I love Bananas. I’m sure ‘banana’ was one of my first words as a baby and it was certainly one of my 4 year old daughter’s as well. My 2 year old son only started saying it last month after our trip to the UK, where they are 69p per kilo – about $1 as opposed to around $15 that they are in Sydney since cyclone Yasi hit North Queensland in February. My boy doesn’t get many bananas so it wasn’t a word he’d needed to learn until recently!
Some of my colleagues, a number of our local customers and I were at Teradata Partners to hear the latest and greatest stories of how organisations are using analytics for competitive advantage. Just ahead of the Monday morning break the convention centre staff were readying the refreshments and one member of staff was pushing a trolley laden with bananas. We couldn’t help ourselves and set upon him before he could begin to unload them onto the tables. He looked rather bemused until I explained that his trolley load was serious currency where we came from and that we had all been on banana rations for most of the year. A quick snap survey of a selection of other Australians revealed an average consumption of 2 bananas per day throughout the week (with many initially bingeing early in the week).
Having (just a little) more information about his customers meant he had a clearer understanding of how to provide them with better service (or more bananas, to be precise!).
Knowing your customer intimately was a theme of many presentations from Teradata clients at PARTNERS. My favourite was the presentation from Station Casinos that cited and gave evidence of a “cultural change driven by analytics”. Station Casinos has earned industry accolades for its success in the value derived from Data Analytics and Operational Excellence, namely the PMI Southern Nevada Chapter Project Manager of the Year award and 2011 Aprimo Excellence (APEX) award. Anyone that has seen me present publicly knows how I love the ‘Luck Ambassador’ stories in leading Casinos where player analytics coupled with real time monitoring of play enables real time marketing and significant increases in customer satisfaction and loyalty. All processed and executed through an Active Data Warehouse environment.
Marc Oppenheimer, Corporate VP of Relationship Marketing talked about the revolutionary journey Station has been on. How going from 14 customer segments that were based only on volumes of slot play to more than 200 based on detailed analysis completely changed the definition of a top customer. Previously no consideration was made on whether the customer was playing a machine with a yield of 15% or <1% and it was almost impossible to view a guest’s activity and spend across the whole hotel.
A list was generated of some 200 guests whose combined play was costing the company a million dollars. Station had processes in place to target key customers with offers and further analysis showed that these customers who had previously been considered key had as a result received a further 4 million in offers from programs based upon the 14 basic segments.
This has been addressed and Station have focused their activity to the concept of “Marketing to one” with significant success, increasing profitability of slot machines, reducing budgets for offers and reducing error rates to less than 1% - all this in a down economy.
It’s possible to buck the trends by being smarter, by harnessing the power of deep analytics and understanding your audience. It was fortune that enabled the Aussies to satisfy their banana hunger but Analytics that enabled Station to change the culture of Relationship Marketing.
Just an FYI for those of you reading this from foreign shores and concerned about our potassium deficiency down under, we have finally turned the corner and will be enjoying bananas at a reasonable price again soon!