Leveraging Diverse Customer Data: Marketing in the Digital Age--a Case Study of Nikkei BP

Nowadays rapid information delivery is required due to the diversification of media and specialization of user needs. In this new age of digital marketing, optimal and timely delivery of information and suitable content for readers is key. Fujitsu responds to this change, and provides one-stop services including analysis, plans, and operation of systems to create new value out of big data.
Here is a case study of the digital marketing project that Fujitsu is developing in collaboration with Nikkei BP.

Pursuit of Specialization Resulting in the Creation of Independent Systems across Departments

Nikkei BP publishes magazines and digital media as well as manages big events and seminars. The company distributes around 40 printed publications including Nikkei Business, with a subscription of two million. Nikkei BP runs about 20 major websites such as Nikkei Business Online; ITpro,which provides technical information; and Nikkei Trendy Net,which offers useful lifestyle advice. The number of pages viewed for its major digital media has reached approximately 125 million per month.

In order to provide a wide variety of information to customers, Nikkei BP formed many departments focusing on different specialized fields. As a result, data is dispersed across many different systems. Therefore, it was necessary to search a number of related systems in order to retrieve information on a particular user.

"For example, it took a while to identify if a subscriber of Nikkei Computer registered in the ITpro website or if the subscriber also visited ITpro exhibitions or seminars," said Tomoyuki Narita, General Manager, Client Marketing Support Department of Nikkei BP.

To address this problem, Nikkei BP and Fujitsu have started a joint project integrating Nikkei BP's databases at the beginning of 2015.

Integrating Data Dispersed in 66 Systems to Visualize Customer Needs

Nikkei BP's request was to "deliver the right information to each user of the marketing system in a timely manner by improving operational efficiency." In response, a Fujitsu data analyst* first interviewed users to understand what Nikkei BP wanted to achieve by using the customized data.

According to identified needs of Nikkei BP through interviews, Fujitsu first selected 10 systems out of 66 systems that store the necessary data, and integrated these data into a Data Management Platform (DMP) on the cloud and on-premises hybrid environment.

The DMP enables unified management and analysis of customer data with business intelligence (BI) functionality. This new marketing system allows Nikkei BP to visualize the diverse customer needs from a large volume of valuable digital data such as customer attributes and customer behavior.

Motohiro Tsutsui
Convergence Solution Department
Convergence Service Division
Innovative Service Business Unit
Fujitsu Limited

"To aggregate and utilize a large amount of data, it is first necessary to collect the right data according to its purpose. However, creating graphs using all the data available is simply a visual representation of the information. The value out of data is created through the data analysis to find insights."

*: A data analyst is an expert who supports a customer's business by collecting, storing, analyzing a large amount of data and applying intelligence to find solutions.

System Developed in Just Three Months with Agile Development

In this new marketing system development project, Nikkei BP and Fujitsu worked closely together and used an agile development process, collecting Nikkei BP's requirements on-site, processing the collected data, visualizing the potential needs on a dashboard and then taking immediate actions.
The agile method is an approach to improve marketing plans and actions by repeating a cycle of planning, design, implementation, test, release, and analysis in a short period of time.

Daisuke Kikuchi
Business Strategy & Development Division
Social Infrastructure Systems Unit
Fujitsu Limited

"It is usually difficult to see the goal when aggregating a large amount of data; however, the agile method allows us to get an overview of the entire project and track our current status through a cycle of development and review, resulting in an effective development system in a short period of time."

A data analyst sorted out requests from Nikkei BP, and the development team built a system in accordance with these requirements. Nikkei BP reviewed the data on the dashboard and provided feedback, which Fujitsu then incorporated in the next agile development.

Thanks to the close collaboration between Nikkei BP and Fujitsu, the system was developed in just three months and Nikkei BP was able to use it for its campaign.

Effect of Data Analysis: Subscriptions Doubled

"We were very surprised and impressed when we saw the test data in May 2015. The data was clear enough to be used for the first issue of our magazine campaign," said Mr. Narita.

The new magazine, Nikkei Robotics, is scheduled to be published in July 2015. Nikkei BP decided to send promotional emails based on the data extracted and analyzed by the new DMP.

Tatsuyuki Yamashita
Business Strategy & Development Division
Social Infrastructure Systems Unit
Fujitsu Limited

"The DMP allowed us to use 'Look-Alike'** modeling--creating prospect lists by identifying people who attended the specific seminars or browsed the same content as the registered customers did. This modeling was used to increase the number of subscription"

**: With the information of a sample customer and his access log, a Look-Alike modeling identifies customers with similar preferences or attributes, and selects further by age or occupation.

User attribute screen. Attributes, such as the age and job titles of target customers for analysis are visually displayed to help users find insights from the data.

"Using this Look-Alike modeling and the customer analysis across whole Nikkei BP online media, Nikkei BP succeeded in doubling the number of new subscriptions of Nikkei Robotics, while reducing the number of promotional emails by half.
The company was also very pleased with the improved efficiency. So far, we have only provided the data to the sales staff, but we will also share it with the editing staff to provide better contents to customers," added Mr. Narita.

Seeking the Next Transformation
Continuously Evolving Digital Marketing

In this DMP project, Nikkei BP and Fujitsu collaborated and developed a new marketing system that brings true value by integrating and analyzing various data and using it effectively. To further support our customers' business growth, we continue to enhance database integration on the DMP and upgrade features to realize marketing automation.

Fujitsu continuously supports customers to realize advanced marketing in the digital age by using ICT.