How hard agents press depends on how valuable the customer has been to DirecTV, Gustafson says. "There are some people we just do not want to lose." About 60% of customers who want to depart are deemed worth trying to save, he says. The company uses tools from Teradata and SAS to analyze past behavior, evaluating data such as the average annual revenue the customer represents, her payment history and how many pay-per-view shows she buys.
The program works so well that DirecTV now turns around its "called to cancel" data from inbound calls to its special agents four or five times a day, rather than overnight. Every customer saved is one less customer the company has to try to win back weeks or months later-an expensive process, Gustafson says, that can involve mailings, e-mail and telephone calls as well as sending someone out to reinstall the service. "When the customer first calls, they have a certain mind-set: They want to cancel," he says. "When we call back, they're unprepared. It's a little psychological advantage we have."
When Coca-Cola began to focus in earnest on using analytics in online marketing 10 years ago, one push was to understand whether their efforts were driving consumers to their website. The site would then lightly tailor pages based on customers' actions during past visits, says Doug Rollins, group director of loyalty CRM measurement at the $31 billion beverage company. A new visitor who entered a Diet Coke promotion might have been offered that option more prominently next time.
Now, though, the My Coke Rewards program has helped the company develop more in-depth knowledge about loyal customers. The inside of every bottle cap is printed with a 12-digit code that customers can text or type into a website or desktop widget to accumulate points that can be exchanged for prizes and other awards. Those who opt in to e-mail marketing receive regular offers to gain more points, as well as other marketing pitches. Each is customized based on segments created from demographic information and behavior collected by the site. On average, 285,000 customers visit per day, entering an average of seven codes per second. Information embedded in the codes may include a region or location where the bottle was sold and whether it had special packaging, such as an Olympics logo, that Coca-Cola uses to tailor its pitches.
A 43-year-old woman, for example, may receive an e-mail touting a "Family Roadtrip" sweepstakes, including a $5,000 gift card. A 20-something man might get a message offering an extra 10 points if he enters three more codes within a week. After four years, My Coke Rewards is among the longest-running marketing programs in Coca-Cola's history. And as the program has grown, the company has changed the way it runs in response to insight from analytics, Rollins says.