Case Study: ISC
Off to the Races
International Speedway Corporation depends on an Aprimo solution to get fans in the stands.
Millions attend motorsports events—from The Daytona 500 to the Ford Championship Weekend—at International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks each year. In addition to all three NASCAR national series—Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck—ISC’s 13 venues host numerous events and races sanctioned by Grand-Am, the National Hot Rod Association, the American Motorcyclist Association and others.
To ensure that seats are filled, ISC continuously markets multiple events, for this year and the next, to people ranging from first-timers to die-hard fans. Regardless of the event, the company’s mission is to deliver a memorable experience for each guest. Meeting this goal requires ISC to understand its diverse target audiences and effectively communicate with them.
For this type of integrated marketing management, ISC turned to Aprimo, the Integrated Marketing Management and applications arm of Teradata. “The capabilities of the Aprimo Marketing Studio allow us to manage through the complex process of understanding and reaching our customers,” says Jim Cavedo, ISC’s senior director of Consumer Marketing.
A Bumpy Track
In 2007, when consumer demand for racing events reached a plateau in the US, ISC recognized the need for a new marketing solution. “ISC needed to talk to and understand its consumers, as well as to grow them,” Cavedo explains. “Our chief marketing officer sought a 360-degree view of the consumer. We wanted to know every touchpoint: What our consumers bought, when they bought it, why they purchased and how.”
The company had access to plenty of data about race fans, who are not only passionate but also frequently outspoken. “We always welcome and value fan feedback,” Cavedo says. “We request their input throughout the year in formal surveys or through social networking sites, blogs and our online community. Fans can always contact us directly via phone, e-mail or mail.”
While ISC had a rich pool of complex data to draw upon, it was difficult to capture and leverage it effectively. The company’s legacy marketing platform was simply not up to the task.
Telemarketing campaigns were one area where the organization had hit a bump. “For example, it was impossible to manage opt-outs,” Cavedo recalls. “What we needed was a robust system that allowed ISC to be compliant with do-not-call regulations while providing better insight into our consumers.”
Adding to the pressure was a corporate business model organized around decentralized business units—the race venues—each with specific race-goers, events and objectives. A new solution would need to provide a strategic corporate perspective, as well as the ability for each unit to have its own customer view.
Start Your Engine
Faced with these challenges, ISC realized the need to reorganize its consumer marketing organization. After a detailed selection process that analyzed 10 marketing solutions, the company selected Aprimo Marketing Studio. “Usability was a key factor in the decision,” Cavedo notes. “The complexity of ISC’s data challenged other vendors. We have transactional data that takes you down to a single seat in the 160,000-seat grandstand.
“The volume of data to deal with in any given year is massive. We wanted to pull information as far back as 2002, which meant taking 10 million rows of data that had to be managed through the application,” he adds. “Only Aprimo offered the infrastructure to support and maintain the application ISC needed.”
“We anticipated that it would take about two years to achieve ROI, but we were able to meet that in less than a year.”
senior director of Consumer Marketing, ISC
After implementing three strategic phases over as many years, ISC marketers can now work more independently and execute campaigns via e-mail and other channels on their own, without corporate services.
“Millions of consumers would come to our gates every year, but we didn’t know all of them. We only knew who bought the tickets. One person bought four tickets, but who are the other three attending the event?” notes Cavedo. “In the past, we wouldn’t be able to find that out. Now, we can market, prospect, capture names, personalize e-mails and market to specific consumers. We put a lot of effort into understanding our customers.”
The results have been impressive. ISC’s e-mail campaigns, for example, are more abundant and efficient. In 2008, ISC had four corporate staff members working solely on e-mail efforts. In 2010, it was down to 1.5 full-time-equivalent employees. At the same time, the number of campaign jobs grew by 300%:
- 250 in 2008
- 700 in 2009
- 1,000 in 2010
“We can create unique segments for each job and orders of magnitude more communications with half to a third the number of staff. Out of 1,000 campaigns, three e-mails might be sent to the wrong list,” Cavedo says. “That’s Six Sigma levels of quality. There was no way we would have been able to manage that before.”
ISC continues to roll out the Aprimo Marketing Studio to the rest of Marketing Services, processing more than 5,000 communications through the system. The company has 160 users constantly submitting jobs and wanting updates. “You can’t run a business with that kind of volume if you don’t have a system that can manage it for you,” Cavedo adds. “It’s good to know how the right things will be worked on at the right time.”
Even more remarkable, ISC quickly generated enough returns from its new prospecting capabilities to pay for the Aprimo solution. “We anticipated that it would take about two years to achieve ROI, but we were able to meet that in less than a year,” Cavedo says.
Around the Curve
As ISC’s integrated marketing efforts evolve throughout the business, the solution will continue to serve as the foundation. For example, ISC is currently integrating it into the call center operation to capture more customer data. “Moving forward, a big focus will be using the Aprimo solution to understand our consumers and their lifetime value,” Cavedo notes.
With a wide range of time-sensitive and audience-specific marketing goals, ISC recognized the need to reorganize its consumer marketing organization to better leverage the power of integrated marketing management. Thanks to the Aprimo solution, ISC increased the efficiency of its corporate marketing services, as well as its individual business units.
Now the company can access transactional data throughout demographic segments, down to a specific seat in a grandstand. This enables marketers to develop more profitable, individualized campaigns that are delivered through the consumer’s channel of choice.