Get smart with marketing campaigns

In these uncertain times, you may be looking for ways to cut costs, and you might be tempted to scale back on your advertising and marketing efforts. But it may not be a matter of killing campaigns, but of running smarter campaigns – such as using business intelligence and predictive analytics to target the right customers.

The other week, I attended a SAS business leadership conference in Las Vegas, which focused on using predictive analytics to better target customers. A lot of companies collect tons of data, but never do anything with it. If your customer data is just sitting in a database – figuratively collecting dust – you may want to consider using it to improve your business. And the perfect time for this is during a slow growth period, because it sets you up for opportunities when things eventually pick up again.

At the conference, SAS announced a new offering called SAS for Mobile Interaction, which brings predictive analytics to mobile marketers – allowing them to connect customer and marketing intelligence with interactive multimedia messaging execution.

So, instead of generic messages that will annoy most customers, you can target the appropriate customers with customized promotions and intelligent offers.

Ingram Micro is also pushing predictive analytics in its new marketing campaign, called Marketing 3.0, which it says “combines data analytics with channel and technology marketing expertise” to create a data-driven approach to marketing.

The distie says IT vendors and their partners are looking for a more targeted approach to channel marketing and expect higher returns on their investments. Its business intelligence team has developed a database to drive more targeted results, with more than 47 million data records to date. It also has 8 million end-user contacts extracted from external data sources. Its Marketing Services offering consists of custom services in business intelligence, creative marketing and demand generation (which includes access to Ingram’s BI experts for predictive sales and customer segmentation analytics).

Cost-cutting initiatives may be necessary right now (though, in some cases, may be a bit much, such as Dell asking employees to take a five-day unpaid vacation – I can’t imagine that’s going over well, though I suppose it’s better than losing your job altogether).

There are effective ways to cut costs by streamlining your business processes. But it’s all about being smarter. When it comes to marketing and advertising, the same holds true.

No matter what the immediate future holds for our economy, those who will weather the storm best will be the ones who are prepared for opportunities when the storm eventually clears. Now, more than ever, is not the time to eliminate marketing dollars altogether, but to be smarter about the marketing dollars you spend.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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