Ease of data use key to Saga analytics roll-out

Over-50s group Saga has begun using predictive analytics software to develop a cross-campaign strategy for its direct marketing campaigns.

Over-50s group Saga has begun using predictive analytics software to develop a cross-campaign strategy for its direct marketing campaigns.

The deployment of the analytics software comes two years after Saga began using predictive marketing techniques on its direct marketing campaigns.

This allowed Saga to increase its revenue by more than £1m and achieve cost savings. This was accomplished by enabling the company to conduct smaller, more targeted campaigns against its database of more than two million customers.

The company is now halfway through a two-month implementation programme to roll out the predictive analytics software, which has been developed by software house SPSS.

Saga runs hundreds of campaigns annually and is aware that some customers of its customers are being "over-contacted", and others may not be receiving mail frequently enough.

Benjamin Day, head of marketing control at Saga, said dozens of business streams came under the Saga umbrella, which meant it was no longer possible for any one individual to uncover the "patterns of potential" within its customer database.

Saga's customer database is held on an IBM iSeries server. This core database is replicated and transferred to a Windows NT server, where the software is then run against the data to generate a campaign.

Day said a big advantage the SPSS software had over alternative predictive analytics approaches was that the modelling tool required relatively little data preparation before running an analysis.

This allowed Saga to pull updated data from its core system as often as it wanted in order to run its campaigns. Typically the company does this once a week.

SPSS said its predictive analytics software could reduce direct marketing costs by between 25% and 40% and double campaign response rates.

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