Make customer centricity a reality

Automated campaign management more than doubles conversion rates at ING Belgium

More marketing campaigns, with better results. That was what ING Belgium wanted to achieve. And they did it! In just five years, they succeeded in generating twenty times as many campaigns, without increasing costs accordingly, and more than doubling their conversion rate. And the key to this success? A professional SAS business analytics environment that automates ING's campaign management, helping the Marketing Department select the right channel and message to reach the right customer.

In 2006, ING Belgium, part of the eighth largest financial institution in the world, was averaging approximately 50 marketing campaigns per year. These campaigns were the result of a time-intensive process of collecting information from multiple databases and analyzing them in spreadsheets. "It was obvious that if we wanted to step up our campaign performance, we needed to change our approach. That is why we decided to build a tool that would enable us to automate our campaign management process," explains Nathalie Labart, Head of Campaign Analysts at ING Belgium.

We can now use the full potential of our customer intelligence. As a result, the conversion rate of our marketing campaigns has more than doubled.

Nathalie Labart
Head of Campaign Analysts

Communicating more and better

With SAS, ING Belgium succeeded in automating part of its marketing campaign process. As a result, Campaign Designers have more time to be creative as well as manage far more campaigns much more efficiently. The number of campaigns subsequently increased by a factor twenty in only five years. The robustness of SAS proved indispensable in this regard. "Our campaign management tool now quickly and efficiently processes millions of contacts," states Nathalie Labart. "And it has proven to be extremely robust. It needs to be up and running all the time since it makes up the core of the marketing department."

But ING Belgium not only launches more marketing campaigns; the campaigns are also better targeted. Thanks to SAS, the right message can be passed on to the right person through the right channel. Nathalie Labart observes that "We can now use the full potential of our customer intelligence. Using predictive modeling, SAS enables us to precisely target our campaigns to very small customer segments such as newlyweds, young parents, or the recently retired. Now, we can better tune our message to their specific needs and interests." In addition, the tool helps ING Belgium select the most appropriate channel—e-mail, letter, or the online banking application—to reach a specific customer segment. The result? The conversion rate of marketing campaigns has more than doubled.

Analyzing campaign results

A major factor in the success is the reporting. ING Belgium systematically analyzes the results of its commercial campaigns. It has defined a set of standard reports for its recurring marketing campaigns that immediately visualize the most important results. A week after a campaign is launched, these reports give insight into the campaign's effectiveness.

Because of its vast possibilities, the campaign management tool was quickly adopted by the users. The fact that the company had already been working with SAS in various departments certainly facilitated the process. Nathalie Labart: "Our past success with SAS helped ensure a smooth transition from the old way of working to the new by capitalizing on this internal experience."

Next step: online behavior

The campaign management tool has already enabled ING Belgium to improve its marketing performance. However, that certainly does not mean that the tool has reached its limits. Nathalie Labart observes that ING customer intelligence is predominantly based on their customers' internal behavior. "Now we need to increase our knowledge of their online behavior. What social media do they use? Which websites do they use to reach us? In other words, there is even more information we need to gather, so that we can further expand our channel portfolio and further segment our customers. We are confident that we can continue to significantly improve the success rate of our marketing efforts."


Plan, test, and execute campaigns to improve marketing automation, process efficiency, and return on investment.


SAS® Marketing Automation


  • Complete more campaigns, faster. The automation of the marketing campaigns process has enabled ING to push more campaigns out the door faster.
  • Achieve better targeting and response rates. The analytical capabilities of SAS yielded insights that enabled sending the right customers the right message through the right channels. This has more than doubled conversion rates.
  • Improve continuously. The reporting framework enables ING to measure, track, and analyze marketing campaigns so that improvements can be made continuously.

Facts & Figures

  • Number of data sources: 1 Oracle database (150 tables)
  • Number of users: 7 (up to 40 users within Marketing Department using SAS tools)
  • Volume of data: millions of data entries
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.