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First Look: FICO Marketing Products


I got a chance to catch up with FICO’s Marketing products as part of our ongoing blog series on Marketing Decision Management solutions. FICO has been transitioning from using its tools to build custom marketing solutions to delivering a complete solution specifically for marketing. They also acquired Entiera about a year ago and have integrated this into their analytic products.

Like many of us, FICO sees companies in retail, CBG, banking and others transforming their business from product- and campaign-centric marketing to customer-centric marketing. These largely B2C companies are trying to move from a current state where they decide what they want to sell, batch offers up and blast them out on a campaign calendar, to an environment where what the customer wants triggers offers based on the customer lifecycle. An environment where they build an ongoing dialogue with the customer that is integrated and consistent. Many companies are on this journey, few have arrived.

FICO’s Marketing Solutions are focused on some key capabilities:

  • Combining customer data from multiple sources into a flexible, extensible and high performance database
  • Efficiently creating and executing cross-channel interactions or dialogues over time
  • Predictive analytics to sense and predict what the customer will do next
  • Orchestrating dialogues across lines of business and channels to deliver a next best action
  • Optimally arbitrating across campaigns, stakeholders and multiple business goals both short term and long term
  • Delivering a learning platform using adaptive control and A/B testing both for offers and overall strategies

Example FICO customers:

  • Private label card program supporting over 100 retailers each supporting a unique multichannel strategy. Scalable, SaaS platform supports interactive marketing programs for many retailers with an easy to use, easy to adopt platform for marketers. Efficiency and time to value are key and the marketing platform has a lot of marketing services companies using the platform to support their clients.
  • MyCokeRewards is a long time FICO customer transitioning from a custom solution to the new platform. The key focus of MyCokeRewards is to reward customers and build relationships with them through the rewards program. As rewards are redeemed, real-time interaction services ask questions and make decisions as to offers to make, ads to display etc. The program has 11M members and 600M rewards claimed. Scalability, during the Superbowl for instance, is critical but so are rapid event-triggered interactions where even very rapid interactions from a mobile device or website drive learning immediately.
  • Offers sent to Sam’s Club members have been personalized with a FICO solution with each member getting a unique, micro decision as to the 5 offers on their letter. The offers are custom but so is the content. Sam’s Club saw a 30% increase in membership in 6 months and 11% per month increase in redemption in first 4 months with response rates up to 10x the average.

The core products behind these stories are FICO Customer Dialogue Manager and FICO Analytic Offer Manager. These products are on a common stack that contains:

  • A customer data integration layer that pulls profile, account, transaction, interaction and response data into a high performance data store. This layer supports cleansing, transformation and integration and puts the data in a columnar database.
  • Campaign planning and content management are part of the core product and offer management for large numbers of offers is provided in Analytic Offer Manager.
  • BI and multivatiate testing is built into the current Customer Dialogue Management product and predictive analytic propensity models are integrated through Analytic Offer Manager.
  • Additional analytic capabilities including custom models, streaming models, analytic decision designer, learning loops and simulation/optimization can be integrated.
  • Optimization is provided on top of these analytic capabilities:
    • Offer Optimization is supported out of the box (through the integration of FICO Analytic Offer Manager).This can be integrated in various ways:
      • As batch optimization that delivers “most optimal” offers that the interactive offers can use (maybe take the top one, maybe the second or third based on the interaction itself).
      • Interactions can also push customers into / out of batch optimization runs based on their interactions.
      • Local optimization can be used to drive best offer in an interaction.
  • FICO Express, their optimization studio, can be used to do Contact Optimization and Channel Optimization also on a more custom basis.
  • A decision engine uses all this analytic capability to supports both batch campaigns and interactive dialogues. The batch campaign module is a fairly traditional “segment/micro segment then send” campaign model. The interactive dialogue manager allows a flow or journey to be defined and mapped to customer interactions.
  • At the front end the solutions are integrated with websites, mobiles, ATMs or Kiosks, Facebook, email marketing solutions like Exact Target, direct mail etc. Some are pre-built, others custom using an open API.

Going forward FICO is focused on the extensibility of the Customer Dialogue Manager product so that custom analytic or optimization solutions can be developed for customers and so new products like Adeptra (for mobile interactions) can be easily integrated. Functionality from the previous Precision Marketing Manager product for online interactions like quizzes with dynamic decision-making is also being added along with additional support for loyalty points management, point accounting, loyalty program login etc – primarily aimed at reward management. A Salesforce.com App Exchange application is being released for distributed marketing with lead scoring and more to come.

Analytic Offer Manager is being integrated more thoroughly also and being extended with additional specific support for banking cross-sell (the original version was retail focused) and integration with the test and learn functionality in Customer Dialogue Manager.

Analytic Offer Manager uses predictive models for propensity and thousands of these models are required for complex scenarios. Using a streamlined process to scale these models still require professional services to build. New models in Analytic Offer Manager will include association models for purchase affinity, time to event and offer effectiveness – all automated, adaptive models. This allows FICO to expand into markets without the professional services or analytic expertise to use the modeling tools.


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