New-generation data visualization

SAS® Visual Analytics helps ContactLab calculate ROI, obtain feedback, understand relationships

Equipped with a platform developed in house, ContactLab not only offers technology for digital campaign management via e-mail and SMS channels, but also offers complete consulting in 360-degree direct digital marketing.

Since founded 15 years ago by Massimo Fubini, ContactLab has maintained its core technology of developing products related to outbound messaging, while providing know-how in digital marketing for its customers. From defining the strategy to executing and analyzing the results for maximum ROI, ContactLab’s team of more than 130 dedicated professionals provides comprehensive support to its clients as they plan and implement email marketing programs

In addition, the company has recently invested in strengthening its business intelligence offerings. As a result, ContactLab's client companies receive ever-more detailed analytics and forecasting about the performance and effectiveness of digital direct marketing activities in their reference sector. "Every day, our Italian and international clients rely on us to reach their consumers in the most direct, relevant and, therefore, successful ways," says Fubini.

Data visualization allows you to discover specific events and correlations or new trends in relation to the initial hypothesis.

Massimo Fubini
Founder ContactLab

More speed and simplicity

Fubini believes that the impact of big analytics has yet to be felt in the social and digital direct marketing fields. "If you consider Italy, I have noted increasing attention on the subject, but I cannot yet see an active desire or capability to analyze this growing mountain of information. However, companies will have to change their attitudes. The wave of big data is not something we can escape from."

For ContactLab, equipping itself with these tools is part of its approach of anticipating the needs of the market. "We started offering the technology for marketing channel management (email and SMS). Cluster management was fairly simple, since it was mostly based on sociodemographic variables derived from information provided by the users themselves," explains Fubini. "Today, there is a need to detect user preferences on the basis of behaviors, to observe and track the evolution of expectations and requirements at specific times in the life cycle. By developing maps of real-world behavior patterns, it becomes possible to send messages that actually interest the recipients and to offer more and more value-added services that meet the needs of consumers. Processing large volumes of data serves to enrich the users’ profiles – provided that you have their consent in accordance with the privacy regulations – and to determine the best selection of content to ensure their satisfaction and the success of our campaigns."

Ease of integration

Bringing SAS technology into the organization will soon allow ContactLab to adopt a powerful tool to meet client needs more precisely, Fubini says. The units most involved in this evolution have been Business Analysis and Marketing Intelligence.

"We have experienced the development of SAS Visual Analytics before our eyes, and the benefits have increased with each new version," Fubini says. "Unlike other products on the market, this tool has been able to bridge the visualization approaches, not forgetting the analytics component. We will soon release the new features of our platform that will be powered by SAS Visual Analytics."

Why SAS?

The ability to build a simple visual environment, with almost instantaneous response times, makes this solution particularly suited to ContactLab's need to calculate ROI, to obtain feedback from campaigns, and to discern the relationship between client behavior and sales. By integrating SAS Visual Analytics, ContactLab will be able to enhance its analytical richness for individual campaigns or groups of campaigns, as well as at the individual user level in a specific time interval.

The visual approach of SAS combines ease of use, in-memory processing capabilities, and an optimal visualization engine. "In outbound campaigns, we work with structured and fixed data patterns," says Fubini. "The future trend is to associate these streams of standardized data with information originating from e-commerce, ERP or mobile devices. This will lead to better profiling of user behaviors and customized messages that are more relevant and effective. The principal objectives of this important collaboration include acceleration of time to market. From a more long-term perspective, the benefits are definitely significant. It's a smart choice."

Data that is useful

In order to be useful, data must be easy to understand, able to convey the real progression of campaigns and readily accessible, Fubini says.

"Until a few years ago, we formulated hypotheses and then asked for numbers to confirm them, sometimes in a rather forced way," he explains. "An interesting approach to knowledge, however, is what Americans call 'discovering through visualization.' Data visualization allows you to discover specific events and correlations or new trends in relation to the initial hypothesis. My goal is to put these tools in the hands not only of technicians, but increasingly of those involved in strategic consulting within the company."


ContactLab required a solution to process and analyze large volumes of data in order to meet and forecast client needs.


SAS® Visual Analytics


  • Enhanced data discovery and exploration.
  • Expanded analytical scope to reap results quickly.
  • Insight into user frequency so the company can evaluate marketing campaigns.
  • Ability to analyze and monitor user profiles, comparing them to millions of emails to determine actual purchasing behaviors.
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.