Monday, November 26, 2007

Case Study Monday: Data Assessment

It's official--we've decided to dedicate each Monday's post to a marketing case study. Last week we shared how RRW helped a leading telecommunications firm retain and up-sell profitable customers. This week we'll focus on our work with another communications giant and talk about how our analysis of their marketing data helped them optimize their data management strategies.

Situation Overview:
The database marketing team at AT&T/BellSouth wanted to maximize the value and utilization of their rich internal data stores. They had a general understanding that their customer data was valuable, and that they could potentially be buying unnecessary external data from a variety of similar data sources. They also knew that they needed to understand how the data was being used, what types of programs were being fed by the data, who were the power users of the data, and who was not using the data. They needed to understand current and future data needs and requirements.

Solution Overview
RRW Consulting recommended a thorough examination of the data assets and systems access. The consulting engagement included:
  • A series of user interviews where we gleaned valuable information as to specific programs that used the customer data, along with overall perceptions of the data.
  • These interviews not only uncovered what data was valuable for today's programs, but also revealed future directions, so that we could match our recommendations to meet both today's and tomorrow's needs.
  • Detailed written descriptions of the current systems environment that included ease of data access (list pulls, financial report generation, etc.).
  • A data content analysis to allow for a thorough understanding of the deliverability and data depth.
  • Interviews of all divisions that purchased external data looking for purchase redundancies.
  • The database team was armed with the details they needed to convince Leadership of the value of the data and the continued investment in data management systems and data.
  • Data recommendations allowed AT&T/BellSouth to focus their external data investment only on data that would support current and upcoming programs.
  • Use of the database and the data increased exponentially throughout the company.
  • External data costs were reduced by 10%
Overall, our work with AT&T/BellSouth allowed them to get a handle on how data was being used throughout this large organization. Further, we were able to match available external data to the current and future marketing programs, hence optimizing their significant investment in external data. For example, we found the best source of e-mail data for them. Plus, we identified the most accurate source of ethnic data and the best sources of hi-tech information (both areas that they were focusing on).

But, it's really not all about us! We look forward to featuring other interesting case studies--please share your success stories with us and we'll feature them in an upcoming Monday post. Simply e-mail the case study to: Should make for some interesting Monday reading, reading all of these excellent direct marketing success stories!


Anonymous said...

Suzanne and Nancy, how do you find the time to post such informative insight and still handle the day-to-day challenges associated with running your consulting organization?

Being new to the Direct Marketing industry, I find your daily postings extremely helpful. As a matter of fact, I just went back and reviewed many of your postings for the past couple of months to expand my knowledge even further. You are right about one thing, it all starts with good data. And, an analytically and strategically led approach.

Charlie Steele

Suzanne Obermire said...

Thanks for the kind words, Charlie.
And, if you or any of the other smart folks at MLS Data Management ( have any good case studies to share, we'd love to post them on our blog!