A Chilean Telecom's Poetic ROI

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VTR GlobalCom is arguably the most successful cable company ever to open the South American market. The Chilean firm has pioneered telecommunications there, setting itself apart as the country's first broadband Internet provider. The only company to provide cable television, telephone, and high-speed Internet services through a single platform, VTR's customer base had exploded in recent years--but with success came setbacks. While struggling to enable its more than 60,000 customers to connect with one another internally and externally, VTR itself developed a severe case of bad communication. Gustavo Riso, CRM manager at VTR, says the miscommunication had to do with VTR's "different channels, trying to contact the same person at the same time--without knowing it--selling with different offers to the same person and using a variety of messages instead of one unique one." Because offerings differed from region to region, the company also wanted to develop more sophisticated marketing practices to deliver better-targeted messages and ensure that potential and existing customers were receiving the appropriate information. Using only Access, Brio, and Microsoft SQL (all database programs that forced VTR to do many of its marketing processes manually), it had to search elsewhere to find a unifying language. After identifying the problems VTR used its own broadband capability to fix them. "We discovered Unica doing some research on the Internet," where, Riso says, "we found a market research paper from Gartner [that] showed the position of Unica against different competitors." VTR additionally reviewed Oracle, Amdocs, and Sage SalesLogix, but in the end went with Unica for the power of its software, its ease of use, and the responsiveness and confidence of Unica's consulting team. Unica says it understands its users. CMO Carol Meyers says, "It's just the entire way Unica thinks--customer service." To deliver on the methodology and to make certain that the implementation of Unica's Affinium Campaign, Interact, and Optimize went smoothly, the vendor sent a team to Chile to help VTR stage out the optimization, a process that took approximately four months. VTR and Unica worked together, first introducing the software into the centralized channels and then moving out to the decentralized, beginning with personalized campaigns and afterward applying optimizations technologies to them. Riso says that some points did get lost in translation: "We didn't understand at the beginning the recommendations from Unica about having a campaign management team." However, after using the software the company came to the agreement that without such an internal structure "it would [have been] impossible to operate correctly." It was the campaign management team that markedly improved employee performance, leading workers to "new levels of professionalism and new levels of discussion," Riso says. Unica has automated the execution of cross-channel campaigns so that the message and branding are consistent. Riso also reports that VTR now makes fewer mistakes in generating lists and has decreased overlap communication. In the past year the company has upped campaign volume by 20 percent--VTR now runs more than 100 monthly campaigns. Campaign quality has increased by 50 percent since implementation. VTR has increased customer retention rates by 40 percent through better marketing productivity and message delivery. By harnessing the ability to connect to customers in real time with the messages that are most important to them, the company can at once keep a higher percentage of its customers, grow its customer base, and individually deal with all of its users. Now, with a happy customer base and a successful marketing program, VTR can call its position in the Chilean telecom market el major--beautiful words indeed. The Payoff
By implementing Unica, VTR GlobalCom has:
  • increased campaign volume by 20 percent, while adding consistency to multichannel approaches;
  • boosted response rates to campaigns by 50 percent; and
  • upped customer retention rates by 40 percent.
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