Planning for Unica Optimize

You must answer several questions before you start to implement Unica Optimize.

Choose an audience level

The audience level is the contactable entity such as customer, prospect, account, or household. A Unica Optimize session works at a single audience level. Depending on the audience level you choose to optimize over, you might need more than one Unica Optimize session.

Choose an optimization metric

After you decide on your audience level, the next question is, "By what metric or goal do I want to optimize?" For example, whether you are maximizing profit, revenue, or ROI. The answer to this question determines what "score" you use for optimization. Some example scores to optimize include:

  • Dollars of profit
  • Revenue in dollars
  • Probability of response
  • Expected profitability in dollars
  • Profitability in dollar over cost per offer

Unica Optimize maximizes the sum of this score in the optimized (surviving) transactions. All marketing campaigns and flowcharts that participate in the same optimization session must use the same meaning of score for optimization.

Determine rules and constraints

After you know your optimization metric, ask "What rules or constraints does my business have that drive the optimization process?" The following options describe different types of business problems you can address through optimization.

  • Channel capacity optimization. With fixed channel capacity, what channels do I use to communicate with which customers and when?
  • Customer optimization. With limited opportunities to communicate with my customers, which offers do I give to which customers while managing contact fatigue?
  • Offer optimization. Which customers get offer X, when you have only a limited number to distribute?
  • Time optimization. Which offers conflict with each other? Which offers do I give only if another offer has already been presented? Which offers are most valuable to present to a particular customer first?
  • Budget optimization. How do I allocate my money across different campaigns, offers, or customers?

You can create optimizations that address many of these issues. You can also consider these rules and constraints for use across your organization, including:

  • Global suppressions. Ensure customers who elect to not receive email are not contacted by email
  • Rules to manage contact fatigue. Limit the number of contacts by segment, by channel, time periods, or specific offers.

Choose a time period

After determining the rules and constraints that are appropriate for your organization, ask "For what time period do I optimize?" Your time window is the amount of time you are looking into the future across proposed contacts that have not yet been delivered. The larger your time window the more opportunities there are to optimize. However, too large of a time window might be prohibitive for a number of different reasons. For example, trying to use a six-month time window would require that all your campaigns be designed and implemented at least six months in advance.

Choose a scoring method

Unica Optimize uses scores as a measure for choosing one proposed transaction over another when solving the optimization problem. Therefore, you need a method for generating scores. Some common methods include:

  • A constant per-offer or offer-cell combination
  • A computation per individual, offer, or offer-cell combination
  • A predictive model (based on individual, offer, channel, or time)

Determine your optimization scope

As you answer these questions, you might want to start small, with only a few campaigns, one product line, or one business division. Start with simple optimization problems. Although you might want to maximize profit while you work with offer, budget, and customer optimization, it is a better practice to apply fewer rules and constraints at first. Then, analyze your results before you add more. Remember, each time you add more constraints, you reduce the optimality of your results. Therefore, focus on the constraints that are most important to you first and weigh carefully the business benefit of additional constraints. After studying the results of your initial optimization sessions, you can add more rules and constraints to add complexity. Figuring out the right set of rules and constraints to use for your business takes some testing. You need to refine your rules over time.