Testing a campaign's success

Dreyfus last year ran a marketing campaign to sell a new mutual fund to existing customers. But the sales push wasn't overly successful, says John Dryzga, associate director of database marketing.

To figure out why, Dryzga drilled through the data with Dreyfus' business intelligence tools and found that the campaign was a big success among customers who already owned another specific fund. Armed with that information, Dryzga says, officials knew that "the next time we did this type of mailing, we would only concentrate on customers who had this fund."

The decision might seem minor, but it resulted in a financial windfall.

He won't disclose actual figures, but Prasanna Dhore, executive vice president of distribution, says the narrower campaign had a payback of 12 months, compared with four to five years for a broader one. Moreover, by selectively targeting recipients for a sales pitch, Dreyfus cut the cost of such campaigns by 50 percent compared with five years ago, he says. The savings come from reductions in labor, postage and paper.

"At one point, most of the marketing was done by hunches," Dhore says, adding that in the past, sales staffers "never knew how effective we were mailing 1 million pieces." Now they know when to mail what and to whom.

Betsy Burton, an analyst at Gartner, says such uses of BI data follow the application's evolution from a reporting tool to a strategic one, an evolution that feeds into performance management. "Business intelligence was No. 1 on Gartner's CIO survey for 2006. Why is that? They want business intelligence, they don't just want reporting," she says.

Dreyfus uses an Oracle database, analysis tools from SAS Institute Inc.and a Business Objects SA application for analysts to put out numbers.

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