Australian health fund uses SAS for campaign management, in-database analytics
Medibank, one of Australia's largest private health funds, is not only dedicated to health insurance, but health assurance for its members as their needs arise. Delivering on this promise requires automated, targeted communications that reach the right customers with the right offer or follow-up at precisely the right time. To make sure that happens, Medibank uses SAS for campaign management and in-database analytics running in a Teradata warehouse.
In addition to the public-health offering they already receive, Australians can contract with Medibank – a government-owned, for-profit insurer – for extended benefits that cover, for example, care from physicians and hospitals outside the public network.
Medibank collects vast amounts of customer data about provider choices, payments and procedures. With each source stored in its own silo, it used to be hard for Medibank to know when member records were incomplete and to identify and resolve data inaccuracies.
Irrelevance at a cost
Lacking a clear, accurate view of its customers, Medibank risked annoying them with irrelevant messages or not reaching them with the right messages.
At the same time, Medibank had to pay an outside firm to run its marketing campaigns.
"It was quite costly," recalls Frank Caputo, CMS Data and Analytics Specialist at Medibank, "and we weren't the sole client, so we didn't get the attention we needed."
Inefficiency and lack of accountability made it hard to schedule, target, segment and reach the right customers with the right messages at the right time.
"When we were working with the outside company, we were at their mercy," Caputo says. "We had to be prioritized."
Lower cost, more revenue
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its campaigns, Medibank implemented SAS® Marketing Automation. Running SAS in-database analytics within a Teradata enterprise data warehouse, Medibank can now create targeted, personalized communications that are legal and compliant – and relevant – when it needs them and without the cost and delay of hiring an outside firm.
The project business case was predicted on both financial and non-financial benefits with an acceptable pay-back period on the software cost.
The major task during implementation involved migrating the data from Medibank's existing enterprise data warehouse into Teradata and then sorting out missing or incomplete data.
For the new infrastructure, Caputo and team translated marketing requirements to IT, which included moving customer contact history into Teradata.
The "incredibly fast" migration allowed Medibank to shift from a flat-file model to a relational-data model that produced one standard table to help fill in the holes that previously hindered effective communication.
Campaign builds now take minutes instead of hours, enabling more focus on optimal targeting.
Now Medibank can target communication about, say, after-care services so that it goes out only to those customers who need it.
"Improving campaign creation speed from hours to minutes by running SAS scoring inside the Teradata warehouse, optimizing marketing investment, minimizing reliance on outside vendors – these achievements and more enabled massive improvements to campaign effectiveness along with a significant reduction in costs and remarkable increase in revenue," Caputo says. "My ultimate professional motivation is keeping communication relevant and connecting with the right people at the right time."
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