89 Degrees Restores marketing confidence & campaign excellence

A Case Study on Optimizing a Marketing Database and Campaign Management.

Read on for details on how 89 Degrees redesigned a problematic marketing database and optimized it for:

  • Timely, personalized offers delivered to intended segments
  • Reduced development and campaign execution times
  • Rapid deployment of highly targeted campaigns as needed

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The Challenge

With roots going back over a century, this publicly traded publisher has grown and evolved over the years to deliver news and information across dozens of print and digital properties to millions of consumers each day. Their ecosystem of content and subscribers enables it to promote a robust, multi-channel advertising platform across print, online, and mobile devices, delivering a range of customizable marketing solutions to businesses of all sizes.

After years of success with its existing, though archaic CRM system supporting telemarketing and direct mail campaigns, the company determined it lacked the segmentation and automation workflows needed to deliver timely, relevant, and personalized email campaigns critical for retaining and growing their subscription revenues. Because of its tight analytics offering, the company decided to implement SAS Marketing Automation® (SAS MA) and began working with SAS Professional Services.

While the project team was able to successfully install and run SAS MA, they immediately encountered numerous issues, starting with the underlying data architecture that joined data but returned inaccurate information; a 2+2=5 scenario not easily fixed when working with large data sets. Additionally, they experienced unacceptable query times and processing delays – as long as 5 hours or more – that effectively blocked launching new email campaigns daily. Exacerbating the situation, users felt compelled to run unnecessarily complicated and redundant verification processes that ultimately eroded confidence amongst the marketing team they could accurately direct relevant messaging and offers to their intended target audiences.

The company quickly realized they had a “database expert” gap on their project team and needed someone with the experience and database expertise necessary to tune the solution’s foundation for optimal performance.

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The company chose 89 Degrees based on its track record of delivering custom solutions to clients that maximized recurring ROI from SAS implementations. Working closely with directors of marketing and analytics, 89 Degrees established a two phase approach to optimize their SAS MA system and deliver the solution the company envisioned.

Phase one started with a thorough assessment of the current solution design to identify areas for improvement based on established industry best practices. This assessment enabled 89 Degrees to generate a list of required modifications and recommended changes that would support both consumer integration and channel integration, enabling true customer-centric campaigns.

Phase two included the implementation of those database changes, with 89 Degrees providing the database architect and solution specialists needed to augment the current project team and complete the work within 90 days.

During this time, 89 Degrees’ consultants:

  • Educated the company on the data modeling that worked best for organizing and targeting its data across campaigns
  • Completed performance tuning to yield maximum benefit from new data model
  • Dramatically improved the ease of use for the marketing team to develop and deploy new email campaigns

Post-implementation, 89 Degrees continues to support the company as it evolves its operations, leveraging additional data sources (i.e. clickstream), deeper segmentations, and event-triggers – like March Madness for college basketball fans or the Oscars for movie enthusiasts – to launch more sophisticated, highly targeted campaigns.

89 Degrees’ improved data architecture and validation processes enabled an omnichannel view for true customer-centric campaigns.

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With the solution foundation strengthened and deployed and all the necessary, validated information loaded into SAS MA, the marketing team finally realized the benefits of their efforts, including:

  • Timely, personalized offers delivered to
    intended segments
  • Reduced campaign execution times; from
    measured in hours to minutes
  • Complete, accurate view of its customer base
  • Scalable enterprise solution, supporting rapid deployment of highly targeted campaigns

89 Degrees enabled the company to better understand its own customer base and easily identify customers across all channels for the first time. 89 Degrees also made it possible for the company to have a holistic view of all customer touches, combining outbound contacts and inbound engagement history within SAS MA, including email, direct mail, and telephone interactions.

With the marketing database fully optimized, 89 Degrees had not only restored confidence amongst the marketing team and executive leadership that their best-in-class solution was delivering the right emails to the right people, but also generating the significant ROI they projected when committing to transforming their marketing operations.