Unica Unveils Next Generation of Affinium Suite
One Unica executive (a former industry analyst) is calling the new Interactive Marketing product -- powered by Affinium 7.5 -- "the most significant release the company has made since its inception."
Posted Oct 1, 2008
Page 1

Massachusetts-based Unica has announced today the availability of its latest solution, aimed at preparing marketers for the increasingly popular multichannel battleground. Unica Interactive Marketing is a channel-neutral solution that can be integrated with any inbound touch point, whether it's the Web site, contact center, or a kiosk, explains Elana Anderson, former Forrester Research analyst and now vice president of product strategy and design at Unica. By creating and managing a "memory" of ongoing interactions, marketers will be able to capitalize on the ever-important dialogue with the customer.  

Anderson highlights three new enhancements associated with this launch:

  • scalability: for high-volume Web sites and contact centers;
  • advanced analytics and self-learning algorithms: supports known customers as well as anonymous visitors (whereas competitors, Anderson says, often only tackle one or the other); and
  • dynamic segmentation: continually captures information provided by customer actions, building a memory of the interaction while continually rethinking and refining its response messages accordingly.

With each new release, Anderson says, Unica's objective is to deliver solutions that solve clear business problems, namely bringing inbound and outbound marketing onto a single platform. From a technology perspective, she adds, the new release hits the four key criteria of a customer-centric marketing operation:

  • customer awareness from historical and current perspectives;
  • centralized decision-making through interactions and dialogues;  
  • cross-channel execution that supports customer interactions through any channel (including those that switch channels during the decision-making process); and
  • marketing organization tools and technology to enable collaboration and foster transparency.

Despite the rapid adoption of Internet marketing, Anderson says she continues to see the channel wrongly lumped into the budget category of new media. "The Internet is not new media anymore," she says. "We need to integrate what we're doing online with the rest of our marketing tactics." The ball is rolling in that direction, she says, as leading-edge online marketing groups are finally being welcomed into the core of a successful integrated marketing channel.

This release continues to add "more industrial strength around decision-making solutions in marketing," notes Suresh Vittal, principal analyst at Forrester Research. However, he says, "at the end of the day, with any of these [marketing automation] solutions, it becomes 'Show me the proof.' "

As much as providers of marketing software boast about being the industry's latest antidote, it all depends on how the implementations get the job done. In particular, that means creating a user interface that encourages everyday adoption by the everyday user. Businesses, too, need to hold up their end of the bargain with each deployment, and they need to use analytics to drive it. "A lot depends on the marketing strategy of organizations," Vittal says, including who controls the technology, the management, and the behavior of the employees. Therefore, he says, in addition to its pursuit of a more tightly integrated solution, Unica cannot neglect its obligation to educating the market. "Is [Unica] a key enabler? No question," Vittal says. "But there's still plenty of process and change management that needs to happen on the client side of the house. We cannot forget that."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

Page 1
To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com
Every month, CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. To subscribe, please visit http://www.destinationCRM.com/subscribe/.
Learn more about the companies mentioned in this article in the destinationCRM Buyer's Guide:
Related Articles
Providing technical and consulting services to partners, the marketing software provider aims to extend its own worldwide presence.
The enterprise-marketing apps provider revealed plans to ship its Web-analytics application to track customer behavior everywhere.
Unica takes the acquisition route, not a usual move for the company, to enhance its marketing automation functionality.
Enhanced optimization in Affinium 7.3 -- the latest release of the vendor's flagship suite -- aims to make the campaign fit the customer, not the other way around.
Unica expects the merger of its Affinium Plan with MarketingCentral will contribute to the growth of its on-demand MRM solutions; meanwhile, the vendor lowers revenue projections, to Wall Street's dismay.
Unica's Marketing Innovation Summit '08: As customers take the stage, marketers have to stop singing and start listening.
Unica's Marketing Innovation Summit '08: The only kind of customer relationship that matters is one built on trust.
Magic Quadrant for MCM '08: As consumers move online, so should marketers -- and standalone best-of-breed marketing vendors continue to lead the way in the multichannel campaign management.
The company's latest on-demand solution looks to ease the challenges online marketers face today.
The $17.8 million cash purchase of email deliverability specialist Pivotal Veracity is intended to help the marketing automation pioneer compete with best-of-breed email service providers.
Popular Articles

Home | Get CRM Magazine | CRM eWeekly | CRM Topic Centers | CRM Industry Solutions | CRM News | Viewpoints | Web Events | Events Calendar
DestinationCRM.com RSS Feeds RSS Feeds | About destinationCRM | Advertise | Getting Covered | Report Problems | Contact Us