Customer Analytics: Taking the First Step

Identifying the best technology to improve marketing performance is a complex decision, especially for a growing marketing organization.

Deciding where to spend valuable capital should be based on the greatest opportunity for gain. In the current marketing environment, the greatest opportunity is in analytically enabled marketing. Analytical enablement can be divided into three areas:

Understanding the customer

Understanding how a customer engages with a company and how much value they create for the company is imperative because it enables you to determine where to dedicate valuable marketing resources.

Developing usable insights

Developing a more complete customer profile enables you to determine the products a customer may be interested in or actions a customer may take (such as suspending service).

Putting those insights to work

Your campaigns will no longer be broadly targeted with generic messaging. Instead, they will be tightly focused using personalized messaging for each customer to get the best reaction possible.

This paper focuses on the first of these areas – understanding the customer. Regardless of company size, organizations that decide to begin embracing analytics will, by default, find their biggest gains here. This is a prerequisite to becoming an analytically driven marketing organization.

Chapter 1

More relevant data equals better customer insights

Without a foundational understanding of the customer base, it is impossible to develop practical insight about them, let alone put that insight to work.

The best and easiest way to know your customers better is to explore customer data from:

CRM software

Transactions

Campaign performance

Mobile apps

Websites

Any data is fair game, and it should all be considered. The hurdle for most organizations is their inability to easily access and explore their data. This could be due to IT resource restrictions, tool limitations, internal skill sets or many other reasons.

CORRECT!

You’re a quick learner! Regardless of company size, organizations that embrace analytics will find a competitive advantage.

INCORRECT!

Hello? 1990 called and wants their marketing back. Going with your gut won’t cut it in today’s world. Companies must be data driven to gain a competitive advantage.

Chapter 2

Data visualization: Exploring new territory

Despite these roadblocks, one of the biggest focus areas for marketing organizations is new data visualization capabilities.

How can data visualization technology help your business?

While traditional data visualization tools focus on creating engaging charts, graphs and reports, these new capabilities integrate analytics with data visualization. 

Learn more

How can data visualization technology help your business?

While traditional data visualization tools focus on creating engaging charts, graphs and reports, these new capabilities integrate analytics with data visualization. 

Data visualization technology enables you to create more compelling data stories using...

  • Data integration

  • Data exploration

  • Dashboards

  • Predictive analytics

The more customer data available is in one place, the more comprehensive and beneficial exploration can be.

Visual analytics helps business users by providing an interface that enables nontechnical users to join various data sources. This enables business analysts and marketing managers to pull from disparate sources so they have a comprehensive view.

 

This way, changes in required data (big and small) can be easily made without a separate IT request. This increases the speed at which marketers get access to the data and significantly improves flexibility.

CORRECT!

Any data is fair game and it all should be considered, but capturing it in one spot can be a struggle.

INCORRECT!

The more customers, the better. But understanding who they are and how they interact with you can be a struggle. Making your data available in one location is the best way to explore it effectively.

Chapter 3

Improve customer profiling with SAS Visual Analytics

SAS Visual Analytics enables marketers or business analysts to quickly explore data and look for hot spots or unique customer segments to target.

EXAMPLE

A quick review of sales data might reveal that regions outside North America have low penetration rates for a product.

What would be the best course of action? 

EXAMPLE

A quick review of sales data might reveal that regions outside North America have low penetration rates for a product.

New marketing campaigns could be specifically targeted in specified regions to promote brand recognition and increase product penetration.

SAS Visual Analytics even has the ability to directly convert your uniquely identified segments into instantly targetable audiences. This means as soon as a unique group of customers is identified, it can be imported to a campaign management tool to kick off a specially tailored campaign specifically aimed at those customers. Not only does this increase speed to market, but it also significantly decreases the work involved in recreating the customer segmentation behind the scenes in the marketing data mart.

Exploring sales by geography in a heat map

CORRECT!

SAS Visual Analytics enables marketers to quickly explore data and look for hot prospects to target.

INCORRECT!

Are you not learning a thing? Get your data in one spot and then start to look for customer segments to target.

Chapter 4

Campaign performance reporting made easier

Marketers often struggle to get campaign performance data, especially for their most recent campaigns.

It is often weeks, if not months, after a campaign is completed that you finally get a chance to see the campaign’s impact. By this time, the campaign is often an afterthought because you are working on the next campaign. But if you could quickly get access to key performance metrics, then future campaigns could be improved by infusing lessons from previous campaigns.

If nearly 300,000 emails were sent, a marketer might want to answer questions like this:

What were the A/B testing results for the subject line?

Did the email campaign drive enough conversions/sales to achieve a positive ROI?

Next 

Did different groups of customers react differently to the message?

Did the time of day the email was sent affect open rates?

 Previous

SAS Visual Analytics can provide answers to these questions with dashboards that display new data as it becomes available. This enables you to immediately answer important questions and helps ensure that the next round of campaigns apply the lessons learned from past campaigns.

Reviewing campaign performance in a multifaceted dashboard

THIS IS TRUE!

Now anyone can make sense of complex data. Predictive analytics combined with easy-to-use features mean everyone can assess possible outcomes and make smarter, data-driven decisions.

INCORRECT, THIS IS TRUE!

Think again! With SAS Visual Analytics, anyone can make sense of complex data. Predictive analytics combined with easy-to-use features mean everyone can assess possible outcomes and make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Chapter 5

Better predict customer behaviors

You can use SAS Visual Analytics to create predictive models that determine how likely a customer is to purchase a product based on previous purchases.

A service-based company can understand how likely a customer is to churn and easily export that information and share it with customer service for proactive engagement. Once models are created, the scoring code can be exported and used elsewhere for more consistent scoring of your customers.

Want to know what sales are going to look like next quarter?

SAS Visual Analytics comes with multiple built-in forecasting models to help you understand what sales might look like, and the factors influencing those sales. SAS Visual Analytics provides a way to explore these capabilities without the need for in-depth training or an extensive background in statistics or mathematics.

Multi-faceted dashboard view for forecasting models
Conclusion

Taking the next step

Better understanding your customers helps your organization, regardless of size, to see what is working right and what needs fixing. It also enables you to develop insights about the customer that can be deployed in day-to-day interactions.

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