Analytics Steer Dell's Marketing Decisions

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A global, standardized approach to campaign performance has driven a significant uplift in business for Dell.

Incorporating analytics across the organization has been a major initiative for Dell. Working to improve the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns targeting small-business and midsize customers, the company embarked on a global data quality and consistency initiative to drive profitable revenue growth for these markets.

Fred Neil, global head of CRM for the Consumer, Small, and Medium Business Group at Dell, says in order to achieve this goal, it was important to develop standardized nomenclature globally to have one "view of the truth." Dell, however, at the time was operating with separate views of customer migration and campaign performance.

By partnering with Mu Sigma, Dell last year adopted a global standardized approach to reporting and nomenclature, and gained a 360-degree view of customer behavior, enabling the company to access robust customer insights. "It's about understanding campaign performance, looking at the marcom scaling, and looking at the impact on customer migration," Neil says.

Neil's team now relies on analytics daily to influence business decisions for two main analysis initiatives: "business as usual" and "change of business." Business as usual examines scorecards to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the SMB team's marketing campaigns. Neil says this is a "rearview mirror," point-in-time analysis that examines how the campaign results will drive optimization of marcom scaling, as well as the impact on customer migration.

In change of business, the team looks for new business opportunities to maximize growth and profitability. Neil says this initiative focuses on customer insights to target growth opportunities on a country and regional level.

These views of campaign data through dashboards now allow the SMB team to track and predict elements like customer migration and attrition, increases in share of wallet, and reduction in customer churn. "It's about looking at how we are doing things around the globe," Neil says. "It is the lens that we use to get to the disparate views and to drive alignment across the globe so that we have a consistent conversation."

Now Dell can better understand customer growth opportunities and can prioritize marketing spend based on customer profiles. As a result, Neil says Dell is more fact-based in its approach to making decisions and concentrates its efforts on customer retention. "We're more focused on customers who drive the maximum revenue," he says.

Neil says the global analytics initiative has driven significant uplift in business results at large; he cites double-digit increases in performance around key segments where Dell has reallocated and optimized marketing spend due to its shift from activity-based decision making to lifecycle management. Additionally, his team has discovered areas where the company was overspending and driving negative margins, and saw a 20 percent reduction in churn and lapse rates by proactively addressing customers on a one-to-one basis. As a result, the team redeployed those initiatives in other segments that drove higher value for the business. "We want to be making sure that we are marketing to customers at the right time," he says.

Looking to the future, Neil says Dell will continue to leverage data and insights to stay relevant across all customer segments. "As the market changes, we have to be prepared to change with it," he says. "We have to understand what customers are responding to and continue to test, learn, and refine."

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