Canada Post boosts campaign returns with less staff using SAS®
With five independent marketing departments, who often used costly third-party resources for analysis, Canada Post was running mass marketing campaigns that lacked coordination and insight into customer communications, while being rippled by high costs. After streamlining operations and acquiring SAS Customer Intelligence, it was able to deploy sophisticated, customized campaigns that increased response rates and revenues.
SAS has blown the doors open on what we can accomplish. This allows us to run more campaigns with fewer resources, and we’re already seeing increased response rates.
Director of Marketing, Canada Post
Canada Post, the country's primary postal operator, offers a range of services aside from delivery letters, including direct marketing products & services, parcel shipping, online shopping and small business marketing services.
Previously, it had five marketing departments across various lines of business, each operating independently and often supported by costly third-party resources for analysis, modeling and campaign management.
This prevented analysts and marketing managers from quickly establishing a complete view of customers and prospects, and often resulted in duplicate and inconsistent data. A manual approach in campaign execution and reporting led to inconsistent approaches to analytics, this environment produced barriers to sharing insights about customer behavior across the lines of business. And because customer contacts were not optimized between channels / lines of business, it was difficult to assess customer contact strategies & prioritize communications.
"We had data all over the place - each line of business had its own data about customers, and it had to go through the same pains in pulling campaign lists and reporting. We were, for the most part, repeating the same campaigns each year," said Stephanie Bullock, Director of Marketing with Canada Post.
Campaign design was manual, costly and labor-intensive, relying on the specialized skills of a limited number of employees or third-party resources. There was virtually no governance around reporting or how frequently customers should be communicated with, and through which contact channels, which were based on each customer's known preferences.
All of these challenges left Canada Post ready to embrace a marketing solution that included aggregation of customer information, campaign management planning and deployment, as well as customer and campaign reporting. After looking at its options, the organization turned to SAS Customer Intelligence.
As a result, Canada Post has been able to aggregated data into a shared marketing data mart, to establish a holistic view of customers and maintain data integrity for prospecting, lead generation, sales targeting, as well as, customer and campaign management.
By building a sustainable repository of knowledge and transitioning from isolated, legacy resources to a more collaborative, dynamic approach, the marketing team is now able to design targeted campaigns for acquisition, retention, growth and win-back.
“It used to take two to three months to pull data and do the analytics behind it. Now we can build a campaign within SAS, which takes less than a week depending on the degree of complexity, and we no longer have to rely on third-party resources. Our team was able to develop automated trigger based multichannel campaigns, integrating direct mail, email and telemarketing - enabling us to work quicker and smarter.” said Bullock.
The marketing team now has the ability to execute more complex campaigns - and a higher volume of campaigns - with less staff and fewer resources. Marketing managers can run one master campaign with multiple versions that offer customized messages and products. As a result, they’ve gone from mass mailing on a general topic one or two times a year to having multiple campaigns throughout the year, campaigns can now be designed and executed in-house. “What makes the SAS CI Intelligence so appealing is the fact that all our Marketing Managers can use it. The diagram look and feel and drag and drop functionality makes it user friendly. We can also control the options available within the tool so that it is customized to our needs.” Said Sandra Pelletier, Manager Database Marketing.
"We're able to get more sophisticated internally instead of using a third party for our data prep, our strategy and building our campaigns. It's blown the doors open on what we can accomplish, plus we now have the ability to apply, consistently across lines of business, database marketing best practices from: data prep; campaign design; to reporting and analytics" said Bullock. "We're already seeing results such as increased response rates, decreased undeliverable mail & increases to our ROI."
Integrated analytics, reporting and testing have led to cost savings, improved marketing performance and, ultimately, improved customer engagement and loyalty. Campaigns are more relevant, timely and customized, creating higher response rates and cutting out wasted marketing spending. The marketing team can also prioritize and track customer contacts to build customer engagement and loyalty.
"From a customer perspective, the more targeted and relevant you are in your communications, the more they appreciate it and the more loyal they become. And this isn't just intuition on good marketing - our back-end analytics have since validated that our campaigns are having precisely this effect," said Bullock.
Despite challenges to resources and budgets, Canada Post saw increases in its response rates and average revenue since deploying SAS Customer Intelligence. "We saw a lift in response rates by 65 percent in our addressed campaigns and 139 percent in our unaddressed campaigns," said Bullock. "And we saw an increased average revenue of 19 percent with those customers, as well as a huge lift to our microsites and participation in our webinars. We simply would not have been able to do this if it weren't for the efficiencies and automation of this toolset."
Canada Post was looking for the ability to act on customer insights by aggregating previously siloed customer data across five marketing departments.
Using SAS Customer Intelligence, Canada Post has built a single repository of data and is able to design targeted marketing campaigns in-house in a matter of days compared to months.
Increased customization and time-to-market has dramatically improved customer response rates and year-over-year revenue with customers.