Customer Intelligence sounds a bit like a government agency responsible for keeping tabs on the general population by accessing “Top Secret” data and monitor, adapt, and respond appropriately to said population. At least, this is an accurate description of my own mother’s thoughts when I first told her where and in which department I worked.
In general, a Customer Intelligence (CI) department specializes in targeted marketing efforts though various means. These means can include in-depth data analysis, mapping, modeling, profiling, etc. Targeted marketing is an umbrella that covers a host of tasks that increase response and conversion rates for a variety of reasons. CI is a simple (well, simple for the customer) way to get more bang for your buck. Simply put, by utilizing the CI department, clients can dramatically increase their ROI as they seek to promote, expand, or enhance their current marketing footprint.
In an economy as tight as what we are experiencing now, gone are the days of taking an un-aimed shotgun approach to mailings (the spray and pray, if you will). Shooting at an undefined bullseye and hoping for a hit is, at best, a guessing game. CI attempts to remove the guesswork and provide the client with clean customer and/or prospect data, advice on which records to target based on model scores, profile matching, etc. and suggestions on how to best capture and track the results. In a nutshell, CI works with a client to determine how to best spend their direct mailing dollars by giving them specific targets leading to specific and measurable results.