New problems are rarely fixed by applying old thinking. In the last decade, a combination of circumstances has evolved that requires new thinking from marketers. This new thinking takes advantage of the digital environment and transforms business as we know it.
A data-driven analytics platform is giving superannuation group, Mercer, the ability to personalise and contextualise member engagement, driving significant marketing ROI as a result.
Mercer Edge went live in August and was 13 months in the making. The platform taps into the super fund’s wealth of data and provides an all-encompassing view of members, enabling advanced segmentation of member bases using geo-demographic, behavioural, value-based and psychographic modelling.
To do this, the company has pulled together information from its data warehouse, along with channel, third-party and other unstructured data sources, such as customer enquiries.
The platform now provides all parts of the business, and Mercer’s superannuation partners, with a clear and accurate picture of individual customer activity, as well as insights into trends and reporting on member behaviour via data visualisations. Mercer Edge also uses predictive algorithms to project future consumer behaviour and lead scoring.
In addition, the platform measures member satisfaction and retirement readiness using Mercer’s custom-built Retirement Readiness Index. Funds can then use this information to help members take actions now that could improve their retirement savings long-term.
Mercer consumer marketing leader for the Pacific region, Cambell Holt, is the platform owner for the project. He told CMO the consumer analytics and insights team was responsible for its launch, in conjunction with its consumer marketing team.
The group’s chief customer officer, Renee McGowan, devised and led the ground-up development of the platform.
Holt said the near real-time data delivery from Mercer Edge to consumer channels, such as the call centre and digital platforms, is helping ensure the right message and right content is delivered to the right audience in highly targeted marketing campaigns. And the group is seeing significant results and maximising returns on marketing and customer experience investments as a result.
As an example of its success, Holt said a recent campaign to help Australians consolidate their superannuation accounts attained a 15 per cent overall response rate, exceeding the campaign sales objective by 43 per cent and delivering a 392 per cent ROI.
This type of result has since been replicated in other campaigns in both Australia and New Zealand, he said.
Getting to this single view of customer had its challenges, although Holt said many were operational issues rather than cultural ones. The project also required collaboration across a broad range of functions and stakeholders in order to deliver a complete and interactive view of customer insights.
“Big data and predictive analytics is really hard,” he commented. “Mercer Edge delivers real-time insights from billions of data points to the desktops of marketing and strategy teams, as well as making this insight available in real-time at scale across the enterprise to many other customer technology platforms in support of delivering next-generation customer experience.”
The work comes after Mercer opted to unite marketing and all of its customer service channels under McGowan as part of a group Customer Transformation strategy.
Renee McGowan was selected as one of the top 10 innovative marketing leaders in our inaugural CMO50 for 2015. You can read her insights into the role of customer-led marketer, and how she is spearheading Mercer’s digital and customer transformation, in our CMO50 portal.