For example, at first the program focused on Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero drinkers. Now the company cross-sells and upsells other brands, including water and juice products inherited in corporate acquisitions. Doing so entailed shifting how each business unit approaches its marketing, he explains.
Coca-Cola uses the FICO Precision Marketing Manager suite of statistical analysis tools to study data from its websites. Marketers look at which come-ons elicit the most and best responses, says Thomas Stubbs, Coca-Cola's interactive marketing director in global IT. Coca-Cola also exchanges data with companies that supply prizes, including Nascar, Nike and Sony. "As technology has evolved, we're able to do more and have a relevant dialog with customers, not just push our ideas out there," he says.
Limited-time promotions don't teach a company as much about its customers as ongoing interactivity, Rollins says. FICO's business rules-management software helps determine in real-time what material to present to consumers on which platform. The company has learned that watching behavior is more meaningful than reading questionnaires Web visitors are asked to fill out, he says. For example, some consider Diet Coke a woman's drink. (The company even developed Coca-Cola Zero-in its black can, proclaiming "REAL Coke taste"-to appeal to both men and women.)
"A man might not want to admit that he's a Diet Coke drinker. He will say in a survey that he prefers Coke. But we see he enters only Diet Coke PINs and market accordingly."
The idea is not just to save business but to create new business. Successful projects spark new ones. Analytics tools help companies create more money-generating interactions with customers and shave costs from internal operations. CIOs should connect analytics technologies with ideas about refining business processes, says Aberdeen's White. "Meld them together and that's very powerful."
Read more about business intelligence (bi) in CIO's Business Intelligence (BI) Drilldown.