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Bought beer cans? Now buy diapers

29-August-2005
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Bought beer cans? Now buy diapers

What does beer and diapers have in common? Or men's premium shirts and Barbie dolls? Why are they placed next to each other in some supermarkets

Well, it seems men who buy diapers are usually baby-sitting and they invariably buy a couple of cans of beer. Men who buy premium shirts always land up buying Barbie dolls for their daughters to feel less guilty for spending a bomb on a shirt for themselves.

Such connections have come to light through, what is called, marketing analytic techniques. Market analytics is an extension of data warehousing- the storing of information from operational and customer interaction systems.

It leverages investments made by companies on business intelligence and data warehousing and is all about high-end analysis, which helps companies earn profits by providing insights culled from relevant data.

Gartner has predicted that business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing (DW) will touch $26.4 billion by 2007, growing at a CAGR of 8.9%. Analysis of sales and profiles of buyers are studied and they throw up never-imagined correlations.

All types of companies from GE and Citibank to small firms in varied verticals are leveraging this instrument. The growth of market analytics is giving Indian companies an opportunity to provide high-impact, high-value solutions.

At present, niche players like Marketics, Fractal Analytics, as well as BPO players like Evalueserve, Symphony Services, B2K Corporation are digging deep into this space.

According to Vivek Kulkarni, CEO, B2K Corporation, for Global 2000 companies, the ability to efficiently acquire, retain, and maximise revenue from their customers is of crucial importance.

It is not what these companies offer to consumers that differentiates them, but how they are marketed that significantly impacts their topline.

Market analytics focuses on how to target new customers, increase customer loyalty, and cross-sell and up-sell new offerings to their existing customers.

According to Mark Nelson, executive V-P, market analytics solutions, Symphony Services Corporation, by using market analytics we can build models that tell us which telecom subscribers are most likely to cancel their services.

Telecom firms can then build targeted offers for those customers and thus reduce cancellation rates and increase loyalty.

"In FMCG and retail space too, market analytics is getting bigger. It can help retailers decide which products to carry, how to price those products for optimal sales and where to place those products on store shelves. And, they can use it to decide which products to stockbase on the profiles and buying patterns," said S Rama-krishnan, CEO, Marketics, which does market analytics for leading US clients.

No wonder then, Heineken and Pampers eye each other while Polo shirts and Barbie dolls are within touching distance on supermarket shelves.

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