real-time decisioning

7月 222014

You may notice that marketing is changing. Fewer credit card offers are hitting your mailbox. Fewer coupons for irrelevant products and services. There is a reason for the change. Organizations are beginning to understand that mass marketing alienates customers. Spray and pray doesn't work - so organizations aren't spending their money on it any longer - at least not to the degree that we used to see. In the next few years, as mass marketing continues to diminish, loyalty from consumer to brands should increase, and the trust that marketers earn from consumers will become more noticeable.

So that's then, but this is now. What are organizations doing now to focus on customer decision management? What are brands doing to make sure that the offers they deliver are personalized and relevant?

In May 2014, SAS commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examined the potential return on investment (ROI) enterprises may realize by deploying SAS Real-Time Decision Manager - our solution for customer decision management.

The purpose of this study was to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of Real-Time Decision Manager (RTDM) on their organizations. To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks, Forrester interviewed an existing customer — a retail bank — with more than a year of experience using RTDM.

The bank’s goal was to build an integrated platform for CRM and Risk Management that would allow it to launch preapproved, relevant cross-selling campaigns on an individual customer level. Specifically, the bank wanted to pursue new, low-income customer segments for offering small-amount credit products. “We integrated a decision management system (SAS RTDM) with our CRM solutions and scoring application to create a powerful and flexible instrument,” said the chief of the bank’s credit strategies division.

As a result of using SAS RTDM, the bank is able to:

  • Target lower risk consumers with significantly greater accuracy.
  • Reduce time required to approve loans through improved customer targeting combined with automated business rules .
  • Adjust its strategy every month based on time reduction to approve loans.

This study revealed real, quantified benefits of using SAS RTDM, specifically that the bank now:

  • Issues 25% more loans with the same staff, an improvement valued at more than $5.4million.
  • Eliminates IT development requirements, which is valued at $242,250.

Forward-looking companies are making the transformation from mass marketing to managing each individual journey from researcher - to purchaser - to loyal advocate. And they're doing it with analytics-based marketing software like SAS Customer Intelligence solutions, such as SAS RTDM. We'll see some interesting developments as more and more organizations evolve toward this new approach to marketing. So that leaves this question - are you ready to move from mass marketing to customer decision management?

For more details about this fascinating story of the bank's transformation by using SAS RTDM, check out the full study and let me know what you think.  And as always - thank you for following!

tags: customer intelligence, forrester, marketing automation, real-time decisioning
5月 092014

Have you ever worked on a jigsaw puzzle? You have hundreds of pieces to painstakingly put together and somehow at the end it all fits to make a beautiful picture. Some people love the challenge and others could think of few things more painful. Either way, a jigsaw puzzle is an apt metaphor for the complexity of marketing to millions of individuals across multiple channels faced by organizations of all sizes.

So imagine putting all the pieces from three jigsaw puzzles together in the same box and then trying to make a beautiful, integrated picture. Sound like a tough challenge? That’s one way to consider what the Dutch media giant Ziggo faced when it was formed as the merger of three leading cable TV, internet and telephony services providers. Faced with several databases, data management systems and data sources, getting a clear view into customer data would require real work.

How have they made it work? At Ziggo, it’s all about getting a complete and integrated customer view. It’s about being relevant by finding the best-fitting inbound enticements with outbound offers. This way the company retains its customers longer and is more effective in its cross-sell and up-sell. Let’s take a closer look at their approach:

Start with the data
Ziggo today is integrating databases from various parts of the company into a single environment. The company is also doing a better job of tying the past and the present together to effect the future. For example, the marketing team can incorporate response data from previous e-mail campaigns to create a more complete customer view. “In the end it comes down to centralizing customer data and making it accessible through the different channels and processes,” says Carola Volman, Ziggo customers need internet, TV and phone services.Director Research & Customer Insights at Ziggo.Ziggo customers need internet, TV and telephony services.

“There is still a lot to gain in the areas of data quality and getting the most out of existing and available data,” she adds. “We’ve taken quite a few steps – one is implementing SAS Data Quality Advanced – but there’s still plenty that can be improved on.”

The right enticements for inbound Ziggo customers need internet, TV and telephony services.
Today, viewers can access the Internet, their social media networks and even YouTube and Skype from their televisions. Those are channels media companies didn’t have to compete with before. To retain customers in such a competitive industry, Ziggo has to make sure that it’s offering its customers the right products and services.

“The contact center is a valuable channel for creating cross-sell and up-sell opportunities,” says Volman. Ziggo customers need internet, TV and telephony services.“In the past, the relevance of the offer depended largely on the agent’s capabilities, knowledge and experience. When we looked at the metrics, it turned out there was a lot we could improve on. For instance, providing the contact center agent with a complete and up-to-date profile of the customer helps him decide which offer to present.”

SAS Marketing Automation and SAS Real-Time Decision Manager analyze information like the reason the customer is calling, his user profile, and spending and family composition and immediately display a personalized offer on the agent’s screen. The software also provides additional information, like specific advantages of the offer. Ziggo has increased conversion of inbound calls to revenue.

“Because of our success with contact center conversions, we’re applying the same approach to customers who contact us online - they also receive personalized offers,” she says.

The right offers for outbound
And why not apply a little software magic with outbound campaigns? That’s what Ziggo did.

“The information we get about our customers is constantly increasing and improving, and a strategy that optimizes that information will help us target our campaigns more accurately in outbound campaigns. We decided to rethink our entire marketing campaign strategy and include SAS Marketing Optimization,” Volman says. “Optimization can help us do a lot of great things. For instance, we can make sure that customers never get duplicate or competing offers. The software also gives our marketers insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns so that they can maximize their actions further.”

And Ziggo marketers can use predictive analytics to analyze past campaigns to determine the optimal number of touch points. “It is all a matter of finding a balance between optimal customer experience and costs and profitability. On the basis of all this, we determine which campaigns can best be deployed and when,” she explains.

Putting the pieces together
A complete and integrated customer view helps Ziggo engage in relevant communication with its customers and provide them with the best-fitting inbound and outbound offers. The company retains its customers longer and is more effective in its cross-sell and up-sell. For more details about this and other similar successful cases, please visit our customer stories page.

I’m confident that SAS Customer Intelligence software can help your company solve its marketing jigsaw puzzle.

Reach out and give us a call or drop us a line. And as always, thank you for following!

tags: marketing automation, marketing optimization, personalization, real-time decisioning, relevance
2月 142014
How many of your customers would make heart-shapes about your brand?

How many of your customers would make heart-shapes about your brand?

Happy Valentine's Day! Today is the international day for celebrating love, or at least the day for love offerings. Naturally, I'm inspired to write about ways marketers can spark and nurture feelings of love in their customers, and for that there are valuable lessons to be had in looking at personal relationships.

While "love" in a customer relationship is not the same as in a personal relationship, I do think there are elements of personal relationships that can be useful to consider in a commercial context. My main reason for that thinking is because purchase decisions are made by individuals - even in a B2B setting. The purchase happens because the offering fits a need, and affinity develops over time because some key aspect of the offering fulfills a need repeatedly.

All relationships begin with a connection. Perhaps its momenary or fleeting - an exchanged glance or a smile. For marketers, it can be as simple as showing up in an online search result, or a click-through to your landing page.

Google has posited the ZMOT - zero moment of truth - as a digital-era reinterpretation of Procter & Gamble's First Moment of Truth to describe your customers' first experiences with your brand. In the Google ZMOT, the first experience a customer has with your brand is likely one that is online. The concept is a great way to sell search advertising, but it's also likely true.

That initial connection grows when the parties perceive interest or value of some sort and then it blossoms into something beyond the fleeting. The glance may become a double-take or simply saying "hello" with a smile and a twinkle in the eye. Pleasantries are exchanged and suddenly a conversation begins. For customers, the click becomes a conversion and grows from there. They come back for some additional information, or they accept your suggestion to learn more or to follow up. Perhaps they engage your contact center in online chat - no matter what, the courtship dance has begun.

The pinnacle of a personal relationship is one in which the parties have regular contact, share details and experiences that are often exclusive and intimate, and they become protective of each other. The most valuable customer relationship is one that's evolved into advocacy. In that case, the customer is so happy with your organization that they not only have an affinity or preference, they become an a brand evangelist. That highest level of customer relationship is reached by deliberately cultivating shared experiences. Or, as best-selling author and digital antropologist Brian Solis puts it, by creating experiences that are worthy of sharing.

We are living in the era of the connected customer - one in which normal customer behavior is to capture moments and share it - in near real-time. Customers are living a lifestyle that's digital and increasingly mobile, which is changing their mindsets and behaviors. More than ever before, our customers are informed and empowered, and are coming to expect personalization and quicker responses. So the stakes for finding and fostering a connection with customers are increasingly digital and data-driven.

In that regard, marketing analytics plays a central role in the connection that evolves into customer love. It's predicting outcomes and preferences, orchestrating real-time interactions that are relevant and personalized, and fostering the meaningful relationships that turn your customers into brand evangelists.

Want to learn more? Reach out and let us know -we'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, I love the fact that you're following this blog. Thank you!

tags: advanced customer experience, customer experience, love, marketing analytics, real-time decisioning
11月 192013
The "Members Only" jacket in the 1980s was the ticket to coolness.

John Balla circa 1982 thinks his "Members Only" jacket makes him look cool.

Gilt is an online retailer based in the United States, founded in 2007 and is best known for flash sales - only available to members for 36-48 hours. It's all about giving its members the inside scoop to snag something cool and sought after, and then adding the thrill of getting it for a bargain. It's about limited quantities for a limited time. And with 6 million members, it's a clearly compelling mix.

Their mix starts with sought-after products – often luxury goods not normally found online. Then they offer them in limited quantities at big discounts to an exclusive audience and only for a limited time. And they do it over and over again. You can't even see what's on sale unless you're a member. New sales often seem like a trunk sale at your favorite boutique, featuring merchandise from a single brand or small groups of brands.

Their members-only exclusivity certainly promotes loyalty, but that doesn't mean they can rest on their laurels. In fact, Gilt has the inside track on loyalty by proactively cultivating it with marketing analytics. And they'd have to be - as an online retailer, they’re in the thick of digitally-savvy, empowered customers and an increasingly competitive market.

Gilt's forward-looking approach is what keeps them in the know – by utilizing real-time, predictive analytics that prompt tailored, timely interactions that deepen brand relationships and fuel long-term loyalty. Their sophisticated use of analytics includes techniques to gain deep customer understanding through data mining, implicit data collection and third-party data appends with traditional sources of insight, such as surveys and focus groups. Other approaches include persona-based segmentation, affinity scoring and lifetime value analysis to guide how they target, acquire and engage with high value customers.

Gilt’s best customers clearly understand value, and
Gilt clearly knows how to value them.

Want the members-only view of how they do it?  Join us on November 21, 2013 at 1:00pm ET for a webinar produced by Loyalty360 called, Building Loyalty with Digitally-savvy, Empowered Customers.\

If you’re unable to tune in live, we’ll offer a recording afterward on demand at Stay tuned for that update.

tags: customer segmentation, marketing analytics, online marketing, real-time decisioning, retail
8月 052013

I don’t want to have a relationship with a marketing department. I don’t want to be your friend. I don’t want to engage in conversation with you. I feel no loyalty towards you. When I say I like you I’m not entirely sincere.

And yet I chose to share an enormous amount of my life with you. The detail I’m able and happy to share has grown big. Really, really big. But understand this: my reason for sharing this data is entirely motivated by self-interest. You see, I know as much about you as you do about me. I know how valuable my data can be to you. So I expect you to use this data for my benefit. Because you can be damn sure I will be.

This is the challenge we face. This is the opportunity for us to seize.

Big data is the topic of the moment in the world of marketing. As a concept, it has been very difficult to get to grips with. The term big data is nebulous. Most definitions of big data are so broad they provide no real insight into the subject. Yet there is an often overlooked truth about big data: big data is made up of lots of small data.

Specific and concrete

Our lives are full of small data. We generate it constantly as we go about our lives. In the websites we visit, location tracking on our smartphones, the time-stamp on our receipts, our Facebook updates. The jigsaw pieces of our lives that allow a marketer to better understand the individual’s personal context into which we plan to act. Small data is specific and concrete. We can understand it; where it comes from, what it says, how we can make good use of it.  I can think of no better way to illustrate the value of this specificity than with a specific and concrete example.

Importance of small data

Recently, while browsing an online article on the 10 best gaming gadgets, I found myself confronted with banner adverts for dieting, depilation and Disney. A baffling mixture of seemingly randomly selected products with no conceivable relationship to the subject matter of the page. But there is small data associated with this page that is of enormous potential value. For, as with any well-designed website, the page was loaded with key data. That metadata serves a useful purpose. It is there to help us (and Google) find the page. Eight simple phrases: wireless technology, Google Android, gaming, Apple Inc, information technology, computers, Apple Mac, and computer accessories. Eight phrases that tell you everything about the content of the page. Eight phrases that bear no relationship to dieting, depilation and Disney. Eight small, specific, concrete pieces of data that when visiting that page tell you my current interests. Not in the recent past, but right now. Eight pieces of data that marketers should use to determine if an offer for depilation is likely to be relevant to the reader.

Unlike insight derived from a person’s demographic profile or prior purchases (which tends to be relatively stable) situational context is by its very nature short-lived. So when situational context and a customer’s known preferences coincide with a product or service we wish to provide, the confluence of circumstances demands that we should act. Such opportunities may not long persist. Mid-morning coffee becomes lunchtime sandwiches; the laptop is turned off and the TV is turned on. People move on with their lives and the situation changes around them with surprising rapidity. To recognise and seize this moment when our relevance to the customer is at its highest is the key to success.

Changing the way we think

Access to these streams of small data about an individual’s ever-changing situation allows us to change the way we market. To be truly effective we may also need to change the way we think. Marketing in this environment is no longer about delivering a mass message according to the schedule we determine. It is not based on what we knew, rather it is based on what we know and it is entirely determined by the customer. Not explicitly, however. We should not sit back and wait for a call that may never come. Like a
good butler we should be invisible, observing and waiting in anticipation of the moment when we can step forward to serve, even before the recipient realises their need. Discrete, appropriate and timely. Not intrusive, overeager or too frequent. Not pretending our relationship is more than a potentially valuable adjunct to the customer’s life.

To make effective use of this small data we must understand our customers. The journey they take in deciding to make use of a product or service. Rarely simple and linear, hidden within the weave of such decisions are patterns and connections. A time, a location, a website visited, a call made, small pieces of data that in isolation may be missed, but combined act as a signal of potential intent. The challenge at the heart of big data is not then one of technology and calculation, but rather one of imagination. We need to swap our
focus from the sea of data and instead focus on the quantum of our customers’ lives and where we fit within them.

I don’t want to have a relationship with a marketing department. But I will continue to share my own personal small data with you, so that you understand when input may be useful, and equally when it is not relevant in the hope that you can serve me better.

I am happy to share this article on this blog. I originally submitted it to Marketing Week UK, which published it on May 29, 2013

tags: big data, customer analytics, customer experience analytics, customer intelligence, marketing, marketing analytics, real-time decisioning
7月 132013

This blog post focuses on clarifying what's important in integrated marketing managment, as shown in the second of three sections, titled Orchestration and Interaction. Often when I mention this product category – I receive perplexing looks due to the name we have given to this section in the full IMM visual. Previously we covered the full IMM visual and the first of three sections, Strategy and Planning.

Per the definitions of orchestration and interaction from Wikipedia – “Orchestration" deals with the automated arrangement, coordination, and management of complex computer systems, middleware, and services. Basically, it's the outcome of automation, although some ascribe it with inherent intelligence or even implicitly autonomic control. “Interaction" refers to how two or more objects relate to each other and impact one another.

Our visual simplifies the orchestration & interaction concept by showing the many ways businesses interact with customers and the technologies used to orchestrate those interactions. Let’s dive into a bit more detail around each of these areas.

Orchestration and Interaction


Web and Call Center – In order to interact with customers via these touch points, an organization must have the capability to react to a request that is initiated by the customer over these channels. For instance, if a customer takes a certain action on your website, such as abandoning a web application form for a product or service, do you have the orchestration capabilities to not only tie that event to past behaviors across marketing channels but the interaction capability to service that action as well? In today’s digital marketplace, this ability is crucial.

Live Event – Live events promoting a product or service are key to showing your customers and prospects that customer engagement matters to your organization. Whether it be a webcast, an industry event, or just an informal networking session - being able to deliver offers and messages via these events is critical to engaging customers when you have their undivided attention.

Mobile, SMS, and EmailDigital marketing, or executing marketing messages over digital channels, is obviously the number one medium for most companies. While SAS supports executing and tracking messages via all of these channels – using these channels in the most effective manner is perhaps what is most important. Using optimization capabilities from SAS combined with the mobile, sms, and email channels – organizations can deliver messages that are anticipated and personalized, and not considered irrelevant spam.

Social – With social now embedded into our social fabric, organizations can expand listening and monitoring social sentiment over time, to reacting and responding over these same social channels. Not only being able to react to a tweet or facebook post with a social service reply – but also sending an unsolicited outbound message over social channels are capabilities that SAS can support.

Broadcast Media – TV advertisements, internet banners, and other broadcast mediums are still effective ways to engage with consumers. Being able to push messages to these channels are supported by the automation capabilities of SAS Customer Intelligence solutions.

Industry Specific Touch Points – Every industry has different touch points that are unique. The self-service ticket kiosk for travel, the ATM for financial services, the point of sale for retail, the slot machine for hospitality and gaming, and so on. To SAS, these present themselves as another opportunity to deliver relevant messaging to drive customer engagement and loyalty. SAS interfaces easily with third party systems – such as point of sale systems – to deliver appropriate messaging.

Direct Mail – We’d be amiss if we didn’t mention perhaps the classic marketing channel - direct mail. Direct mail, if used properly (I’m looking at you credit card companies and retailers) – is an effective medium by which to deliver messaging. Combine marketing automation with optimization when delivering to this channel for the most effective results – avoiding customer saturation and the creation of the dreaded “junk mail”.

Today’s customer interactions must be appropriate, relevant, and personal. This means the right offer, at the right time, via the right channel with the right content. SAS marketing solutions assist organizations in ensuring that customers are contacted in the manner that is best for them – providing valuable – and not annoying – customer engagement over time. Positive customer engagement drives everything that organizations are looking for – retention, loyalty, and growth.

So it should come as no surprise that the products that underpin the orchestration and interaction capabilities discussed above are aptly named SAS Marketing AutomationSAS Real Time Decision ManagerSAS Marketing Optimization, and SAS Digital Marketing. Marketing Automation focuses on outbound campaign management initiatives. Real Time Decision Manager allows organizations to react in real time across inbound customer touch points. Marketing Optimization allows for complex optimization scenarios across campaigns to be carried out. And Digital Marketing is the creation mechanism for the mobile and email digital channels. These products represent the majority of new sales for SAS Customer Intelligence and all four of these products interact with each other to provide the automation that organizations need to execute on marketing initiatives.

SAS’s most recent software release in this area, Customer Intelligence 6, gives marketers a fresh modern new application suite that more tightly integrates the products in this IMM category. This in turn improves the efficiency and effectiveness of all personas inside the marketing organization.

Stay tuned for our next post on managing the customer experience and how SAS can help! As always, thank you for following!

tags: customer intelligence, digital marketing, marketing automation, marketing optimization, real-time decisioning, relevance
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
5月 012013

SGF Executive Conference Panel on How Digital Marketing Drives the Omnichannel Experience

What does the future hold for digital marketing? If you looked into your crystal ball, what would it reveal to you? Where will you spend scarce marketing dollars for maximum impact? Will you allocate the bulk of your marketing budget to traditional campaigns, or to digital channels? We gained an interesting view into the future from a panel discussion with national clothing retail executive and two digital marketing experts at SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.  

The best way to summarize this fascinating discussion is that the future holds three important ways marketers will focus their efforts to maximize the potential benefit of digital marketing:

  1. Personalize
    We will increasingly make the effort to personalize offers. Just as marketers keep getting more data about their customers’ preferences, the customers are aware that marketing is getting all the data. In most cases, this is driving a realistic expectation that we do something useful with that data.  And “useful” to the customer is something that benefits them – it’s meaningful to them, and it’s personalized.
  2. Reciprocate
    Just as customer data is useful to marketers, it’s equally useful to the customers themselves. We will serve up customer data right back to them in the most effective channel/device. While we’re at it, we will show customers that we’re using their data to better serve them. We will increasingly face a need to foster trust on the part of the customer that we’re safeguarding their data but also putting it to good use. One good example of this idea in the works today was cited by the panel: the loyalty program app at Starbucks.
  3. Collaborate
    Marketers will need to foster collaboration across all channels for maximum effectiveness. The best way to show the customer that we care about them will be to engage with them according to one cohesive profile, regardless of channel. As customer awareness of the power of their data becomes more prevalent, more and more frustration will result when they deal with your organization on different channels and it’s not a coordinated experience. Frustrating your customers is not a good business practice today, and it certainly won’t be tomorrow.

I welcome your reactions to these three predictions by commenting below, and as always, thank you for following!

tags: digital marketing, marketing automation, marketing optimization, real-time decisioning
4月 302013

In the last decade, CMOs have made great strides in elevating their stature. According to the latest SpencerStuart survey, CMO tenure has steadily climbed from 23 months in 2004 to 45 months in 2012. What are the reasons for this improved longevity? Marketers are becoming more strategic-minded, they're taking a more expansive view of their customer, and they're adding more sophistication and data-driven decisions in marketing campaigns and operations.

The swift adoption of mobile devices and the proliferation of digital channels have created opportunities for highly interactive, rich communications between consumers and brands. But those very same circumstances can be a double-edged sword as more consumers demonstrate little tolerance for irrelevant, ill-timed, and “creepy” communications.

Marketers may be on a positive trajectory as CMO tenure suggests, but the path is still fraught with uncertainly. CMOs are confronted daily with the challenges and opportunities of maximizing digital marketing, enabling dynamic multichannel interactions, enriching customer experience, utilizing marketing analytics, and—of course—harnessing Big Data.

These hot marketing topics are inextricably linked to each other, and also to the CMO’s ultimate goal of delivering sustainable business growth. To this end, CMOs must not lose sight of two imperatives for their marketing technologies:

1.      Ready accessibility to analytics

Marketers must be able to unleash the power of analytics throughout the marketing department and in all marketing processes (activities related to strategy and planning, campaign and interaction management, and customer experience management). Analytics, when highly accessible in a marketing system, allow marketers to create value for their customers, while giving businesses an instant edge for improving marketing performance and reducing costs.

For instance, marketing automation uses sophisticated analytics to automatically improve relevancy and responsiveness to individual prospects regardless of media or channel. Real-time analytics allow marketers to discover and react in real time to how consumers are interacting with your brand.

The upshot: greater agility; better targeting; personalized offers; coordinated campaigns; connected experiences.

2.     Alignment and accountability for growth

The analytics must provide ever clearer “line of sight” to revenue growth and profitability, especially as digital spend in marketing budgets continue to rise. CMOs must also insist that their enterprise-marketing platform enable a single point of marketing collaboration: one that aligns objectives, planning, and execution across various marketing roles in the organization for greater accountability.

A recent Econsultancy report indicated that 71 percent of businesses plan to increase digital marketing budgets. The average expected increase (of those increasing digital spend) is a significant 28 percent. The result: a higher degree of scrutiny by the C-suite for digital. Analytically powered marketing platforms provide more transparency to marketing personnel and helps the entire organization align resources to objectives, streamline production processes, track budgets and expenses, and improve overall collaboration.

The upshot: better collaboration; greater control of marketing spend; stronger marketing investment decisions - especially in digital; more CMO credibility among C-suite peers.

In the final view, marketers need demonstrable business results in their quest to maximize digital marketing impact and deliver sustainable growth. Are you evaluating your marketing technologies through the twin lenses of analytics accessibility and marketing accountability?

To learn more, please start by visiting the Digital Marketing Resource Center and discover why digital marketing requires the agility and collaboration enabled by analytics. Please share your thoughts, and as always, thank you for visiting!

tags: analytics, big data, customer experience analytics, digital marketing, marketing analytics, marketing automation, Multichannel Marketing, real-time decisioning
4月 062013

Online marketers all want the same thing - for our customers to get what they want, when they want it, and with the fewest clicks possible. We already know that satisfied customers usually return, and now they share their experiences so the stakes have never been higher to get it right every time.

Getting to that point with online marketing may sound daunting, but the answers are all available in the customer data. Website tracking is a good first step, but the key to relevance is to take it real-time. To get there, you need to know what your customers are doing on your site, and you need to apply the analytics while there's still time to influence consumer behavior.

In addition, the value of data for customer insight isn’t just in viewing your customer or prospect through a digital lens. The value is realized when you can create the proverbial 360-degree view, and that requires stitching together that online data with your offline data stream. It’s easier said than done, of course, because data is seldom clean and ready to use, especially when so much of the best data is the unstructured kind that’s fueling “big data.”

How do we get there? It turns out there are 3 keys to unlock the value in your online marketing data:

  1. Direct access to real-time data. Proprietary access without latency to granular, online data enables you to collect and own your online information at a detail level. The more detail, the better!
  2. Automated preprocessing of data. Once organizations have access to their online data, they need to streamline and automate the preparation of this data for marketing and analysis with data management.
  3. Advanced analytics and marketing automation. Organizations that achieve the first two keys can apply the recommendations of advanced predictive analytics and business rules together to optimize their online presence and marketing decisions.

More details about these three keys and more are available in Analytics in Real-Time Online Marketing, a conclusions paper of a webinar produced by the DMA of a webinar by SAS solutions architect Suneel Grover. This paper summarizes how Suneel showcases technologies that enable you to understand how customers interact with a website, to target the right customers (such as those who have expressed an interest in your product or service but have not yet made a purchase), and to personalize interactions with individual customers so the content or offers they get are timely and relevant.

Check it out and let me know what you think. And as always, thank you for following!


tags: big data, digital marketing, marketing automation, real-time decisioning, the DMA