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Marketing optimization in action at Aegon

Doing more with less

Aegon Direct Marketing Services (ADMS) is one of the largest direct response marketers of life, credit, supplemental health, specialty insurance and fee-based products. Considered a leader in data-driven marketing and strategic segmentation, the company uses diverse marketing methods, such as direct mail, inserts, Internet, point of sale, print, television and telemarketing.

“In 2009, we had more than 95 million direct marketing solicitations and 14.4 million telemarketing contacts,” said Angela Williams, Director of Marketing Science for ADMS. “So you can see we would need a large and sophisticated solution to manage the offers we are making.”

In 2004 the company began using a marketing optimization solution, which transformed a product-centric approach with few contact policies into a more productive, customer-centric one.

“With marketing optimization, we created a decision engine that had a single decision point,” Williams said. “We could take all of our programs and pull them into a single campaign execution process to select names, apply contact rules, manage models, and select the best product among an expanded marketing universe. Marketing investment decisions are made in holistic context.”

The company uses the optimization tool to:

  • Optimize individual campaigns.
  • Forecast long-range campaign outcomes.
  • Test a campaign before running it.

According to Williams, the marketing optimization solution enables ADMS to use its existing models to increase overall ROI and profitability. Campaign results are better because campaign plans are optimized to consider multiple variables, objectives and constraints. In addition, analysts can now visualize the trade-offs between measures, such as profit and ROI, and quantify those differences.

Ultimately, the optimization tool enables ADMS to do more with less. “If we were to try to tackle these challenges in a manual world, it would take a lot more time,” says Robbie Reynolds, Manager of Marketing Science. “But the optimization tool plows through the mathematics involved and enables us to spend more time on other areas of our business that lead to business growth and revenue.”

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