Integration of Web analytics and CRM targets improvement of B2B marketing and sales.
Posted Sep 11, 2007
Omniture, a provider of Web analytics software, announced its partnership with on-demand CRM software provider Salesforce.com yesterday to launch a new application aimed at monitoring marketing campaigns. This service, available on the AppExchange, will follow campaigns at every step to gain insight into customer behavior and campaign effectiveness, according to Gail Ennis, senior vice president of world wide marketing for Omniture. Omniture's Closed-Loop Marketing for Salesforce.com focuses particularly on improving the relationship between marketing and sales in B2B companies in a coordinated effort to generate higher conversions.
By combining the sales data in Salesforce.com with the capability of Omniture's SiteCatalyst, marketers will have much richer information about the effectiveness of their campaigns, according to Ennis. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) reports that $80 billion is being spent on marketing efforts, Ennis says, but B2B marketers generally have little knowledge of whether or not these efforts are generating revenue or having an impact on the sales pipeline. Therefore, this partnership enables companies to both "manage their marketing campaigns and do the web analytics."
Campaigns are set up in Salesforce.com's campaign module and receive specific codes all through Omniture's SiteCatalyst setup. When capturing a response, the information is automatically directed to a lead form, which then moves into a Salesforce.com lead, contact, or opportunity table. From there, a salesperson is able to monitor the leads as well as the source of the leads.
"What I see this doing is really bringing a new user to the Salesforce.com interface," says John Lovett, senior analyst of Web site technologies and operations at JupiterResearch. Previously, Lovett explains, Salesforce.com was a tool primarily used by sales account representatives while marketers were left out of the picture. But now, marketing can monitor campaigns through the pipeline all the way to revenue.
Although the concept of tracking consumer behavior (e.g. what campaigns they've looked at, how often they look, or whether or not they've purchased) is not new, the ability to track it at a granular level for multiple campaigns is. Marketers aren't just generating one campaign anymore. Rather, they are launching multiple campaigns simultaneously (e.g. through direct mail, email, Web site, etc.) applying what Ennis referred to as "multicampaign attribution."
Before, campaigns were launched out and customer activity tracked, but the technology really wasn't available to measure how many prospects were converted as a result of a particular campaign. "A salesperson would walk across the room and say 'hey, Marketer, we've closed that deal,' and that was how the information was exchanged," Lovett describes. What often happens, then, is that "the last touch typically gets all the credit...without taking into consideration all the [other] different branding and campaigns that impacted or made an impression on a customer." With the ability to do that all within the on-demand interface, "it allows them to have a unified way to manage this information and really track with metrics the results of campaigns," Lovett says.
Now, marketers are able to follow the customer beyond the point of creating a lead, where they typically stopped and simply passed it over to sales. With this application, marketers can follow the campaign an hour, a week, or months after its been launched, or re-launched, to evaluate its progress and make improvements (e.g. better keywords)--"it's kind of real time optimization of your marketing spend," Ennis says. Therefore, by being able to gain insight into multiple views of their campaigns, marketers can track all the touch points made with the customer. Moreover, this close-monitoring capability allows marketers to influence the effectiveness the sales processes. Sales, then, can see which source(s) the lead was brought it by and use that information during the actual sale.
According to Lovett, although marketing could measure the effectiveness of its campaign in the past, "the loop was never closed." However, even with this tight integration and automatic reporting, Lovett believes that ultimate challenge still depends on sales to keep up with the reporting. "If [sales] doesn't input the info along the way, that's one of the potential pitfalls of this -- the data can only be as good as the information that's contained within Salesforce.com," he says.
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