Can you run marketing campaigns cheaper, better and faster?

Česká spořitelna sees 20% time savings, 38% increase in campaign profitability

How can you save money on television and print advertising budgets that may or may not be grabbing the attention of consumers? How can you add direct marketing to your already complex campaign management process?

Build a smart direct marketing program and develop a team for comprehensive customer relationship management. These are lessons from Česká spořitelna, the largest bank in the Czech financial market.

Česká spořitelna (ČS) is a modern bank with 5.3 million clients. It's a member of a Central European financial group called ERSTE Group that has a client base totaling nearly 17 million. ČS products and services offerings are designed for small-scale clients, small and medium-sized companies, towns and municipalities.

ČS's research showed that the bank and ERSTE Group could gain competitive advantage in the region if ČS developed a comprehensive customer relationship marketing (CRM) approach. Using SAS® Marketing Automation's point-and-click user environment, a new team of six campaign managers are performing the entire campaign process for each direct marketing campaign, beginning with the target group selection through to the fully automated campaign evaluation. The results? A 38 percent increase in profitable campaigns and a 20 percent time savings as a result of automation and efficiency.

SAS was always on our top list of partners. We feel proud we have really achieved something together.

Jiří Škorvaga
Member of the Board of Directors and Deputy CEO

"During financial crises, companies face increasing pressure to reduce costs while increasing the efficiency of marketing budgets," said Václav Hrubý, Head of the Campaign Management team. "We plan to transfer more marketing resources to below-the-line activities and consider a direct marketing approach to be a real winner during a financial crisis. Direct marketing has an advantage over above-the-line marketing communications such as television, radio and newspaper because we can accurately calculate our expenses and measure output and responses."

Marketing rethinking equals restructure

With SAS, this approach will allow the bank to mine data and target marketing materials to the largest client portfolios on the Czech market. To deploy CRM, however, ČS needed organizational restructuring that would include a direct marketing department staffed with campaign managers and data miners.

To prepare, the bank worked with SAS partner Capgemini to build and develop a data warehouse optimized for CRM. After that, the bank identified a structured and centralized approach to direct marketing. To implement CRM and customer intelligence within the broader banking system, clear definitions and disciplines needed to be developed, and not only in ČS. This represented a long-term project, so the bank's leaders also decided to embark upon the more immediate implementation of data mining capability. To help accomplish these goals, ČS created a new, independent data mining team focused on using SAS software.

Goals for the new data mining capabilities included increasing customer knowledge about improved product targeting. An important starting point was effectively segmenting the client base using data about customers and bank products and services, combined with demographic data. The segmented data provided a foundation for effective campaign management in the future and an opportunity to stay a step ahead of the competition while progressively meeting clients' needs.

Campaign management before SAS

During the early stages of restructuring, the campaign management team used SAS® Enterprise Miner™ to identify which customers had the highest probability of buying one product over another. For instance, a customer may choose to buy more life insurance rather than invest in mutual funds. But the actual campaign process was managed in Excel, where the bank stored all of the information about the campaign.

Campaign management: Quantity or quality?

The client portfolio of ČS represents 5.3 million individual clients. If you compare this to the population of the Czech Republic – 10.4 million people – that means that every second inhabitant of the Czech Republic is a client. With that data in mind, it might stand to reason that more marketing materials would equal more customers. However, with SAS, ČS found that targeted marketing had more effective customer reach.

Campaign management after implementing SAS

Campaign managers at ČS – who may have no programming or SQL knowledge – are now responsible for the entire campaign process, starting with the selection of the target group through to the fully automated campaign evaluation. The campaign manager is autonomous, thus freeing the data mining team to dedicate its time to developing sophisticated statistical models and improving predictive capabilities.



Increase marketing response rates and reduce marketing costs through improved direct marketing effectiveness.


SAS® Marketing Automation
SAS® Marketing Optimization


  • Implement, modify and improve campaigns through a point-and-click environment.
  • Achieved 38% increase in profitable campaigns.
  • Gained time savings of about 20%.




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