Optimization delivers more revenue while slashing marketing costs

Better-targeted communications cut campaign costs in half at Akbank

Akbank’s efforts to get to know its customers through a customer relationship management (CRM) solution were so successful that it quickly found itself in a dilemma: The company better understood its customers, but it needed to discover the best methods to reach them and the best offers to provide.

Being able to accomplish what we used to spend 2.5 days on in just 2.5 hours is a determining factor for us.

Attila Bayrak
Senior Vice President of CRM

The fast-growing Turkish bank decided to add SAS® Marketing Optimization to help contact customers through the right channels with the right offers at the right time. The result: The bank reduced marketing costs by nearly 50 percent. “We have a solution that can adapt to the circumstances, and is flexible and high-performing,” says Attila Bayrak, Akbank’s Senior Vice President of CRM.

Since adopting CRM in 2008, the bank’s volume of communications with customers has increased 15-fold, Bayrak says. But that hasn’t always been a good thing. Most of these messages were sent to existing customers whom the bank was eager to retain and build relationships with. Sending too many marketing messages – or confusing messages – could aggravate customers.

But the bank needed to let its customers know about new products that, in some cases, had never been seen in the Turkish market. Akbank has been an innovator in online and app-driven products and unique branch strategies, including its iPad banking branch. It also has branches devoted solely to mortgage loans and provides a variety of other financial services. Additionally, Akbank has been recognized globally for its innovations, including the Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Award in 2014, which was the third recognition from Gartner in the last four years. “SAS was our solution partner for the project that received this Gartner distinction,” Bayrak says. “We try to anticipate changes in trends and customer dynamics, and develop products that serve customers’ needs.”

The bank was looking for an optimization solution that would help it get the most out of the groundwork it laid with its CRM solution. “The solution needed to use all of our customer data in an integrated structure, evaluate multiple campaigns simultaneously and develop different scenarios using different parameters,” says Bayrak, adding that the bank also needed clear, concise reporting.

Since Akbank started using SAS Marketing Optimization, not only has it has reduced its communication costs by 50 percent, but it can complete optimization processes in 2.5 hours that previously took 2.5 days. The bank now targets the right campaigns to the right customers through the right channels, much more efficiently. Bayrak says this has led to significant revenue increases. “With SAS Marketing Optimization,” he says, “we can evaluate a high number of possible campaigns in a very short period of time.”

Akbank logo


Akbank needed a way to take advantage of the results of its customer relationship management solution as it rolled out new products.


SAS® Marketing Optimization


A 50 percent reduction in marketing campaign costs and a dramatic reduction in time spent producing campaigns.

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.