Customer intelligence in action

5th Sep 2009

Once you have got to grips with how to collect and analyse customer intelligence data, how do you put it in action? Stuart Lauchlan looks at two firms who are putting the theory into practice.


Insurance firm Swinton uses SAS Marketing Automation to improve campaigns, acquire new customers and increase market share. Swinton wanted to  bring all customer data into one place and introduce a more ‘scientific element’ into its marketing. “We wanted to be cleverer in how we used our data, and we have many more channels to consider now, explains Andy Mills, customer information manager.

“In parallel with SAS, we also built a single customer view in-house based on our various product sources. Having that view and using SAS for customer analytics, gaining a far more granular view of customer behaviour, means far more sophistication not only in our key motor campaigns but for all other products and across all channels. We can bring a scientific approach to how we select people, how we segment the mailing, and how we integrate across channels.”

Using SAS, Swinton runs more timely and targeted campaigns to attract customers. By improving understanding of customer behaviour, SAS helps Swinton predict their likelihood to respond to specific offers, so influencing response rates. In practice, while other insurers might run 10 campaigns monthly with five cells each, Swinton runs one big motor insurance campaign each month comprising 50 cells, mailing up to one million pieces to 300,000-400,000 recipients with known renewal dates.

Auto Parts Network

US Auto Parts Network, Inc. (USAP) has boosted revenue per e-mail and transaction rates 50 times higher than its standard, promotional email campaigns through the integrated use of Experian CheetahMail's email marketing technology and Omniture's SiteCatalyst. The combination of behavioural data and targeted messaging has brought significant lifts to the transaction rates, click-throughs and revenue per email of USAP's remarketing emails. The integration allows USAP to gain important insight into the products, services and experiences their customers want by viewing data from email marketing alongside all other online marketing initiatives.

"We understand that every customer touchpoint is critical to increasing lifetime value," said Houman Akhavan, vice president of marketing for USAP. "By working with Experian CheetahMail and Omniture to seamlessly measure and combine our online behavioral data with our email data, we are able to send meaningful messages that our customers respond to. This type of communication strategy not only increases return on investment and conversions directly attributable to our remarketing program, it also allows us to make the channel more meaningful with every customer experience."

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