The product engineering whizzes at Lenovo created a nifty mini notebook, the Yoga 11S, that's as powerful as it is flexible, sporting 3rd Generation Intel Core processors and easily transforming from laptop to tablet mode, tented, or standing. Now it's marketing's turn.
As of mid-May, you can place an order for the Yoga 11S if you'd like. But the real marketing efforts will kick off next month as Lenovo looks to capitalize on the back-to-school buying season. This I learned from Ajit Sivadasan, Lenovo's vice president and general manager of global e-commerce, sales and marketing, who I talked to recently about the company's big-data analytics strategy. He called the Yoga 11S marketing campaign "the ideal project to pursue as a backdrop for the big-data work we want to do going forward."
It's ideal, he said, because it has all of the dimensions that drive complexity and all the attributes that, if you were to try looking at from a traditional spreadsheet standpoint, "would drive you crazy. You wouldn't be able to get the insights you're looking, it'd be too asynchronous, and, ultimately, you wouldn't be able... to be predictive in how to go about optimizing spend."
In other words, the Yoga 11S campaign represents the quintessential challenge of modern marketing -- what with the global distribution and multiple online and offline channels, including, of course, a big social media component, involved. And did I mention limited spending dollars?
"We're dealing with the ultimate marketing question that everyone is grappling with," Sivadasan said. "We're all trying to figure out the minimum spend that maximizes profit and then how to scale that."
Lenovo has pulled in the big guns to help it tame this cross-channel, geo-diverse marketing challenge -- SAS Visual Analytics, a high-performance analytics platform that allows visual data exploration and presentation. It has SAS Visual Analytics in pilot mode now, prepping for the big Yoga 11S campaign push.
The platform is still so new to Lenovo that Sivadasan said he didn't have much detail he could share. But he did explain what drew him to the product. "What's interesting to me is how, literally in real time, you can dig 10 levels deep in a visual way... without having to do any separate analysis."
The promise of easily and quickly running what-if scenarios while modeling data is especially welcome given how cumbersome and resource-intensive those are to do in traditional analysis, he added. "That's what I'm hoping that we're going to get out of it -- the ability to crunch through literally millions of lines of data coming from 10 or 15 or 20 disparate data sources and being able to paint this picture of how these customers are going to behave and therefore how we should be optimizing the marketing spend."
And, finally, Sivadasan added, "when a general manager asks me, 'So if I give you $1 million to spend on marketing, what are you going to get for me in return?' I feel I may be able to get to that answer a bit more scientifically than I have been able to do in the past."
Getting to where he'd like Lenovo to be on campaign spend will take the hard work of a cross-functional team of people who develop a base model that can be built on top of and gets taken through several iterations before it's really good and usable at large, Sivadasan said. But ideally, what the company will end up with is "an evolved predictive model that gives us a great starting point for every campaign."
I'll be sure to touch base with Sivadasan after the fall marketing program to see how the use of the high-performance visual analytics platform helped Lenevo optimize its marketing spend. Until then, check out Sivadasan and SAS CEO Jim Goodnight chatting about SAS Visual Analytics on stage at the recent SAS Global Forum conference in San Francisco:
I'd love to hear what tools you use to optimize campaign spend. Share below!
It's going to be a matter of price, design, and how to tap the hot button of consumers. Especially for the student market, they need to have some really cool stuff that will mange to get boatloads of comments on social media to really fly stuff off the shelves.
@bulk, i remember you sharing that earlier on these message boards. Maybe the demo should come with a warning about what a time suck you might be entering should you choose to proceed -- a fascinating time suck, but a time suck nonetheless! ;-)
That is the question, right? I'm assuming it's been through enough demos and knows its data well enough to understand that the visual analytics piece is a critical next step but, yes, the insight that comes from that will be interesting to hear about (which is why I've asked Ajit to talk again once the back-to-school campaign wraps up!).
Premier Business Leadership Series 2014 The Premier Business Leadership Series is an exclusive event for senior executives and decision makers that focuses on solving the current issues that affect governments and businesses globally. The Series is a unique learning and networking experience focused on the most innovative leadership strategies and analytic solutions for competing in todayâs global economy.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- BostonThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
Data Exploration & Visualization Get hands-on training that focuses on the critical steps in the process of analyzing data: accessing and extracting data, cleaning and preparing data, exploring and visualizing data. This INFORMS course will use several of the most popular software tools intensively, and provide an overview of the range of software options.
Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics In this INFORMS course, learn about modern predictive analytics, the science of discovering and exploiting complex data relationships. This course will give participants hands-on practice in handling real data types, real business problems and practical methods for delivering business-useful results.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- AtlantaThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SASŪ Data Management and SASŪ Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SASŪ Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
LEADERS FROM THE BUSINESS AND IT COMMUNITIES DUEL OVER CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Current Discussion
Visual Analytics: Who Carries the Onus? The Issue: Data visualization is an up-and-coming technology for businesses that want to deliver analytical results in a visual way, enabling analysts the ability to spot patterns more easily and business users to absorb the insight at a glance and better understand what questions to ask of the data. But does it make more sense to train everybody to handle the visualization mandate or bring on visualization expertise? Our experts are divided on the question. The Speakers: Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst, Nucleus Research; Jonathan Schwabish, US Economist & Data Visualizer
The hospitality industry gathers massive amounts of customer data, and mining that data effectively can yield tremendous results in terms of improved CRM, better-targeted marketing spend, and more efficient back-end processes. Roger Ares, vice president of analytics at Hyatt Corp., discusses the ways he and his staff use big data.
Charged with keeping track of travel assets, including employees, iJET International relies on data management best-practices and advanced analytics to keep its clients in the know on current and potential world events affecting travel, Rich Murnane, Director of Enterprise Data Operations & Data Architect, told All Analytics in an interview from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics and keynote speaker at last month's SAS Global Forum 2014, describes how Gen Y professionals are enhancing the makeup of multigenerational analytics organizations.
From analytics talent development to the power of visual analytics, All Analytics found a variety of common themes circulating throughout the exhibition floor and session discussions at the 2014 SAS Global Forum and SAS Global Forum Executive Conference events held last month in Washington, DC.
Talking with All Analytics live from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference, Eric Helmer, senior manager of campaign design and execution for T-Mobile, discussed the importance of customer data -- starting internally -- in devising the mobile operator's marketing plans.
The big-data analytics market can be a confusing place. Among the vendors vying for your dollars are traditional database management providers, Hadoop startup services, and IT giants. In this video, All Analytics editors Beth Schultz and Michael Steinhart sit down in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek. Henschen discusses use cases for big-data analytics, purchase considerations, and his recent roundup of the top 16 big-data analytics platforms.
At the National Retail Federation BIG Show last month, All Analytics executive editor Michael Steinhart noted a host of solutions for tracking and analyzing customer activity in retail stores. From Bluetooth beacons to RFID tags to NFC connections to video analytics, retailers must find the right combination of tools to help optimize the shopper experience, streamline operations, and boost revenues.
The days when historical shipment trends and gut feelings were enough to forecast retail demand accurately are long over. SAS chief industry consultant Charles Chase outlines the benefits of pulling real-time sales information from point-of-sale and product scanner systems, then flowing that data into dynamic forecasting tools from SAS.
With today's advanced visual analytics tools, you can stream data into memory for real-time processing, provide users the ability to explore and manipulate the data, and bring your data to life for the business.
Dynamic data visualizations let analysts and business users interact with the data, changing variables or drilling down into data points, and see results in a flash. Advance your use of data visualization with tools that support features like auto-charting, explanatory pop-ups, and mobile sharing.
No doubt your enterprise is amassing loads of data for fact-based decision-making. Hand in hand with all that data comes big computational requirements. Can traditional IT infrastructure handle the increasing number and complexity of your analytical work? Probably not, which is why you need a backend rethink. Big data calls for a high-performance analytics infrastructure, as Fern Halper, a partner at the IT consulting and research firm, Hurwitz & Associates, discusses here.
Redbox's bright-red DVD kiosks are all but ubiquitous these days, located in more than 28,000 spots across the country. Jayson Tipp, Redbox VP of Analytics and CRM, provides an insider's look at how the company has accomplished its phenomenal nine-year growth.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a seven-brand global hotelier, has woven analytics into the fabric of its operations. David Schmitt, director of performance strategy and planning, shares IHG's analytics story and his lessons learned.