At the Unica Corporation's annual user conference, the vendor maps out new ways to for its customers to cope with growing consumer power.
Posted May 8, 2007
At the sixth annual Marketing Innovation Summit in Las Vegas, the Unica Corporation announced a vision to help marketers sell to whom CEO Yuchun Lee called the most important person in the world. Centering the conference on the slogan "The Power of One," the vendor underlined the importance of each individual consumer (with the idea that every person has the capacity to be the "most important") as well as each marketer and every campaign. In the conference's keynote speech, Lee outlined what the need for personalized customer relationships will mean for marketers while unveiling a new cross-channel analysis product, Affinium Insight, to deliver on this vision.
The Marketing Innovation Summit, which this year attracted over 600 attendees from 200 companies, was kicked off by a speech from Lee in which the CEO outlined what Unica sees for the future of marketing in the upcoming decade. Lee explained that today the business world is witnessing what he called a power shift from vendors to each individual customer. "The shift in control also extends to brand--with new [online] venues, the control of brands has dissolved completely," Lee said. He cited recent events, such as the Aqua Teen Hunger Force bomb scare in Boston (the result of a viral marketing campaign by the Turner Corporation) and the 15 million YouTube visitors who listened to AOL customer Vincent Ferrari's plea to cancel his service, as examples of the new reality that one success or one blunder can change the direction of a company completely, destroying or inflating an entire brand.
To cope with this potentially frightening reality, Lee argued that one of the most crucial steps for companies to take is to integrate offline and online marketing completely to ensure that customer interaction with a company or brand is consistent. Unica intends the release of Affinium Insight to help enable marketers to mesh siloed channels. The new cross-channel analysis solution allows marketers to create reports that can be analyzed to see which customers perform in what ways across different channels. Insight's visual selection capabilities enable marketers to analyze small segments of specific data or to create dashboards to give a snapshot of relevant information from a bird's-eye view. Unica's goal in building the product was to make it usable for marketers of all levels. Carol Meyers, CMO at Unica, says that the release plays into the "general trend in companies to get information to everyone in the company so they can do their jobs better."
Affinium Insight will be one of a handful of Affinium products to be released in upcoming years, according to Unica. Although Unica is mum on what this product road map will look like, Lee did lend Unica's projections for what marketing as a practice will look like in the next ten years. According to the company, most companies will have EMM, marketing spend will be in addressable channels, and IT environments will continue to be heterogeneous. Lee says that companies today must keep abreast of change in business and consumer culture to stay afloat: "I hope marketers don't realize the need after they feel the pain."
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