group within a target of 90 minutes drive time was also analysed to size the opportunity. Using these insights, S2 was able to extend the current profile information to look at which media vehicles they use to find information, the promotional campaigns they are most likely to respond to and the locations they live and work in.


S2 provided pen persona profile reports for each target group along with media preferences and detailed marketing recommendations across on and offline channels.

Heat maps were provided of target prospect groups and visitors enabling visualisation of the spatial distribution and optimal catchments by segment.

This project has improved targeting of marketing spend geared more effectively to the correct media channels and locations where there are high numbers of potential visitors matching the primary focus groups.

S2 continues to work with Blenheim to underpin future sales, marketing and operational strategy and execution.