Gettin’ sas-y

Regina-based SaskTel has just added a little SAS to its marketing arsenal. The Saskatchewan telco is in the process of implementing SAS Marketing Automation software, which it purchased from global software firm SAS's Toronto-based Canadian headquarters. It will allow SaskTel to run more effective, highly targeted marketing campaigns with its post-campaign analysis and predictive modeling functions.

Regina-based SaskTel has just added a little SAS to its marketing arsenal. The Saskatchewan telco is in the process of implementing SAS Marketing Automation software, which it purchased from global software firm SAS’s Toronto-based Canadian headquarters. It will allow SaskTel to run more effective, highly targeted marketing campaigns with its post-campaign analysis and predictive modeling functions.

‘I view it as table stakes – telecom is so competitive,’ says Mike Wooley, SaskTel’s manager of marketing intelligence. He predicts the software, a seven-figure investment, will pay for itself within three years. Wooley is most excited about its predictive modeling capabilities to anticipate and minimize churn. SaskTel has over a million customers in its database; the software will allow the company to build customer segments based on specific demographic information like age, gender, location, income and past purchases, which the software will use to predict future consumer behaviour. This will enable SaskTel to swoop in with the right offer at the right time.

The app’s key benefits are its ability to help marketers plan, target, and learn.

It’s able to display customized interfaces for each employee – so the execs using the software in the planning stage can choose to work in a simplified, overview setting, while data analysts can work with all the nitty gritty data, charts and graphs.

SAS Canada’s Michael Turney, manager of strategy and market development, says the software’s planning capabilities ensure campaigns stay on track, and that everybody involved is on the same page.

‘If I’m going to develop a campaign, I want to make sure the objectives of the campaign are in line with the objectives of the company,’ he explains.

SaskTel’s first application of the software will be to build campaigns promoting Max, its high-speed Internet and digital cable bundle. The company is the latest entrant in Saskatchewan’s digital cable market. ‘We’re the new kid in town – we want to get the message out,’

says Wooley.

While it’s still too early to gauge the software’s impact on SaskTel sales (SAS is still on site transferring data and training), many companies worldwide have experienced significant growth after implementing it. American Fortune 500 investment firm Morgan Stanley achieved considerable ROI within a year of switching to the marketing automation tool in 2003. By 2004,

the number of accounts opened had increased by 40% from the previous year.

This figure is based on a particular series of campaigns that the company fine-tuned with the software. It also helped the firm decrease the cost per response through better targeting, and increase conversion rates by using analytical models to predict customer behaviour.

Wooley and his team like the sound of results like that: ‘We’re anxious to turn this thing on.’