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It’s almost impossible to avoid election coverage right now, no matter how hard you try. If you’re like me, you’re fleeing to the safety of South Africa’s recently launched Netflix in to order avoid the coverage of the US primaries currently dominating international TV and print news, or South Africa’s […]
Campaigning to your customer: When elections and marketing collide was published on SAS Voices.
If nothing else you read puts your marketing efforts in perspective, this should:
It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.
Our customers deserve our respect. And I believe that, by and large, marketers treat their customers with the respect they deserve. But like with anything in life, creating happy customers only happens by making their experience relevant and satisfying – a complex task in an ever-changing environment.
That’s why SAS has introduced SAS Customer Intelligence 360 . It gives you the ability to integrate data from all of your customer touchpoints and share and gather customer intelligence across your entire organization (not just customer-facing departments).
One of the important modules of the new platform is SAS 360 Engage that does just what the name implies – helps you better engage with your customer by using analytical insights to make the right offers, faster.
Contextual marketing: Being in the moment with your customers
In the omnichannel world that marketers now inhabit, you know that you have to be hyper-alert at all times, or you miss an opportunity because you were too slow or make a misstep you’re not in a channel that your customer prefers.
The real power of SAS 360 Engage is in its ability to help you respond effectively to changes in customer behavior – say for example, the customer breaks a pattern of channel preference and moves to a different channel. You’ll be able to recognize behavior shifts and choose the best action for each interaction.
Personalizing, and even individualizing, the content that is placed on digital properties leads to higher engagement, loyalty and retention. It makes perfect sense. If customers see content that is relevant to them on a webpage or in a mobile app – they are much more likely to remain engaged – versus seeing generic content that is targeted to everyone. Targeting this “segment of one” increases uptake rates of offers and messages.
It's really the best of all possible worlds -- acquiring new customers while delighting existing customers -- using contextual customer engagement across digital channels and devices. Delivering a contextual offer allows you to boost new-customer acquisition rates and ultimately leads to a stronger, more profitable customer base and higher return on marketing investment.
Editor's note: This is an update of a post that originally appeared in April, 2016
Generating rich customer insights – the centerpiece of successful marketing efforts – is more arduous and crucial in today’s digitally saturated world. Brands must not only understand their customers across all touch points, but analyze and glean patterns from their behavior, and quickly respond to the faintest signs of changing preferences and needs.
Our multi-screen world creates even more complexity for the marketer. A recent Nielsen study revealed that the typical US consumer now owns four digital devices, and spends 60 hours a week consuming content across devices.
Plus, a majority of US households now own web-connected televisions, computers and smartphones. Amidst all these digital devices, consumers also have numerous choices for how and when they access and engage with that content as part of their customer journey.
Smoother customer journeys, not fragmented hops
Given the growing number of digital touch points where customers now interact with companies, marketing often can’t do what’s needed all on its own. Many brands typically think of customers (and the insights gleaned from them) as being “owned” by particular function – marketing owns brand management; service owns support; sales owns customer relationships; retail operations own the in-store experience, etc.
As a result, the customer data and corresponding insights are fragmented across these functions. When businesses can’t effectively combine customer insights across multiple digital channels, let alone across multiple customer-facing functions, marketers are less confident about their efforts.
This is why brands must have effective technologies and processes in place so they do not lose track when charting, designing and measuring the customer journey. Whether customers are browsing your brand website, completing a purchase on your mobile app or talking with a service representative via online chat, customers demand to be recognized and treated consistently no matter the channel.
Broader, deeper customer knowledge
To this end, SAS 360 Discover goes beyond channel-level data to collect detailed customer-level data for deeper customer understanding and better marketing decisions. SAS 360 Discover is part of the new SAS Customer Intelligence 360 suite that can help you create a new level of customer experience.
Now, you can go beyond page views and clicks to knowing why customers behave as they do on your digital properties, what are the characteristics of your most profitable customers and which digital interactions successfully resulted in loyal, profitable relationships?
In today’s marketing environment, brands gain a competitive edge if they stop perceiving customer engagement as a series of discrete interactions and instead see it as customers do: a set of interrelated interactions that, when combined, make up the customer experience.
I’m a marketing technology marketer. I need to practice what I preach. Not a day that goes by (well, okay, not a workday goes by) that I’m not talking about the importance of optimizing the customer journey. But, it’s not just about acquiring new customers and cross-selling new products. It’s about creating a relevant, satisfying and valued customer experience.
As I look to our SAS Customer Intelligence customer base, I am reminded that we constantly work to improve their experience. Two areas that need attention are around the adopt and use phases of their experience with SAS.
Getting CI help just got easier
How can we make it easier for users to get started, ask how-to questions, get peer-to-peer support and seek advice from SAS experts? I am very excited that today at SAS Global Forum, we announced two new resources for customer intelligence customers to achieve these goals.
First, we are launching a SAS Customer Intelligence Community. This new online discussion forum for CI users makes it easier to:
- Make connections. Meet other CI users, like their responses and fuel conversation by commenting on posts and swapping tips and tricks.
- Find answers and ask questions. Have a question? Search to see if your question has been answered. If not, register and click the big, blue New Message button and ask for help.
- Give feedback. Give advice and share best practices from your experience. The SASWare Ballot lets you recommend product improvements.
- Learn faster. Whether you’re new to CI or a seasoned CI user who wants to learn something new, you can learn faster with access to knowledgeable experts to guide you.
- Be recognized for your achievements. Icons on your avatar let others know your community participation status. As you participate, you earn badges, level up and earn new privileges.
Getting started info, free tutorials and advanced techniques – all in one place
We are also launching a new way for customers to get started using SAS software. SAS has historically provided lots of great resources to find information and get started. But, all too often, it wasn’t easy to figure out where to start and where to stop.
So, several cross-divisional teams invested months in determining how to make it easier for customers to get started with SAS software and find the information they need to be successful.
Well, good news. The time is here.
At SAS Global Forum, as we announced SAS Customer Intelligence 360, a new offering in the SAS Customer Intelligence suite, we also debuted Learn SAS Customer Intelligence 360. This pilot learning center includes getting started info, free tutorials and more. We’re creating similar learning centers for other SAS products.
How're we doing?
Help us keep raising the bar on the customer journey.
We’d love your feedback!
Just last weekend, I was considering buying a new camera lens. I already had a few brands in mind, so I looked online at their websites to learn more about their product information. I was able to conduct a comparison on different brands and lenses to narrow down to a specific 50mm lens provided by a major brand. I added the lens to my cart online, but wanted to get a closer look of it, so I chatted online with a representative to see if there were any lenses available at stores near me. This digital channel was my first point of interaction with the brand, but what impact did that have on my buying experience? Would responsive design come into play? Would the brand proactively contact me about similar products? Or would they simply react to inquiries that I had as a consumer? But today’s consumers expect immediate, individualized messages – would this brand deliver?
The fact of the matter is that a lot of brands don’t have the capabilities to modify messages, offers and interactions across channels, devices and points in time so that they are more relevant to the end consumer.
SAS Customer Intelligence 360, launching this month to the marketplace, offers an all-encompassing view of customers no matter how they choose to engage with you across digital properties.
A complete customer view
SAS Customer Intelligence 360 can give you detailed insights from digital channels customers interact with to create the most effective and relevant actions. The solution rapidly transforms digital data into a complete 360-degree view of the customer, meeting each customer’s needs at the right time, place and in proper context. Multiple decision-making methods, such as predictive models and multivariate tests, help ensure that customers gets the most relevant and personalized offers.
Data is also easy to integrate with many offline customer channels though SAS Customer Intelligence 360 and its customer decision hub. Customer interactions are based on previous engagements on all other platforms. The data hub is able to convert all of this into customer-focused actions. With this data integration, the brand is able to gather my interactions and information from all available sources; not just the website, but the call center, mobile apps, social media and point of sale.
Offline customer data can be appended to digital data to further augment the view of me as a customer. These data sources, typically demographic or transactional in nature, gives marketers valuable insight into a customer’s true needs in order to create more relevant offers, better targeted activities and more efficient use of marketing resources. This capability allows the brand to see me more than just page clicks. They’ll see me as a father with young children, interested in photography and seeking to buy a 50mm lens to capture fleeting family moments.
Insights into future actions
You don’t need to be a data scientist to harness the power of predictive marketing; SAS Customer Intelligence 360 includes guided analytics to provide marketers a forward-looking view of customer journeys. This enables them to better understand business drivers and incorporate them into segmentation, optimization and other analytic techniques. Marketers can better forecast how customers will perform in the future. The solution acts as the data scientist – enabling marketers to become more efficient and effective in the analytical techniques they embed into marketing initiatives.
Web data collection
Each web page is embedded with a single line of HTML that automatically collects page information without expensive tagging. With this feature, the webpage configuration might change simultaneously with what I click on, the order and timing of my clicks, each keystroke, etc. Dynamic data collection offers me more relevant content as I navigate through the brand’s site. Any customer activities are recorded privately and securely over time so that once a customer is identified, the information is connected automatically.
Simply put, SAS Customer Intelligence 360 offers marketers the confidence to manage their digital customer journeys in a more personalized and profitable way. Marketers gain a complete view of their customers and transform this data using analytical insight into customer-centric knowledge and future actions. With this solution, brands can interact with customers on a personalized level and customers will be more satisfied with their entire relationship with a brand, not just a single transaction. Customer loyalty goes up and attrition goes down.
And as for me, I got the lens I was looking for, and was satisfied with the customer experience. Of course I have ideas on how to improve it on behalf of this brand, and SAS Customer Intelligence 360 fits into that picture.
Many companies are sitting on a goldmine: their data. But they may have no idea of its value.Companies that are not already thinking about analytics as the next logical step to harvest value and insights from their data need to rethink their strategy. They are in a way, very similar […]