Monday, October 27, 2008

Case Study: Using Analytics to Identify Business Opportunities

Today's case study comes to us from Sigma Marketing Group, a full-service database marketing firm. They've highlighted work they've done for their client, Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) helping them with regional economic development programs. I like this one because it incorporates analytics and cleverly uses data to generate a successful program.

The Challenge
GRE is a regional economic development organization supported by a team of private and public sector leaders dedicated to improving economic performance in the Rochester, New York Finger Lakes region. Its primary goals are to:
  • retain and expand existing business;
  • professionally market the region as a competitive, vibrant, and high-profile place for business location and growth;
  • support business attraction, expansion, entrepreneurship, and innovation by collaborating with local businesses, universities, not-for-profit organizations, and government leaders.
Because of Rochester’s rich history of thriving high-tech companies, GRE determined that the region was best suited to attract three types of industries:
  • Fuel Cell
  • Biotechnology
  • Optics
To that end, they approached SIGMA Marketing Group with the following challenge:
Focusing on these three industries, help us identify companies across the country that are likely to:
  • Expand operations
  • Consider Rochester as a potential site for expansion
The Breakthrough
SIGMA developed an analytic-based direct marketing program with the following methodology:
  • The Lists: Build search criteria, customize lists from a variety of sources, then target decision-makers in the three industries across the country.
  • The Mailer: Create a cost-effective, compelling direct mail piece that includes specific information on why the company should consider Rochester for its expansion needs. Specifically, SIGMA created bi-fold brochures that were customized for each industry.
  • The Data: Include an attractive offer in the piece that would entice the recipient to:
    • Log onto a new GRE Web page
    • Provide self-reported data via a simple online questionnaire
  • The Offer: For those recipients willing to go to the site, GRE provided them with:
    • A free S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) written by a leader in the recipient’s industry.
    • A link to a website that allowed recipients to choose amongst several business-related gifts or charitable contributions.
  • The Analytical Model: SIGMA then created a model that analyzed the results into three categories:
    • Alert: These are highly qualified prospects who should be called immediately.
    • Semi-Alert: These are qualified prospects who should be called within 30 days.
    • Future Contact: These prospects are not qualified for immediate follow-up, but should be contacted on an as-needed basis.
The Win
“SIGMA designed an effective direct mail campaign that yielded double our projected response. In addition, the self-reported data incorporated in this campaign delivered insightful quantitative research that has helped us further refine our marketing efforts.”


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