customer intelligence

10月 062010
The issues marketers face are daunting. Let’s talk about three.

Response and opt out rates are awful. So we struggle to push thru the noise and stand out. We work to develop a strong list, message, and call-to-action. But we can’t know for certain if our offer will resonate with the recipient. We do our best.

Online ads.
These used to be about volume - interrupt as many as you can, and a few will inevitably click-through. Now, ads need to bring value to the viewer. And that makes sense. We work to segment and target our offers; aligning them to the right publications and the right readers at the right time. But we can’t know for certain if an ad will be accepted as well-timed information or loathed as a disruption. We do our best.

Almost every new sale begins with a Google search. But being on the first results page does not mean you’ve won; it only means you get to play in round two. We work to get people to our site and make it easy for them to find the information they need once they arrive. But we don’t know for certain if the content we have or the way we present it is hitting the mark. We do our best.

Or do we?

A new report from the CMO Council and Accenture reveals that nearly “one-third of marketers and IT executives alike” report that they are “either having difficulty integrating critical analytics capabilities or believe they are not integrated at all.” Does that sound like “our best” to you?

Doing our best means realizing that our gut isn’t going to help much in the digital marketing era. Our best demands we employ every tool we have to better serve our customers. Customer data. Math. Analytics. Optimization. Segmentation models. This is where the new-best begins.

Success with Email? The best way forward is to be ruthless in the application of analytics and optimize lists of contacts who are actually interested in your current message.

Success with online ads? Segmentation models that match ads and offers to the best possible readers are what’s needed here, so that we deliver assistance, not interruption.

Success with your Website? Advanced forms of social media and web analytics that track mentions and website visitors and analyze behaviors, allowing us to improve customer experience and serve up the right offer of content at the right time.

Marketing is quickly becoming an analytically driven discipline. Do you welcome the explosion of data as a gold mine of information? Or do you drown in details you’re unable to harness? Do you have a deep understanding of your customers and the confidence to act? Or do you struggle to deliver campaigns with little benefit of insight or promise of improvement?
10月 022010
Attending DMA 2010? We’d love to have you as our guest at one or more of our three presentations, or at our book signing and networking event with Chris Brogan. Here are the details.

Explore better ways to connect with customers in these presentations:

First, we will present Enhance Consumer Insight with Social Media with Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs. This presentation will take place on Monday, October 11 at 1:45 p.m. in Room 103. Here is the abstract:
Marketing today requires your business to be social – i.e., invite your customers to converse with you, use new channels to cultivate relationships, and invest in outreach and engagement programs. Social media veteran Chris Brogan leads the discussion as we explore the benefits of going where your customers are, how to build profiles based on customers’ needs, and leverage consumer insight to increase profitable customers and build your brand.
Second, we will present Social Media Analytics: The Science of Listening with John Bastone, Product Marketing Manager, SAS. This presentation will take place on Monday, October 11 at 11:15 p.m. in Room 123. Here is the abstract:
To realize the value of data collected from social media, you must be able to pare it down, filter out the noise, and focus on specific recurring themes. Join us to learn more about understanding and measuring the impact these conversations have on your business: how to collect and analyze social media, identify brand advocates and threats, apply insight to improve customer targeting and act upon customer needs and sentiment.
Third, Andy Bober, VP of Development at SAS, will participate on the Event Triggered Marketing Solutions: Which One is Best for You? panel. This discussion will take place on Monday, October 11 at 11:15 p.m. in Room 113. Here is the abstract:
Three vendors – SAS, Alterian and Neolane – address event-triggered marketing campaign requirements and translate them into a fully detailed, event-triggered data flow. This interactive panel discussion presents a great opportunity to learn the differences between vendors and find a solution that meets your needs.

Book signing and networking event with social media veteran Chris Brogan

Join us at the award winning St. Regis San Francisco. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and mixed drinks on the beautiful overlook terrace, which offers amazing views of the Yerba Buena Gardens.

The first 50 attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Chris Brogan’s best-selling book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. Get your book signed and mingle with your marketing peers at this fun event.

The event is free, but you will need to register to get through the doors.

We hope to see you at DMA!
9月 252010
As a kid growing up on the farm, I knew the difference between good quality tools and cheap imitations. Farm equipment was very unforgiving to tools, so the cheap imitations wouldn’t last long. Fast-forward to being an adult living in a suburb of Minneapolis, and I quickly became a fan of Northern Tool + Equipment (NT+E), which was based about 10 miles from where I lived. Their products were very good quality, and although I wasn’t changing the shanks on a chisel plow anymore, it was still nice to use tools around the house that were solid and reliable. So when I was given the opportunity to participate in a webinar with David Hildebrandt, the Database Marketing Manager for NT+E, it brought back some nice memories from my past.

Not only do they make good tools, NT+E is also very good at marketing – and I’m very happy that SAS can be a part of their success. About 5 years ago, NT+E implemented SAS Marketing Automation. This was a big decision for this relatively small, conservative company considering they would have to develop the capabilities in-house, but they made the leap away from using an external service bureau for marketing services to doing it on their own. Well, from more sophisticated campaigns to better predictive modeling, the improved performance results were almost immediate. According to David , “The whole process was better, faster, and cheaper than we imagined. The time needed to create mailing campaigns was drastically reduced. What used to take the service bureau weeks to do now only takes us a couple of days.”

There are several additional comments that could summarize their results, but I think the one from Chuck Albrecht, their president, says it the best, “Our credo has always been: ‘the right tool for the right job.’ SAS Marketing Automation is exactly the right tool we needed to grow our business.”

Check out more of the Northern Tool + Equipment story in the paper: Capturing Customer Value in a Multichannel World (pdf).

9月 132010
How do marketers help to fight terrorism?

Today I experienced one a top-notch conference that allows private sector banks, law enforcement and regulatory agencies to come together and collaborate with an objective to stop Terrorism Financing.

Just two days before the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on US soil, the SAS campus hosted 400+ people from the US and Canadian Governments; commercial banks: Bank of America, RBC, Ally; federal and state law enforcement. All came together to discuss how to jointly prevent the financing of terrorist and criminal activities. Where else would you find these institutions, plus Senators from both sides of the aisle, encouraging collaboration toward a common goal? I was awestruck as I listened to the Chief Compliance Officer of Bank of America, Charles Bowman, state "we can make this world a safer place".

James A. Dinkins, Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security told stories of investigation of crimes on a scale I could not imagine. He ended his keynote with a message, again, to the commercial banks. "We cannot do it without you. While implementing the regulations are onerous, your efforts are making a difference."

We can and do make a difference, every day. Big thanks and kudos to our SAS Marketing team who made this collaborative effort possible.
9月 072010

I came across this blog by Jim Sheppard (@seosheppard) last week; The Evolution of SAS and Search Engine Marketing, featuring a video by Dr. Pat Stroh - VP, Analysis & Decision Support at IMPAQT.

IMPAQT 'specialize in the data-rich, Search-specific area of online marketing' and in the video they discuss how, by using analytics, they are able to save their clients $10,000s in keyword bidding and probably generate $millions in extra sales.

Previously, IMPAQT suffered from the all-too-familiar pain of analytical marketers; too much data to make sense of. In a business where the choice of search term and the price you pay for it can mean the difference between a successful campaign and an ineffective one, the ability to rapidly gain insights from millions of rows of data is business-critical; in fact, it is the business!

IMPAQT have also gone past the point of simply collating and reporting on the data, they are now able to optimize 1,000s of words and bid prices daily to allow their clients to make critical marketing decisions based on sound analysis. Furthermore, their speed of analysis allows them to track and forecast the outcomes of campaigns whilst the campaign is active; ramping up sucessful campaigns and strengthening weaker ones.

Enjoy the video:

9月 012010
Before I begin, I should take a moment to introduce myself. I’m part of the product marketing team for SAS Customer Intelligence. I’ve had the word “marketing” in my title for more than a couple of decades, but still feel like I learn something every day. But then, marketing is changing at a faster rate than ever, so there’s a lot to learn. Which leads to my first posting …

Growing up in a small town, I could walk into any store and they’d know me, they’d know my parents - they probably even knew what I’d been up to the night before, because in a small town the news travels fast. So when it came to helping me find what I wanted, the store owner had a lot of insight that he could leverage. I enjoyed my trips uptown as it was a social experience, and I enjoyed the shopping experience too (except perhaps the part about them knowing what I had done the night before ...). Nowadays, my shopping experience often involves an internet browser or a megastore with branches all over the country/world. The concept of the store personnel knowing me, really understanding me, is unrealistic. So, as a customer, how can we feel recognized when we’re shopping? How can companies make us feel like their website or personnel can actually help us find what we need?

In a recent webinar, Aaron Cano, the former Vice President of Customer Knowledge at 1-800-FLOWERS and current Vice President of Customer Insight at MBS, discussed the importance of customer-driven marketing. He talked about six points that will help companies improve their customer’s experiences. Fundamentally, his position is that if companies can get beyond basic customer insight to one of persona based insight leveraged in all customer conversations, then the response and subsequent customer experience will improve significantly.

Cano’s first point was as follows:

1. Rethink how we communicate with customers
With the evolution of technology and so many channels of communication, customer relationship management has evolved from primarily focusing on outbound communications to one of requiring a two-way conversation. Cano stated, “CRM is no longer about promoting things to customers, but building and enabling relationships with customers. It’s about establishing a mutually profitable exchange of offers, services, and communications.”

Achieving this two-way conversation drives the need for consistent processes across all levels of the organization. These processes must enable the following:
  • Acquisition of customer insight that is shared across every customer touch point
  • Relevant and timely messages based on not only what the customer is likely to purchase, but also on what motivates and influences their choices
  • Coordination and optimization of messages and activities across all business units
  • Acquisition of high-value customers

For points 2-8, visit my full article on Customer Think, titled Using Customer-Driven Marketing to Act Like the Corner Store.

7月 292010
During the week of August 1 - 7, 2010, SAS Customer Intelligence will be making a big splash in the New York area and there are several ways you can catch up with us in person:

CRM Evolution Conference & Exhibition
This event begins on Monday, August 2 and ends on Wednesday, August 4. Visit us at any time during the show in booth 117, where we will showcase our Customer Intelligence solutions. SAS is proud to be a platinum sponsor of this major annual event, and we've invited two of our customers to share their experiences with driving marketing success using customer analytics:'s Nachiket Desai will be in Room A103 at 2:15p.m. on Monday, Aug. 2,
Wyndham Worldwide's Sean Lowe will be in Room C202 at 11:45a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3

Registration is being handled by the show organizer and SAS customers can get a 25% discount off admission by using the "VIPSAS" code. REGISTER HERE

The SAS New York Tweetup & Web Analytics Monday Reception
This hospitality reception will be held in the Basement Lounge of the Houndstooth Pub on Monday, August 2 from 6:30p.m. until 8:30p.m. This will be a great opportunity to mingle with marketers attending the conference, as well as New York members of the Web Analytics Association, who we're working with to promote this event. We'll have a drawing for a FLIP video recorder, so come join us! REGISTER HERE.

CRM Evolution Executive Breakfast
This exclusive event is happening on Tuesday, August 3 from 7:45a.m. until 8:45a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at Times Square. SAS is the exclusive host of executive attendees at CRM Evolution and SAS executive-level customers in New York City for a closed-door session with Forrester Analyst Dave Frankland and CRM Media's Editorial Director David Myron. REGISTER HERE

The Strategic Customer Intelligence Dinner
We're coming across the river on Thursday, August 5 to host an executive dinner in Hackensack, NJ at Morton's Steakhouse in "The Boardroom," their private dining room. The evening will begin at 6:00p.m. with refreshments served during a newtworking reception, followed by remarks from Forrester Analyst Dave Frankland. Dinner will follow featuring Morton's world famous steak, chicken, salmon or vegetarian option. After dinner, Jeff Hoffman of Chubb & Sons insurance company will highlight his company's experiences in driving success using customer analytics. John Bastone of SAS will provide closing comments to wrap the evening at 9:00p.m. REGISTER HERE.

This event is also the big unveiling of the new creative theme we plan to use this year centered around apples. Our creative team peeled away at it and got to the core of the true essence of SAS Customer Intelligence. Come by booth 117 to check it out - also, we'll be handing out Green Apple Jolly Rancher candies.

If you can't be with us in the Big Apple, be with us virtually by following our official Twitter account: @SAS_CI, or follow the CRM Evolution list on Twitter: @CRMevolution/crme2010, or the CRM Evolution Group on LinkedIn.