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Molding Marketing Mindsets
A database management provider finds that sometimes the most valuable ROI can be all in your head.
For the rest of the March 2007 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Sybase, as a provider of enterprise software for database management and data mobilization, understands the importance of metrics. For 20 years the company has delivered solutions that enable numbers to flow within the organization and to employees on the road. However, it was not until a year ago that Sybase was able to breathe this numbers focus into its own marketing methodology. When it did, the company inhaled a healthy surge of customer satisfaction. Sybase found that its old legacy systems were not able to properly measure the company's marketing ROI, nor could they roll out in-depth one-to-one marketing programs. The company was then experiencing rapid growth after numerous acquisitions, making marketing effectiveness more difficult to both leverage and measure. Instead of trying to adapt its current marketing automation systems to manage the growing pains, Sybase knew it needed a complete overhaul of not only its marketing technology, but also its marketing mindset. "No longer can you get by on how many leads you generate. You really have to prove your worth by measuring marketing activity and proving revenue," says Jackie Kiley, director of corporate marketing. Kiley says that to change the way Sybase's marketers thought, an implementation was in order. Sybase chose Eloqua for the scalability and visibility the Eloqua Conversion Suite offered. After one of Eloqua's North American marketing groups successfully implemented the suite, Sybase decided to go forth with a full-scale global implementation. Sybase had previously prepared design work so that the company was able to complete a full-scale, enterprisewide integration across its North American division in a mere three months in 2005, after which Sybase began its global implementation, which took six months (primarily due to language restraints). In the beginning the company ran up against some internal struggles in the marketing department. "You're saying to people, 'You're going to do something else, it's something new--not in place of, but in addition to what you've already been doing,'" Kiley says. It was an issue of understanding that marketers now needed to prove their worth. Eloqua's solution, says Thor Johnson, senior vice president of marketing, "is all about how to attribute what's attributable to go from not knowing to knowing."
After accepting the solution as a necessary part of the marketing mix, the marketers began to embrace the solution and see the payoff of their work. The ability for 65 users in 22 countries to do business in one system to complete marketing initiatives, and to have total visibility into the results, not only brought the departments together, but also joined marketing and sales to work more closely. Kiley says that the role of the marketers now is not just to get potential customers to attend events and to hand the names over to sales but "to get people who attend those Web seminars to buy your product." By joining marketing and sales more tightly, the company has been able to cut the cost to convert leads by 85 percent. Sybase has increased its marketing database by 25 percent, which has in part led to a rise in attendance at marketing events of 50 percent. With all the money saved and prospects earned, Kiley holds that the greatest form of ROI has been the change in philosophy. Metrics-focused marketing has gone from being a chore to being an integral part of the company culture. "The goal and objective here is to prove what influences the revenue. It's just a necessary part of the mix." The Payoff The implementation of Eloqua's Conversion Suite has enabled Sybase to:
  • cut the cost to convert leads by 85 percent;
  • increase its marketing database by 25 percent; and
  • boost attendance at marketing events by 50 percent.
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