Commentary & Analysis
Geek Speak for the Marketing Communications Service Provider
y Barbara Pellow December 6,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: December 6, 2006
y Barbara Pellow December 6, 2006 -- As new and improved computing and workflow technologies were introduced to the market, business processes became more automated. Finance was automated in the ‘60s; human resources was automated in the ‘70s; manufacturing was automated in the ‘80s and sales and customer service in the ‘90s. This is the decade for marketing automation. Marketing is under tremendous scrutiny. Statistics indicate that marketing is a $500 billion dollar a year industry and is facing the challenges of being reshaped and restructured. Marketing process automation has given rise to a whole new set of acronyms that the graphic communications market will need to learn and embrace. As with all business processes, both executive focus and technology infrastructure need to be in place for effective automation. If you talk with CMOs, the executive focus is evident. Their top issues and concerns include: * Inability to get an integrated view of the customer * The need to compress the campaign design-to-execution cycle to improve time to market * The need to leverage low cost Web and email media * Inability to measure results from marketing campaigns * Inability to measure and justify marketing ROI Marketing process automation has given rise to a whole new set of acronyms that the graphic communications market will need to learn and embrace. Initially, the information technology (IT) industry was perhaps the most guilty of all industries when it came to love of acronyms and geek speak. There is a certain level of knowledge snobbery associated with acronyms. Think of the fun you have had talking about your PDF, TIFF and JPEG formats or the importance of JDF, CIP4 and CIM in front of novices. People think if they talk in acronyms and geek speak, they sound like they really know what they are talking about; and if others don't understand, then they are seen in some way as inferior. While this trend is prevalent in high tech industries, there is a similar tendency as the world of marketing becomes more automated with advances in technology. The marketing snobs that you will be dealing with will be using terms like CRM, MPM, SFA, and ECM. To become the partner of choice, you will not only need to understand what these enterprise marketing systems are, but where your organization can add value and how you fit within the world of marketing acronyms. The Marketing Acronym Definitions CRM (Customer Relationship Management): The Corporate Customer Data Repository CRM (customer relationship management) is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that describes relationships in sufficient detail so that management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the customer directly could access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, and know what other products a customer had purchased. SFA (Sales Force Automation): Managing Leads from Multiple Sources Sales force automation (SFA) software is a type of program that automates the sales process. A comprehensive SFA package provides such functions as contact management, note and information sharing, quick proposal and presentation generation, product configurators, calendars, to-do lists and analysis of sales forecasts and performance. Businesses may have a custom version developed specifically for their needs, or choose from among the increasing number of sales automation software products, such as Interact, Commerce's ACT!, GoldMine Software's GoldMine, and the online solutions from SalesForce.com and RightNow’s SalesNet.com. You will not only need to understand what these enterprise marketing systems are, but where your organization can add value SFA packages typically include a Web-ready database, an e-mail package, and customizable templates. A three-tiered architecture is typically used to separate the database, server, and application to reduce programming demands on clients. A module-based design is generally used, to allow users to customize the package to suit their needs. SFA is often used interchangeably with CRM; however, CRM does not necessarily imply automation of sales tasks. Sales force automation pulls leads from multiple sources and gives sales personnel and management the ability to track and follow the quality of leads and the effectiveness of the sales process within an organization. MPM (Marketing Performance Measurement) – Across All Media Channels There’s been a lot of noise about Marketing Performance Measurement, or MPM, over the last year or so. Much of it has been driven by the efforts of the CMO Council, which has done an excellent job raising awareness of MPM among its membership which includes more than 1,000 executive-level marketers, mainly from technology companies. MPM is the tool set that provides companies with a framework for measuring the quantitative values of marketing efforts within an organization. * Efficiency metrics describe the cost to execute marketing projects. These projects are typically called a campaign or program. The two major efficiency metrics are staff hours per project and cycle time per project. These metrics are often, but not always, correlated and, in many cases, reducing the cycle time (e.g., getting campaigns out the door more quickly) improves results in ways that are much more important than any internal cost savings. This is why cycle time and staff hours must be measured separately. * Program metrics measure program effectiveness by comparing their costs and results. Marketing executives want to evaluate the ROI for each program that is developed and delivered to the market. For mass media campaigns the success measure may be improved brand awareness which is a precursor to buying product. Web- and print-based direct mail programs generate a set of marketing contacts. Some contacts are worth more than others, depending on the number and quality of responses they generate. In today’s competitive market the cost per contact of either direct e-mail or print media is not enough. Instead, program metrics must calculate the value of results. MPM systems look across all marketing programs, not just direct mail or Internet campaigns. The intent is to have an automated approach for assessing the value of the entire marketing investment from direct mail to telesales to mass media. ECM (Enterprise Content Management) – Protecting the Brand Enterprise Content Management (ECM) encompasses any of the strategies and technologies employed in the information technology industry for managing the capture, storage, security, revision control, retrieval, distribution, preservation and destruction of documents and content. In today’s market, ECM is not regarded as an optional expense. It is essential to content preservation and re-usability, and to the control of access to content based on privacy and compliance legislation. Recent trends in business and government indicate that ECM is becoming a core investment for organizations of all sizes, more immediately tied to organizational goals than in the past. From a marketing perspective, ECM links to protection of the branding assets. Brand managers must access and integrate information from multiple sources and use it to promote a brand through all lifecycle stages. They depend on the effective integration of email, instant messages, phone conversations and meeting notes with text documents, spreadsheets, graphics and rich media – all without losing information context. At the same time, this information must be integrated with legacy systems and structured data (such as sales results) in a globally accessible and scalable environment. There are Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software solutions being implemented in corporations for brand asset management. These solutions allow marketing, creative services, advertising, promotions and anyone else who touches the brand content, to access and collaborate around a central database of pre-approved digital brand assets (logos, taglines, images and brand guidelines) to ensure ongoing brand integrity. Integrated Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Management: It’s Where YOU Fit in the Marketing Geek Speak While CRM, SFA, ECM and MPM are all interconnected IT systems, the graphic communications service provider’s role is to extract information from or input information into these systems in the delivery of integrated direct mail marketing campaign management. Integrated marketing campaign management is the tool set that delivers the right offer to the right individual at the right time and results in the greatest profitability to the organization. With a blend of Internet and print communications, your mission is to work with the marketing department to deliver campaigns that increase response rates, market awareness, and revenue, and maximize profits. The most effective campaigns reach customers via a blend print, web and e-mail. The first step is working with the customer to appropriately identify the right target market and offer. Data from the enterprise CRM database will be used to generate a mailing list and develop a relevant offer for the targeted customer. Next a printed direct mail or e-mail message needs to be sent. The document needs to be designed to attract attention. Clearly, all customer communications need to comply with corporate branding standards, so digital assets including logo treatment and images from the ECM system will need to be extracted. Several integrated marketing campaigns are designed to link the customer to a personalized URL and customized landing pages. The landing page has the ability to link to a survey page to gather additional customer data that can be used to update the enterprise CRM database. In addition, the data gathered can determine the quality of a lead, and these new leads can be forwarded to the sales force and integrated with the SFA system. Metrics, including click throughs to pURLs and lead conversions, can be tracked and input to the enterprise MPM system to prove the effectiveness of integrated direct mail marketing campaigns. Geek Speak In the world of automation, acronyms are here to stay. You have gotten comfortable talking to customers about FTPing their JPEG images so that you can produce them in your using your JDF workflow. To talk to the marketing executive the message is simple. You can take data from his CRM database and merge it with logos and images from his ECM system to generate customized marketing pieces that feed leads into his SFA and enhance his overall MPM. How hard could it be?