NORTH CAROLINA: US analytics firm SAS has launched a new digital marketing hub dubbed Customer Intelligence 360 that aims to combine all digital customer data with offline data such as in-store transactions.
Wilson Raj, global director of customer intelligence at SAS, said yesterday at SAS' headquarters in North Carolina that enterprises still face challenges with digital marketing, particularly when it comes to collecting data from numerous devices, making decisions using that data and then delivering on those decisions by engaging with customers through a call, text or email.
"It's a fragmented customer experience, so what we have done since last year is really look at the situation in a new way and not take our existing products and revamping them but building this from scratch ensuring that it can do those three things," he said.
Raj explained that Customer Intelligence 360 is a digital marketing hub that allows a marketer in a small to medium business or large enterprise to look after the data management, decision-making and delivery experience for a customer.
The solution was designed using HTML5 and has a range of embedded APIs that connect to the data and to the different analytics capabilities offered by SAS. It can also be plugged in to other marketing systems that customers want to use.
The product includes two core modules that can be used together or independently. SAS 360 Discover provides reporting and insight based on web and behavioural data, while SAS 360 Engage enables users to create and monitor digital customer journeys. The modules are available through software-as-a-service and delivered via AWS.
Raj explained that the product allows an enterprise to manage data from CRM, transaction sources and other structured data, but is an "open data model" that can connect to data at different points during a customer's journey.
"So as the customer goes through discovering options, to considering, purchasing, re-engaging or engaging, all of those moments are dynamically captured and that's what goes into the SAS 360 Discover model. So it's not just munging data that the brand already has together. This is dynamic data from different sources," he said.
Web analytics still plays a part in this data collection, but SAS has incorporated contextual information too.
"A lot of vendors do web analytics to find out how long people spent on their sites and so on, and it's important and we have included that, but our focus is on contextual understanding," Raj said.
"We're able to marry the [user's] device information and location data to understand where this person has been, where they've been browsing, what other sites they've been looking at and in what locations."
He emphasised that this is with the consent of the customer, but that if he or she shared that information it would be collected "so that before he or she comes to the brand's website we can understand where they've been".
In terms of delivering, Raj said that the integrated data allows a marketer to immediately send a personalised offer to a customer's smartphone when they're near a bricks-and-mortar location, for example.
SAS will roll out additional modules and capabilities throughout 2016. This firm is also considering an on-premise version for certain modules, but said that Customer Intelligence 360 is a "cloud-first" product.
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