Attune Marketing, a marketing automation solution from Indianapolis-based software vendor Attune, streamlines and improves marketing initiatives by imposing order on what is all too often chaos. Using the comprehensive set of integrated tools that comprise the Attune system, it is no longer necessary to operate via Post-It notes, spreadsheets and other temporary project tools. Marketing professionals can track and manage all aspects of their initiatives from a centralized location. With everyone singing off the same sheet of music, efficiencies and effectiveness increase.
Attune Marketing is a suite of full-function modules that carry out the primary phases of marketing campaigns. Underlying these modules is a collaborative data mart consisting of all vital marketing information. By uniting these tools into a single application, this system simplifies the end-to-end management of activity resources.
The planning module captures and automates the entire first phase, which is the planning process. This enables organizations to reduce costs by practicing "asynchronous" marketing and planning as opposed to the costly and time consuming "war room" approach. The system ties the supply chain into this stage via an organization's extranet. It also reduces time spent on administrative tasks and expedites the proposal and review processes.
The staging and delivery module provides the tools needed to effectively bring the marketing plan to fruition. It makes planning tools such as calendars, activities, invoices and facilities available via the Internet to everyone working on the campaign. Everyone involved knows the plan and communicates regularly throughout every stage. This module also makes it possible to carry out effective "one-to-one" marketing initiatives with customers by delivering personalized, audience-specific communications. And, once customer relationships are established, Attune Marketing offers a broad array of tools to manage and improve them.
The customer data gleaned from these relationships is presented in a comprehensive, collaborative way and, like all other marketing information, is available to the entire organization. In the final stage of the marketing campaign, organizations need to analyze the success or failure of their efforts. Attune Marketing provides the tools to gauge the effectiveness of singular or multiple marketing activities. The system also tracks costs, resulting revenues and other business metrics such as ROI.
"Throughout my career, one thing I have noticed is that there are lots of strategies and tactics involved in marketing campaigns, but the structure is missing."
In The Trenches
One business successfully using Attune Marketing is EnterCitement, an Indianapolis-based leisure destination development and management company. EnterCitement has been a test site for the Attune system for the last six months and, according to Roger Kurz, the company's senior vice president of sales and marketing, its impact has been considerable. "We literally have thousands of marketing tactics," he says. "With Attune you have a definite response to your efforts and a definite analytical tool to say `this is what we will use next year, and this is what we will not use.'"
For a company like EnterCitement, which targets millions of potential customers with its marketing campaigns, creating efficiencies and having access to analysis in marketing is of paramount importance. The company, founded six years ago, is currently developing Adventure America, a 510-acre theme park that will feature, among other attractions, a 20-acre water park, two hotels and an 18-hole golf course. EnterCitement projects that once completed in the spring of 2001, the park will attract as many as two million people its first year alone.
To effectively market a theme park of this size to both potential sponsors and customers, Kurz and his team have developed a complex, multi-faceted campaign that entails "literally thousands of tactics." Kurz, an experienced marketer who has developed marketing plans for both Sea World and Disney, found in the Attune system a perfect tool to manage these tactics. "I didn't really think we needed a marketing automation system," says Kurz. "Throughout my career, one thing I have noticed is that there are lots of strategies and tactics involved in marketing campaigns, but the structure is missing. I didn't really realize how much structure is missing until I saw Attune."
The planning, staging and delivery, and analysis modules of Attune Marketing structure EnterCitement's marketing initiatives from beginning to end. The greatest benefit from this structure, says Kurz, is continuity and a centralized view of all efforts. "With this system, everybody will use the same framework," he says. "Everybody will have the same implementation tools to work with.
"Before," he continues, "the promotions manager would sit down with his people and say `this is the goal for the year, and then develop tactics. It was more of a separate, departmental thing. With the Attune approach, it is more integrated. The director of promotions, director of sales and the director of advertising can sit down and see what everybody is doing."
Kurz says that another key feature of this system is its ability to provide direct response via the Web. Traditionally, marketers might send out thousands of direct mail pieces but only get a few responses, or never know the effectiveness of their efforts. With the Attune system EnterCitement now gets near-immediate feedback. "Direct response is a key ingredient of the system," says Kurz.
Finally, the analysis module enables the company to gauge the effectiveness of its marketing efforts and apply a dollars and cents value to different tactics and initiatives, which is beneficial not only to the marketing department, but to the entire enterprise. Says Kurz, "The CFO likes to say that I'm held accountable now, and I agree."