customer analytics

7月 092013

Having the right perspective matters in marketing. In particular, having the big picture view in mind while focusing on issues at hand or dealing with specific parts of the marketing function allows us to quickly prioritize tasks or even whole projects. I am sure we would all agree that marketing has become a complex business but applying an integrated marketing framework around marketing can help simplify the process and coordinate all the pieces you'll see in the chart below.  With that in mind, I propose that we take a big picture look at how an integrated marketing management approach is the best approach for getting the most out of Customer Intelligence solutions.

Consider the scenario when someone says to you – “Man, have you seen Company X’s new commercial? Their marketing has really taken a huge leap!” – what comes to your mind? Has a clever advertising agency come up with a slick message (something Mad Men-esque)? Can I picture myself drinking the latest coffee creation and using the latest technology gadget from Apple? No matter what the image is that comes to mind when someone speaks of "marketing," marketing messages are crafted to capture mind share with a desired outcome.

At first, we had some ideas of what integrated marketing management should look like but we didn’t quite know if we could visualize it appropriately. Well, after many revisions and many inputs from folks both inside and outside of SAS – we have created the following visual  to uncomplicate a complicated subject, which will be explained piece by piece.

Integrated Marketing Management Full Visual

Vendors in our space all use slightly different terminology when describing what they “do” or “focus on” – and SAS does as well. As I have discussed in previous posts – the terms we use fit nicely (in my mind at least) into a hierarchy. Customer Intelligence, Customer Analytics, Integrated Marketing Management, and Marketing Analytics all have their respective places in an organization’s ecosystem.

The above is a depiction of how SAS views the Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) process and the capabilities that we provide with regard to IMM. Let’s quickly define the terms at the top of this visual before we get into the visual itself.

Customer Intelligence is any information or intelligence you have about your end customers. This information can be collected by and reside in varying business units/departments across the organization (sales, support, service, marketing, etc.).

Integrated Marketing Management, a subset of Customer Intelligence, is the application of Customer Intelligence methodologies by the marketing department of an organization. Application of the IMM framework helps organizations better execute the “closed loop marketing” process – which we will define.

This IMM framework contains four categories:

  • Strategy and Planning
  • Information and Analytics
  • Orchestration and Interaction
  • Customer Experience

We will discuss each one of these four categories in detail in subsequent posts, but today I want to first speak to the visual as a whole.

First, you will notice the visual is circular. This represents the “closed loop marketing” process. Simply stated, closed loop marketing uses customer actions and feedback to refine future marketing messages and customer interactions. SAS believes that organizations should continually refine dialogue with their customers in order to drive loyalty, retention, customer migration, and overall long term profitable growth.

You will see no product names. SAS believes that capabilities solve business issues and product names can only serve to complicate. As we move into the category capabilities and descriptions in more detail, we can certainly outline individual products if needed.

The shape of the gray sections that house the capabilities for strategy & planning, orchestration & interaction, and customer experience. These allude to the movement between categories. The process, although definitely not linear, typically starts with strategy and planning. Strategy and planning is exactly as named, and allows for enterprise marketing initiatives to be created prior to execution. From there, we move to the orchestration and interaction category – where marketing programs are executed. Customer experience comes next, where the results of marketing executions are measured and pushed back into not only strategy and planning to refine planning initiatives, but also into the information and analytics environments to detail customer contact history even more.

Next, you will see that the customer is at the center of the visual. Customer centricity is imperative when undertaking IMM initiatives. We would all agree that a marketing message must be three things to be exceptional – it must be anticipated, relevant, and personal. It has to be all three of these things – not just one or two of them. But how do you foster effective, healthy, and positive customer engagement through the delivery of an anticipated, relevant, and personal message? You do this by ensuring that your message is underpinned by three components:

  1. Synchronization – Can your organization synchronize the messages that it delivers across channels, over time – in order to ensure a lapse in dialogue doesn’t occur? SAS can help with that.
  2. Real-Time – Can your organization respond immediately, in real time, to an inquiry or concern that your end customer may have? SAS can help with that.
  3. Optimization – Can your organization optimize the messages that are delivered to your customers – so that common problems like over contact or customer saturation don’t occur? (Think credit card direct mail messages or retail email messages!)

Next, you see a blue bidirectional arrow connecting the customer to the orchestration and interaction section of the visual. While all components of the IMM process are critical to marketing technology success – this arrow depicts that customer engagement occurs through the orchestration and interaction category of IMM, which we will talk about in more detail in a following post. SAS can help organizations interact with their end customers via numerous marketing channels, which are displayed in the orchestration and interaction section of the visual.

Finally, the blue “ocean” of information and analytics. The three categories mentioned above seem to be floating on top of information and analytics. In essence, they are. SAS believes that having a sound information and analytics environment is essential to executing successful marketing programs. While this section could absolutely have its own subsequent post – we feel that a strong foundation of information and analytics is essential for any software solution – not just Customer Intelligence solutions. This layer is essential to all of the IMM categories in grey in this visual. The capabilities represented within information and analytics – segmentation, modelling, forecasting, data quality, social network analysis, and calculating customer lifetime value – are just a few of the capabilities that a solid information and analytics environment will incorporate. The other three categories in the visual rely on this stable, foundational environment in order for the solutions in these categories to operate effectively and efficiently. If this information and analytics environment is not managed, cleaned, and tested properly – than the results of the marketing programs that are executed on top of this environment will be substandard. There is a saying – “garbage in, garbage out” – that sums it up nicely. Any marketing operations, campaign management, or social media solution that is underpinned by information and analytics of poor quality – will not produce valuable insight that will drive profitable revenue growth – it’s as simple as that.

Shew! And that’s just the start! Please stay with us as following posts will dive into the three categories of strategy and planning, orchestration and interaction, and customer experience in more detail! As always, thank you for following!

tags: customer analytics, customer intelligence, marketing analytics
6月 102013
Cable, satellite and content providers can apply SAS Visual Analytics to real-time audience data, helping more users unearth customer insights in seconds that improve leverage in carriage negotiations, boost ARPU (average revenue per user), increase ROI (return on investment) on ad dollars, and informs packaging and programming decisions.
5月 262013

Pharmaceutical companies (“Pharma”) operate in a very complex environment – to begin with, their customer is usually referred to as “the patient” and it gets more complicated from there. The relationship between Pharma and the patient is not always a direct one, and whether or not the customer is “delighted” often depends on other parties in the mix. Other parties usually include the “Payer” and the “Provider,” and sometimes even the Pharmacist. Given all the players in this “P party” of patient care, should they try to delight customers? It really depends on how you define “delight.”

What it means to delight the customer

For Dennis Urbaniak, VP of US Diabetes for Sanofi, his patients have a serious chronic condition, so the "customer" doesn’t really even want to be his customer, and privacy is an issue as it relates to patient data and how and when you can engage with your customer.

Dr. Linda Harpole, VP of Global Health Outcomes for GlaxoSmithKline, holds that traditional views of the patient for pharma would be from a regulatory standpoint, so it was about patient safety and efficacy, and ultimately the translation of that to your patients or providers.

For Sam Malik, Managing Partner at Percipient, there’s a steep slope for pharma to actually “delight” it’s customers, largely because we don’t really understand how the customer can be delighted. The “customer” for pharma is also the intermediary – whether its Medicare/Medicaid in the public sector or commercial health plans. And in his words, "we all know that insurance companies do not delight their customers one bit." Talk about an understatement.

For Paulo Machado, CEO & Founder of Health Innovation Partners, the question of delighting customers for Pharma needs to be considered in light of the current restructuring of the health care system in the United States into an actual system, versus an industry. As a result, there’s a lot going on in terms of becoming patient-centered. Among other benefits, reform will address traditional hurdles to “delighting” customers, such as siloed data which can be addressed by the health exchanges.

Becoming more patient-centric

Urbaniak believes that Pharma needs to get beyond the brand-centric world and learn about what drives patients' decisions. What are the communities they engage with? How do they spend their time and what are they interested in as people? His position is that Pharma has a chance as an industry to take a much more holistic view around the people and then orient their approaches to better satisfy some of their needs in ways that are relevant for them.

There is an industry-wide drive to become more patient-centric, even among regulators such as the FDA, according to Harpole. And that dialogue about patients is impacting all areas of Pharma, including clinical trials.

Some developments there may naturally foster a better connection between Pharma and the patient with the impetus now to look more holistically at what end points matter to the patients and to build that into the trial process. It seems natural that the patient will perceive the shift when the trial process involves talking with them about priority diseases to understand the end points that matter to them. Pharma may even help patients feel more vested in the process if they can potentially incorporate patient-reported outcomes as part of promoting and demonstrating the value of the medications.

The shift to dialogue engenders trust

The terms and conditions of the world we live in have changed, and more than ever, engagement with customers is a dialogue and not a broadcast. This applies to all industries, and the catalyst behind this shift is the advent of social media. Urbaniak shared that Sanofi now has a community manager, and his biggest challenge at the outset was to get his internal team to not think of it as just another channel to pump advertisements through. In his words, "people are tired of this one-way push at them." He further added:

"Pharma companies have to understand that because if they remain internally focused on just their brand – they will be bypassed by everyone. The one-way push will not engender trust. We have to rethink this idea of selling and marketing, and focus more on deeper insights and really understanding what people need. Doing that can help you better connect with your patients. Pharma companies that are having the [should we be in] social media debate are already five years behind the mark. And by the way, regulatory is not really an issue if you act the right way – you can satisfy the regulator and you could do a really good job of satisfying some of your potential customers."

The potential of patient data

No current discussion about this industry or patients can happen without consideration of healthcare reform underway due to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Machado posed the question as it relates to the Payer engagement model being impacted by the "smarter-better-more data rich payer/institutional setting, considering they've been lacking data historically and how seeing a massive change with healthcare reform.

Malik sees promise in patient data, adding that the problem on the Pharma and the Payer side is that they are both traditionally afraid to get too much data on their patients and look at it really hard. He put it rather directly when he said:

"There is a strong fear of discovering inconvenient truths."

From his perspective, the Payer industry is transactionally focused on claims. On the other hand, Pharma is interested in patient data from payers because it’s the one way you can see them longitudinally. Success in harnessing data for better insights will depend on Pharma's ability to convince payers that they know something about their patients that would help them. Doing that requires positioning themselves as having a closer relationship with patients, and not necessarily one that’s adversarial to payers. The experience of other industries shows there is no better way to harness data for better insights than using predictive analytics, and for our increasingly online and social world, it's customer experience management and social media analytics.

 Healthcare Reform catalyzes change

One of the biggest impacts of Healthcare Reform is what Machado calls "this massive shift in terms of how the system is going to get paid, transitioning from a fee for service model to one that’s based on the experience." and how people feel about the experience in healthcare. The impact on Payers and Providers is more explicit than is the case for Pharma, and it will certainly have an effect on the relationships with patients.

Urbaniak believes that one aspect of reform is clear regardless of where you sit or what your opinion is – everyone in the healthcare systems is going to have to demonstrate measurable "real-world" benefits of improvements. It's all about ROI, and it applies to the "commercial" side of Pharma as well. In his words, "we have to measure baselines within targeted populations, and then look at triple-aim ideas as a commercialization effect, and then essentially move from selling products to selling outcomes. "

Harpole also referenced the emphasis on ROI and illustrated how quality metrics and demonstrated outcomes can impact how an accountable care organization is compensated. Pharma itself has an obligation to continually learn where its medications best fit because data is limited when you go to market, and actual usage data provides valuable insights that can help healthcare become more efficient and improve quality. She sees a "tremendous opportunity" in turning all the data available into knowledge. I couldn't agree with her more.

In the context of healthcare reform, Malik cited the promise and the pitfalls of performance guarantee programs in how Pharma engages with payers. He specifically called attention to how sometimes it appears that pharma companies "aim too big in performance guarantee programs," and how sometimes they try to do too many clinical trials to try to prove too many things. To me it seems that this is one way of hedging against failure. He believes that in spite of that, Pharma will need to focus on producing more evidence (in the drug development process) and do it fairly early on. In his words, "if we can create more evidence to start with, we can have better claims and we can link our product pricing to the performance we can demonstrate in our claims." It seems clear enough - and it's probably way easier said than done, but considering the added emphasis on ROI throughout the process it is not optional for Pharma companies.

The power of the patient story 

One point Malik made that resonates from a marketing perspective is that "it's about the patient and the better we are at discovering and patching together the patient story, the more powerful we will be in our marketing." He shared his perspective that Pharma has traditionally emphasized sales over marketing, and "to do it right, would require a greater push toward marketing prowess rather then sales prowess, which means being able to understand your consumer, being able to gather information from them."

For me, this idea of the patient story gets at the core of what all of the players in the“P party” in patient care need to be focusing on:

What is the patient story and what kind of ending will it have?

There is no question more important than that one, and what Pharma should realize is that imperative is not too different from what companies in all other industries are facing.  The two major differences for Pharma are the regulatory framework and the high stakes for the patients - often facing life or death, or significant quality of life impacts. And yes, every patient has a different story, and for each patient their story is what matters most to them. Again - that's not too different a problem that a retailer faces today, or a bank, or hotel, manufacturer, and so on. In all cases, the empowered customer will gravitate toward the vendors that pay attention to them. Period.

There was some skepticism among these industry experts that Pharma could actually delight customers. And I think their skepticism is well-founded, but it's not entirely futile. To Malik's point about performance guarantee programs, there is risk in aiming "too high." And as Urbaniak put it very aptly, the patient often doesn't actually want to be the customer, so I don't think the question is a matter of whether they can delight the customer. I simply think it's a matter of focusing on factors that they can control, and even working to influence key factors that are out of their direct control, but can be influenced. While it may not rise to be described as "delight," it may enable outcomes that allow each patient to pursue their own version of "delight." And that's a goal that's both valid and valuable.

Putting the patient at the center of all business issues is always going to be the right answer because the patient is the one constant in the complex and ever-changing healthcare system. And the details of each story are in the patient data - not just therapeutic data, but a more holistic view that includes economic factors, lifestyle, life cycle and all the ways to describe the patient. Applying customer analytics to the data can also allow predictions about how the patient story ends. Who wouldn't want to know the ending of such an important story. I'm just saying...

Paulo Machado, Dennis Urbaniak, Linda Harpole, Sam Malik

This panel of experts came together for the 10th annual SAS Health Care and Life Sciences Executive Conference at SAS world headquarters in Cary, NC.

This session was preceded by a presentation from Ed Gaffin, Director of Marketing Analytics at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. When following a presentation from the undisputed world leader in delighting customers, it's no surprise that the question of how to delight customers loomed large in this discussion.

You can catch recordings of this and the other sessions at our On-demand Virtual Conference. This session was called "Patient Centricity Through the Life Science Continuum." Tune in and let us know what you think. 

And as always, thank you for following!


tags: analytics, customer analytics, customer experience analytics, healthcare, Life Sciences, social media, social media analytics
5月 182013

Hello!  As a new contributor to this blog, I'd like to introduce myself.  My name is Dwight Mouton and yes that's a French last name.  I'm orginally from the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette, Lousiana.  I've been in marketing related roles since I earned my bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana.   Since 1995 my focus has been marketing analytics and the software that marketers use to make their jobs easier and more enriching.  When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time with my family of 5 as well as getting together with friends to cycle, going on long solo runs and being a general DIYer around the house.

For my first post I decided to focus on a more general topic based on a panel discussion with CMO's that I attended recently.

While there was a large variance in the discussion topics from eliminating "paid search" from marketing budgets to CMOs and CIOs being BFFs, three main recommendations for marketers came through:

  1. Measure all the way through the marketing - sales cycle
  2. Match the content to the product, channel and the customer
  3. Mobile should be a part of everyday marketing, not a separate "mobile strategy"

The following is a summary of the panelists' discussion on these topics along with my own thoughts and research notes.

  1. Marketing - Sales Cycle
    Marketers should try always to capture sales information at every touch point during the sales process so that they can measure and forecast success. If a marketer measures all of the data and stores it, then they can use it to forecast the results at every stage of the cycle for future campaigns. Often marketers only know the basics such as click-through on an email and what was eventually purchased, but what about all the other steps in the sales cycle? If analysts are not tracking the customer at each stage they don't know that, for example, after the click-through they navigated to different parts of the website before buying, or that they left the site and then came back later to make a purchase, possibly through a different channel. Being able to use this information to forecast results for future campaigns helps to set expectations and allocate resources.
  2. Match the content to the customer
    Mail is dead, and email is over-used, right? Well, that would depend on what a marketer is selling, the audience they are targeting and the channel they are going through. One example the panel presented related to the use of direct mail for highly targeted B2B campaigns. So much marketing communication has gone to email that a really good direct mail piece will have almost no competition when it appears on a target's physical desk. Because the message is so targeted, a marketer can spend more to make the mail piece highly impactful. This is also relevant in digital, where it is even easier to vary a message. Marketing analysts should use the data captured to create communications that fit the audience based on their segment and the offer. Campaigns that make use of Social Media apply as well. Multi-channel campaigns do not mean that the same message has to go out to all channels. The message and offers should be tailored for the customer in the channel that has the highest likelihood of success.
  3. Mobile Strategy:
    CMO's and marketing directors are often asked "what is your mobile strategy".  We are now at a point where mobile should just be seen as another channel where content, messaging, segmentation, and format should match it.  Customers check email via a mobile device more than any other method and if it contains a link that drives to a website it should display a mobile friendly version.  The content should also be optimized for the mobile device, not just a shrunken version of the web site.  This also affects more than just promotional material.  Customers are opening order confirmations, weekly newsletters and legal notifications via the mobile device that typically have links to the corporate website.As you can see we covered a wide varety of topics but this last one is likely the wake up call to many marketers.  The chart below from Litmus shows how fast mobile has become the prominent means of opening email, from only a 10% share in Q1 2011 to 43% at the same time in 2013.
    Based on what that chart shows, it seems that prioritizing how you create content for mobile devices should be a high priority for marketers looking to succeed in today's market.

These ideas were inspired by the discussion at a recent local American Marketing Association meeting. It was an annual CMO panel luncheon and this year the panelists were from Brooks Bell, The Redwoods Group, Café Press, Quintiles and Bronto Software.

Let me know your thoughts on these topics and if you were at the luncheon, feel free to introduce more. Thank you for following, and stay tuned for more of my thoughts on other aspects of marketing.


tags: american marketing association, b2b, best practices, customer analytics, digital marketing
5月 102013

Shawn Skillman and Lori Jordan

A little over 2 years ago, I wrote a post about our vision for turning big data into a strategic asset.  The outcome of this vision was the development of a Global Marketing System that provides marketers with complete views of customer behavior and advanced marketing analytics so we can respond with relevancy in our campaigns.

At this year's SAS Global Forum, over 50 people filled a room to hear Shawn Skillman and Lori Jordan, two Senior Database Marketing Analysts on my team, talk about how that vision is now a reality.  Their paper and presentation specifically outlines how SAS uses SAS to analyze, segment, and target customers to invite to SAS Global Forum. Just one example of how all campaigns are now run in our marketing organization because of SAS Technology.

The post below was written by Lane Whatley, one of my counterparts in communications.  She attended their session and did a great job summarizing their presentation.


On the last day of SAS® Global Forum I had the pleasure of attending a paper presentation about how SAS Uses SAS® to invite and manage SAS Global Forum attendees. The fact that there were more than 4,200 conference goers this year is evidence enough that they have a winning strategy.

Having some familiarity with email marketing campaigns from a former job, I know a great deal of time and effort is spent scheduling campaigns and selecting criteria to make the perfect offer, but I had no idea the extent to which SAS uses SAS to help.

SAS uses SAS® Marketing Automation to define list criteria and create campaigns for SAS Global Forum. With more than three million users in their data mart, teams rely on the software to help narrow the invitee list and identify customers most likely to attend. For this year’s Global Forum, teams used criteria like:

  • Past SAS Global Forum and user group attendees.
  • Past Customer Connections, Analytics Conferences, and SAS Talks attendees.
  • Subscribers to select SAS technical reports.
  • SAS software users identified through calls to Technical Support.
  • Contacts identified by SAS® Customer Experience Analytics as having searched select and websites.

After a campaign has been sent, teams also use SAS® Enterprise Business Intelligence to run analytics on the resulting data: who opened the campaign, who clicked the campaign, who registered, who opted out, etc. They also use SAS® Visual Analytics to run reports like the one below that shows Global Forum registrants by geography.

SAS also uses SAS® DataFlux® Data Management Platform to integrate, standardize and match data. This platform provides the foundational layer for data quality and analytics, because campaigns are only as successful as the data behind them.

Another SAS Global Forum has come and gone, but for the database marketing team, only part of their Forum work is complete. They’ll run data quality checks and reports on attendees, and then use this information to inform next year’s Global Forum campaigns.


As marketing organizations evolve, so will technology.  We will continue to have more tools at our fingertips to answer increasingly sophisticated questions about our customers and prospects, but at the end of the day, its talented people who make the difference when using the tools.  Shawn and Lori are no exception - a winning combination for sure! Let us know what you think in a comment below and thank you for following.

tags: big data, customer analytics, customer experience analytics, customer intelligence, customer segmentation, data visualization, database marketing, marketing analytics, marketing optimization, sas global forum, visual analytics, web analytics
5月 062013

Mobile customers have the potential to change our business in profound ways. Advanced mobile communications is coming of age at a time when other technologies and societal shifts are working in parallel to radically transform whole industries. Some of these shifts have shown up in the marketing realm in the form of social media,  customer experience, customer analytics , real-time decisioning, and the pivotal roles of search marketing and content marketing. Those same developments have fostered the rise of the "empowered customer," and one of the biggest drivers of that empowerment comes from mobile communications with the smartphone.

Because of the capabilities of the technologies behind it, today's mobile communications go beyond satisfying the basic need for people to engage simply with one another, such as greeting or calling for help. Examples of simple long-distance communications are as "old as the hills," as evidenced by yodeling, smoke signals and "hollering." While those activities continue to this day in some parts of the world, more often we think of cell phones or smartphones when we consider mobile communications. And far beyond yodeling or smoke signals, today's mobile devices enable us to share ideas, capture images and recordings, transact business, gather information, and gain insights as we've never done before.

In the retail industry, we've seen phenomena driven by mobile phones such as "showrooming," where customers might go into the physical store location to see and perhaps try the item, and then end up making the purchase on line - possibly with a competitor, or even while they are still in the physical store. The biggest impact, however, is actually happening in the minds of our customers, where they've become so accustomed to having near real-time access to answers, ideas and other people to connect with. We've now seen that some people seem unable to have a momentous experience without including their smartphone in some way. And that is precisely the trend that marketers should be paying attention to.

Josh Bernoff, of Forrester Research, shared his findings in this area at the recent Forrester's Marketing Leadership Forum, where he provided all attendees with a copy of his research report, "The Mobile Mind Shift Index," in which he outlined his three major take-aways as:

  1. The true impact of mobile is the change in attitudes it creates.
    This is happening at the individual level and can be seen by observing the behaviors of almost anyone that uses a smartphone.
  2. The mobile mind shift index (MMSI) measures how many of your customers have shifted.
    In this case, the Forrester team identified three drivers of engagement with mobile applications: device ownership, frequency of access and diversity of locations. Based on those factors, they numerically calculated the relationships among these factors and then laid out six categories to capture the degree of mind shift.
    • The "disconnecteds, dabblers and roamers" are the least engaged and comprise 78% of the U.S. population today.
    • The three most engaged segments are the "adapters, immersers and perpetuals," and while they make up just 22% of the total population, these are the most affluent and influential of all customer segments. These are the individuals that have "shifted."
  3. Your customers' MMSI determines how quickly you must act to offer mobile experiences.
    The key is to figure out where and how the 22% most-engaged people are engaged with your organization. If you focus on the "shifted" people and understand their engagement with your brand, that tells you how quickly you should shift your marketing to accommodate them. Ultimately, they key is to shorten the distance between what people want and getting it to them. 

Attendees of that conference also were treated to the companion report by Melissa Parrish, aptly named "Marketing Strategy for the Mobile Mind Shift, offering more details on the "MMSI" and what you can do about it. Stay tuned for more details coming up on mobile customers and mobile marketing. In the meantime, let me know what you think - how have your customers shifted and how have you shifted your marketing to meet them?  As always, thank you for following!

tags: content marketing, customer analytics, customer experience analytics, forrester, Mobile Marketing, real-time decisioning, search marketing, social media
3月 072013

In the first post in this series, we discussed how there are a number of terms that describe how organizations manage their customer engagements: customer intelligence, customer analytics, integrated marketing management and marketing analytics. My goal with this series of posts was to clarify the definitions among the terms, delineate what comprises each term and highligh which solution sets apply.

Today, let's focus on our fourth and final term: Marketing Analytics.

Marketing analytics comprises the processes and technologies that enable marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives by measuring their performance using important business metrics, such as ROI, marketing attribution and overall marketing effectiveness – not just marketing channel effectiveness.

I think of marketing analytics as being like a fine wine – good marketing analytics programs are strong and sound, full bodied, and have a flavor for the data that is coveted by other departments in the organization. Many companies today simply can not join all marketing channel data in a common view and then analyze that data for needed insight. There are many reasons for this – culture, technical barriers, lack of information, etc. – but that discussion is for another post!

Without the ability to achieve that common view, marketers make decisions based on data from individual channels (website metrics, for example), and therefore not taking into account the entire marketing picture. Social media data alone is not enough. Web analytics data alone is not enough. And tools that look at just a snapshot in time for a single channel are woefully inadequate. By contrast, marketing analytics gathers data from across all marketing channels and consolidates it into a common marketing view. From this common view, you can extract analytical results that can provide invaluable assistance in driving your marketing efforts forward. Marketing analytics enables you to answer such questions as:

  • How did email campaign A perform against direct mail campaign B?
  • How many leads did I generate from blog post C versus social media campaign D?
  • Which had the biggest impact from a marketing attribution point of view – A, B, C or D?

Applied holistically, marketing analytics allows for better lead nurturing and management, which leads to more revenue and greater profitability. By more effectively managing leads and being able to tie those leads to sales – which is known as closed-loop marketing analytics – you can see which specific marketing initiatives are contributing to your bottom line.

Knowing the need for marketers to manage such a broad spectrum, SAS has created a complete suite of marketing analytics capabilities, including solutions such as:

  • Marketing Mix Analysis – Predict the business value of investments, such as advertising, incentives and the Web.
  • Marketing Performance Management – Align activities and resources to strategies and goals, link marketing performance to financial measures and establish accountability throughout the marketing department.
  • Marketing Operations – Plan, manage and execute enterprise marketing operations efficiently and effectively.
  • Intelligent Advertising – Gather and present data to enable precision forecasting, decision optimization, inventory management and sales performance reporting.
  • Adaptive Customer Experience – Develop more relevant, personalized communications to achieve better marketing performance.

With an integrated marketing analytics stack, organizations are able to derive value from marketing initiatives. Here are a couple examples that use marketing analytics from SAS:

  • Photobucket increases profitability by better understanding marketing and sales channels.
  • Fratelli Carli manages marketing and sales operations data with integrated marketing analytics.
  • Quarter Media manages online advertising while derives insight from marketing analytics.

So now we have covered them these terms! Hopefully this series of blog posts has helped you further differentiate between these commonly used terms. I know it has helped me as I continue to explore how SAS can best help organizations tackle their customer intelligence, customer analytics, integrated marketing management, and marketing analytics initiatives.

Please comment and share your thoughts and as always, thanks for reading along!

tags: customer analytics, customer intelligence, marketing analytics, what's in a name
3月 072013

In two previous posts, we have investigated the terms customer intelligence and customer analytics in more detail. We continue on our journey today by defining our third of four terms – that of integrated marketing management (IMM). Each of these four terms are different and distinct, so let’s jump right into our third term: Integrated Marketing Management.

Integrated Marketing Management refers to the end-to-end marketing process, from marketing strategy to implementation and customer experience measurement. Once that customer experience is measured, results are returned to the marketing department – thus completing the “closed loop marketing process.” The IMM process is initiated and driven by the marketing department.

Integrated Marketing Management supports the closed loop marketing process by integrating operational, executional, and analytical marketing processes. That view of marketing aligns underlies the vision behind the SAS suite of marketing software solutions, which addresses the operational (SAS Marketing Operations Management), executional (SAS Marketing Automation among others), and analytical (SAS Social Media Analytics, adaptive customer experience, etc.) needs of the enterprise marketing function.

The SAS view of Integrated Marketing Management has four main components. I liken these categories to the four wheels on a car. All are equally important, are part of a greater good, and must all be present for the vehicle known as IMM to function properly. Accordingly, we use these four product categories to present our suite of products on our external web site:

  1. Strategy and planning  These tools include ways for you to manage workflow and resource allocation, your marketing mix and specialized message delivery platforms.
  2. Information and analytics These tools enable you to derive insight from your organizational data and form the foundation for some of your more sophisticated analytical techniques.
  3. Orchestration and Interaction These campaign execution and optimization tools provide the means to manage your interactions with customers across multiple channels, achieve real-time relevance and find the best actions to take.
  4. Customer Experience These solutions help you monitor and measure customer value and provide your customers the best possible experience.

Integrated Marketing Management is a term that resonates heavily with marketing strategists and classic technology marketers – as they see the importance of all four of these categories and know that (like a car) in order to have a truly functioning integrated marketing platform, you must have all four wheels in place and operational on the car.

There are some impediments to performing true IMM, which is not surprising considering how achieving it may entail centralizing marketing management, control, coordination, and communication. Integrating multiple marketing-centric processes often requires reworking culture, processes, and technology, but is well worth the effort considering the potential impacts of doing it. Vivid examples of how it pays off include:

  • Loyalty New Zealand is driving loyalty using campaign management and optimization solutions as well as data management and customer analytic technologies from SAS.
  • A large dutch retail bank is overhauling its current marketing processes to become more customer and online centric by implementing strategy and planning solutions, orchestration and interaction solutions, and customer experience solutions from SAS.
  • A major American insurer and a long time SAS customer is using SAS strategy and planning, information and analytics, orchestration and interaction, and customer experience solutions to complete and market in a more real time fashion.
  • A United Kingdom Telecom joint venture has built a highly scalable marketing analytics and service platform to analyze and serve 65 million customers using SAS solutions – including SAS Orchestration and Interaction solutions, SAS Text Miner, SAS Sentiment Analysis, and SAS Visual Analytics.

Up next, I will present my final post in this series about the marketing analytics term! In the meantime, please comment with your experiences around integrated marketing management! Thank you for following!

tags: customer analytics, customer intelligence, marketing analytics, what's in a name
3月 062013

In the first post in this series, I introduced the collection of terms that describe how organizations manage their customer engagements: customer intelligence, customer analytics, integrated marketing management and marketing analytics. It's important to define them, as well as understand what comprises each term and which SAS solutions apply. It's also important to know the reasons that these terms (or processes) are different and distinct. We previously highlighted the term Customer Intelligence and detailed out its place in the market.

Today, let's focus on our second term: Customer Analytics.

The term Customer Analytics refers to the processes and technologies that give organizations the customer insight necessary to deliver offers that are anticipated, relevant and timely. It is the practice of analyzing customer data in order to find underlying patterns, behaviors, or insights. As the backbone for all organization-to-customer activities, customer analytics comprises techniques such as predictive modeling, data visualization, information management and segmentation.  They make up the building blocks to the comprehensive customer intelligence solutions, and in the house construct analogy of the previous post, customer analytics would be found in the foundation.

Customer Analytics takes the second spot on our visual because it is narrower and more analytically focused than customer intelligence initiatives. It might be helpful to think of customer analytics as akin to the process of baking a cake. The end result of customer analytics programs would be the finished cake, while the technologies are the ingredients that make up the cake!

These processes refer to the end goals (or finished cake) of customer analytics programs:

  • Improve my data quality process.
  • Strengthen my segmentation process from the macro to micro level.
  • Manage my modelling process more efficiently in order to avoid rework.
  • Clarify my sentiment analysis and influence scoring processes.
  • Create a more robust customer profile

These technologies refer to the individual components (or ingredients) needed to accomplish customer analytics programs:

While Customer Analytics are not the slick and sexy marketing solutions that sit on top of your data warehouse, they are usually the trusty implements that get the job done for specific, defined customer data problems. Using the cake baking analogy, customer analytics are the spatulas, non-stick pans and well-worn measuring cups that get the job done when you're faced with a specific problem to solve. In the world of business software, customer analytics are not as broad as customer intelligence, but are not limited to marketing activites and therefore are not as narrowly defined as marketing analytics.

SAS Customer Analytics are a mainstay for many of our customers, solving some thorny customer data issues that you may be also be faced with:

  • Verizon unleashes the power of customer analytics to transform relationships and generate growth.
  • HP harnesses big data and turns 2.5 billion transactions into intimacy using customer analytics.
  • Grameenphone reduces churn via customer analytics in order to grow revenue.
  • Gilt Groupe uses customer analytics to pioneer a new way to shop for high-end luxury goods

Stay with me, as the next post will dive into the integrated marketing management term! In the meantime, please comment with your thoughts! Thank you for following!

tags: customer analytics, customer intelligence, marketing analytics, what's in a name
1月 152013

I'm always looking for ways to make my job sound more relevant to people who ask me, "so what does SAS do?" SAS does so much that I can't possibly list it all, so I need some umbrella terms that can capture the essence of it (and still keep the attention of the listener who thought this was just making polite conversation).

"Explaining SAS" is less of an issue than it once was, because SAS-the-company has become pretty famous as a great place to work. So while I don't have to explain who SAS is, I still often have to talk about what SAS does and why it should matter to you.

I was recently part of a delegation who took the message to some local 7th graders, as we went into the classroom and "taught" STEM-related course material for a day. For my part, I taught a lesson about how data integration is critical for law enforcement. We even had a hands-on activity where we "solved" a crime using data matching techniques (and good police work, of course).

But the lesson that really captured the imagination of these kids had to do with NBA basketball. The students learned not only about the role of analytics in improving player and team performance, but also how Customer Analytics are used to improve the experience of fans. They heard the story of how the Orlando Magic uses the science of numbers to make games even more fun for attendees (and more profitable for the team).

Customer Analytics is one of those useful umbrella terms that I can now use to talk about what SAS does. For example, I can tell my parents (who love Las Vegas) the role that SAS plays in the loyalty programs they use. And it's how banks and insurance companies work to get more customers, and offer more services to the customers they already have.

During this International Year of Statistics, it's great to remember our statistical roots. But analytics is how we use statistics, combined with business and industry knowledge, to make a difference.

tags: customer analytics, IYOS, statistics2013, stem