Data analytics provider digiMine earlier this month announced the addition of a new segmentation product, Customer Segment Manager, to its data analytics services. Customer Segment Manager, which is being beta-tested by several companies including Dow Jones & Co.âs Electronic Publishing division, provides marketing executives with tools to break customers into groups, analyze this data and use it in marketing programs.
Customer segmentation technology is often available as part of larger customer relationship management programs or from companies such as Business Objects SA, SPSS Inc. and Unica Corp. But Bellevue, Wash.-based digiMine claims that its product is different in that it offers an easy user interface that allows marketers to access many levels of information without the help of an IT department.
"Many companies are missing information to drive segmentation, or they need to go to an IT professional for help," said Charles Landau, senior manager-product marketing at digiMine. The new offering also takes marketers one step closer to tracking the most valuable customers over time, he said.
Although marketers vary widely in their ability and sophistication in this area, database marketing is certainly not a new idea. However, digiMineâs ability to simplify segmentation and campaign implementation within the database marketing process gives marketers access from their desktops to more complete and more accurate pictures of customer behavior, said Bob Blumstein, research director for CRM analytics and marketing applications at research company IDC.
"What theyâre offering the market is a smooth way of creating segments and exporting them," he said. "It allows a direct marketer to identify segments in a very reasonable way. â¦ If you have to go somewhere else to do it, that slows your process. To be able to do it as another step in what you do is an advantage."
Customer Segment Manager is offered as a piece of digiMineâs Enterprise Analytics software suite and delivered as a managed service, which the company claims minimizes IT requirements, including hardware, and lowers the cost to marketers. The Enterprise Analytics suite costs between $15,000 and $40,000 a month; the Customer Segment Manager service costs an additional $5,000 a month.
Dow Jones segments data
DigiMine customer Dow Jones is able to look at its corporate, individual and educational subscriber segments over time to measure information such as usage patterns, demographics and renewals. The publisher can identify new revenue opportunities, such as targeted advertising programs, new subscription methods and ways to cross-sell and up-sell products and services to existing readers based on their interests.
"It helps us understand whoâs using the different areas of our site," said Kate Downey, director of customer intelligence at Dow Jones. "Itâs so much better than getting page-view data."
In the past, Dow Jones had to manually construct analyses by combining several data sources. With digiMine, the publisher is able to collect and view data, updated daily, across its online sites, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Barronâs Online, and Opinion Journal. It is able to divide its subscriber base into 40 different segments within the corporate, individual and educational sub-groups.
Once those segments are identified, Dow Jones is able to pull together lists and export them to e-mail marketing and other marketing campaigns directly, without having to leave the segmentation program or rely on other departments within the company for assistance.
Dow Jonesâ Downey said she looked at other Web-based tools but that digiMine was the only vendor who could merge its online, offline and third-party data in one data warehouse.
Such flexibility is one of the reasons IDCâs Blumstein called Customer Segment Manager "user-friendly."
"Itâs an arms race for offering the largest number of reports," he said. "The trick is to offer the right set of reports. This is something else digiMine customers can use so they donât have to go outside [for additional services]."