National Retailer Gets Serious About Customer Engagement

Business Needs

89 Degrees’ client, a multibillion dollar grocery retailer operates internationally through numerous supermarket chains, including thousands of locations across the US. In 2016, the client took steps to address a gap in its customer engagement strategy by pursuing a multichannel Campaign Management Solution that could support two of its key brands. Its digital marketing team recognized this would significantly improve its ability to deliver more relevant offers and content to shoppers, in turn increasing the frequency of shoppers and their overall share of wallet.

With SAS Customer Intelligence (SAS CI) – Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Digital Marketing Analytics – as the preferred application software, the client wanted to secure a partner that had the retail experience and technical expertise to build a complete solution on premise. It was also important that the winning solution provider be able to transition management of the system to their in-house team as new employees were hired, providing staff training and knowledge transfer of best practices. To meet their requirements, 89 Degrees developed and executed a project plan that included a phased approach for implementing its own vertical specific marketing database, SAS Marketing Automation (SAS MA), and SAS Marketing Optimization (SAS MO), along with training and documentation to build up their skillset.

Related Content

89 degrees retail marketing database chart


Phase one of the project started with the 89 Degrees project team implementing its own retail marketing database (RMDB), a flexible, scalable marketing database with retail specific data schemas already optimized for SAS CI tools. The RMDB was integrated with their customer database which included an initial import of multiple terabytes of customer data for 15 million shoppers.

The next phase addressed campaign management, starting with 89 Degrees configuring SAS MA against the RMDB. From there, the project leaders identified 5 campaign types, i.e. top shoppers, breakfast shoppers, pantry product buyers, and a baseline campaign for all shoppers who exceeded a set spend level within the past year. The corresponding campaign templates were then built within SAS MA for use on a recurring basis.  89 Degrees also worked with the client’s marketing team to identify specific reporting needs for these campaigns, then built the necessary reports using SAS MA Report Builder.

The implementation phase was completed with the installation and configuration of SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS MO, with guidance along the way from 89 Degrees on how to leverage these applications.

Budget Allocation for Optimal Results

A common challenge for large retailers is allocating budget behind the right promotional offers and delivering them to the customers most likely to take action and return the biggest gains. With SAS Marketing Optimization and 89 Degrees’ guidance, the client was able to tackle this common scenario at scale across its customer database.

See Exhibit 1: Budget Allocation with SAS Marketing Optimization below for a sample parent campaign overview.

Delivery Team

In addition to the concurrent “train the trainer” and end-user sessions, 89 Degrees completed an in-person training plan for SAS MA and SAS MO, as well as end-user training for using Enterprise Guide against the RMDB and support for the installation and configuration of SAS MO. These customized training sessions were based on client provided use cases to facilitate a deeper understanding of the new systems.


Client Side 89 Degrees
•  Director of Marketing Operations and Systems •  Executive Sponsor
•  Manager of Marketing Operations
(Campaign Management)
•  Practice Area Leaders for Marketing Technology & Enablement
and Advanced Marketing Analytics
•  Manager, Customer Engagement Reporting •  Database and Solutions Architects
•  Manager, Information Platform •  Program Manager
•  Business Systems Analyst •  Business Systems Analyst
•  Developers •  SAS Campaign Management SME
•  Analytic Consultant
•  Developers



  • Successful 6 month implementation, from project kickoff to campaign launch
  • Transitioned all SAS campaign management responsibilities to client
  • After being thoroughly impressed with 89 Degrees’ level of expertise and responsiveness, client parted ways with its previous agency and brought 89 Degrees on board to handle ongoing database and SAS administration
  • Client and 89 Degrees continue their working relationship with a new campaign performance project starting with an opportunity analysis and the development of predictive models for SAS MO