Customer confab: SMBs set to slash marketing costs using SaaS research model

A new partnership between business and customer intelligence vendor Vantedge and market analytics specialist AbsolutData brings together senior-level professionals who know how to manage in-house intelligence services. Now an on-demand services model is on tap for small and midsize businesses (SMB).
By Frank O Smith, senior contributing editor March 25, 2008

Market intelligence typically requires costly in-house staffing or expensive research consultancies normally reserved for large enterprises. A partnership between Atlanta-based Vantedge Group and San Francisco-based AbsolutData aims to bring much of the value manufacturing intelligence to small and midsize businesses (SMB) via an on-demand model with an affordable monthly service fee.

“Big companies are doing this type of [research], but midmarket organizations don’t have the time, staff, or money to get into it,” says Bob May, senior VP of analytic services for Vantedge Group. “We saw an opportunity in what was missing, so we came up with the Software-as-a-Service [SaaS] approach. Instead of just doing projects for clients, we want to become their partner.”

Vantedge Group specializes in customer intelligence, delivering project services around strategies for acquiring, growing, and retaining customers; while AbsolutData offers market analytics, predictive modeling, and research. Together the companies now offer senior-level professionals who have managed significant in-house market intelligence services.

Bob May, senior VP of analytic services for Vantedge Group, says a new partnership with market analytics specialist AbsolutData brings together senior-level professionals who have managed hefty in-house market intelligence services.

Services are initiated with an assessment to quickly identify key metrics, as well as the health of a customer base. External market source data also is gathered to build a data-rich Intelligence Bureau—i.e., a hosted “intelligence cube” that serves as the foundation for analytics and reporting, and one that is continuously added to over time.

Typical areas of client investigation include opportunities, customer defection/churn, and customer risk factor profiling. Intelligence is available through secure login via Web portal.

“The Intelligence Bureau is the engine that runs behind the scenes,” says May. “It can be fed from any source. The idea is to continuously build up the intelligence cube to do predictive modeling, analytics, and other research aimed at acquiring more customers, growing the ones you have, and retaining them over time.”