Integrated Marketing Campaign Management…Markets Want It; Vendors are Delivering It; Graphic Communications Service Providers are “Getting It” By Barb Pellow April 11, 2007 -- In a difficult economy, the Chief Marketing Officer faces internal as well as external challenges. The marketing budget in corporate America typically falls victim to intense scrutiny. This is a results-driven age, and the CMO feels intense pressure from Chief Executive Officers, boards, shareholders, and customers to deliver measurable results. To ensure continued access to the budgets necessary to adequately promote their brands, marketing executives need to focus on ensuring that they are delivering these quantifiable bottom-line results. In March 2007, the CMO Council released its 2007 Outlook Survey. The CMO Council is a peer networking and thought leadership organization of more than 3000 top marketing executives worldwide. The report states, “Challenged as never before to instill new disciplines, skills, and focus in their organizations, top marketing executives responded aggressively in 2006 by shaking up internal departments, jettisoning underperforming agencies, and bringing new metrics and measurability to programs and initiatives. This climate of change continues in 2007 as executives make further changes to upgrade organizational effectiveness, strengthen customer engagements, and achieve even greater measurability. Most marketers say that they will have larger budgets in 2007 to accomplish these goals.” When asked about their top priority, CMOs responded, “The number one challenge will be to quantify and measure the value of marketing programs and investments, followed by improving efficiency and effectiveness, growing customer knowledge and interactions, and improving the ROI of expenditures.” The CMO in today’s market is voting with his dollars. When asked about the top 10 areas of spending relative to marketing automation, the responses were as follows: 1. Marketing performance measurement dashboard 2. E-mail campaign management 3. Lead generation qualification or reactivation 4. Customer relationship management 5. Customer intelligence and analytics 6. Sales and marketing integration tools 7. Viral word of mouth 8. Marketing resource/process management 9. Customer networking and affinity building 10. Loyalty and rewards At Graph Expo, there was some discussion about the interesting solutions from companies like XMPie, InterlinkONE, MindfireInc., and Bluestream. Transactional printing software vendors like Document Sciences, GMC, and Exstream began expanding their offerings to help customers participate in cross-selling and multi-channel delivery of marketing messages that are embedded into statements. Based on the 2007 priorities of CMOs, it has become eminently clear to me that the technology surrounding multi-channel marketing today is more than just an interesting concept. Participation in the multi-channel integrated marketing campaign management world will become essential to survival for graphic communicators. Vendors Responding at ON DEMAND In the graphics communications world, the historical perspective has been that delivering a more relevant message carries significant value. This market has seen a number of solutions, ranging from simple mail merge to complex transaction document solutions. In its 2005 Variable Data Design and Production Report, InfoTrends identified the following options: * Mail merge: Incorporating simple name and address information to produce unique pieces for each recipient. * Simple One-to-One: Incorporating some targeted images and text along with personalized information to produce a unique composition that is customized to a unique recipient. * Complex One-to-One: Incorporating completely unique text images, graphics, templates, content, and designs based on specific detailed profile information about each recipient. * Transaction: Incorporating personalized and customized content with intricate financial and account data that is automatically composed to produce “data-driven” documents. This data is frequently mainframe-based and the document creation process may encompass complex logic. Today, relevant marketing is being redefined by the CMO. It is more than a personalized direct mailer or an e-mail blast. It is the measurable mechanism where a theoretical universe of prospects is converted into a tangible set of prospects that are ready, willing, and able to buy products and services. The new game in town is integrated automated marketing campaign management. Integrated campaign management software focuses on the design and execution of marketing campaigns. As you walk the ON DEMAND show floor and visit digital printing equipment suppliers as well as software vendors, you will see an emphasis on delivering solutions to meet the needs of the CMO. Today’s solutions offer several fundamental capabilities. To be most effective, marketers know that they need to reach customers via print, Web, and e-mail. By tying them all together in an integrated campaign, they have the ability to collect more customer data for use in the next stage, track responses with personalized URLs, and learn which media is most likely to get a response from each contact for more successful and cost-effective follow-ups. The integrated marketing campaign starts with mail. It could be a printed direct mail piece, or it could be an e-mail message. The document needs to be designed to attract attention. If it is strictly being sent electronically, designers need to ensure that it can be opened by the individual’s browser. Printed pieces will require unique sizes and appealing color, but the most critical aspect of any direct mail campaign is the actual offer to drive the recipient to the next step. This is typically a link to a personalized URL. The campaign's Mail File (list of direct mail recipients) is used to generate personalized URLs for each recipient. These PURLs are then woven within the direct mail piece, along with other variable data. Response Dashboard When the recipients type their PURLs into a browser, they arrive on personalized Web pages (landing pages or VIP pages) that are populated with images and offers also based on customer data. These are frequently termed microsites. PURL Web pages can be as simple or advanced as the needs of a marketing program dictate. From there, the measurement and reporting of results begins. Once the individual has linked into the personalized URL, creative marketers want to gather additional data about the prospect. In fact, every communication that the marketer has with the individual is designed to make his database record more and more comprehensive so that it ultimately becomes actionable intelligence for the execution of future marketing programs. The offer strategy needs to be compelling to the point that the recipient is willing to complete a brief survey or provide data relative to interests and needs. The objective is to ensure a high level of interaction with the prospect. Systems available in the market today include built-in tracking services that enable continuous monitoring of the campaign’s progress as customers enter their personalized pages and provide additional relevant information. Campaign response rates, visitor response patterns, and detailed lead information can be available 24x7 as the campaign unfolds. A dashboard displays the information that is found in the reports. It provides charts and graphs and real-time information about campaign effectiveness. Because systems are template-driven, adjustments to messaging and offers can be made in a matter of hours rather than days. This enables marketers to make changes in the campaign in near-real-time based on the results they are seeing. Tool sets also have the ability to generate powerful reports so the marketing executive can share the impact of critical marketing programs with the entire management team. This kind of response tracking service can turn a print provider into a marketing partner who can accurately pinpoint the effectiveness of a campaign and understand how to best target campaign resources and improve returns on the marketing investment. Based on the responses to survey questions, systems are designed to proactively forward leads to sales staff. Systems can route leads to the appropriate representatives via multiple communications platforms, including CRM sites (such as, e-mails, cell phones, and pagers. Where to Look at ON DEMAND Digital equipment providers (Xerox, Kodak, HP, Canon, and Xeikon) will all have solutions partners in their booths demonstrating integrated campaign management solutions that blend digital print with multi-channel delivery. There are also a number of software companies that will be demonstrating solutions in their booths. Not all of the suppliers in this market segment are household names to the graphic communications service provider, but now is the time to understand the market, the application software solutions, and the technologies. Some of the marketing campaign management suppliers that WhatTheyThink will be covering include BlueTree Direct, Document Sciences, EasyPurl, Exstream, GMC, InterlinkONE, MindfireInc., Pageflex, Responsive Solutions, Saepio, and XMPie. The New Integrated Marketing Game Has Started…It’s Time to Play! The new corporate CMO mantra is to “do more with less and understand the effectiveness of everything you do.” Several graphic communications service providers are quietly getting into the game. XMPie started a users group that currently has more than 160 member companies; Alphagraphics just signed a franchise wide agreement with MindfireInc. According to Darnell Ghidotti Alphagraphics Vice President of Business Solutions. “We want to have multiple ways to help our customers reach their customers as well as provide the ability to analyze results.” And graphic communications service providers large and small are stepping up to the plate. LaVigne Inc., Reynolds DeWalt, SugarBush Media Solutions, DME, and many more are focused on enabling marketing to nurture leads as well as existing customers. These organizations are providing integrated campaign management solutions to offer actionable intelligence to marketers. The ON DEMAND Exposition is a great venue for getting caught up on the latest solutions that can augment your business. Stay tuned for more as I speak to the vendors on the show floor next week.