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A marketing company slashes the time and effort it spends creating reports with the help of performance management software.
For the rest of the August 2007 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Bulldog Solutions is good at helping its clients generate sales leads and at helping turn those leads into revenue. The four-year-old Austin, Texas, company builds leads-generating marketing campaigns for B2B companies. The company wasn't the best at swiftly compiling and analyzing campaign results in easy-to-understand charts and graphs. But that's all changed now with the installation of new performance management software. Bulldog creates marketing campaigns across various platforms including Webinars, podcasts, white papers, physical events, email blasts, and Web-site ads. It closely tracks and analyzes results to give feedback on what's working, what's not, and how best to tweak campaigns. With results coming in from that many channels, analyzing and diagnosing campaign returns could get hairy. "We manage such a long process--all the way from strategy to lead delivery into our clients' sales systems--that we used lots of different technologies and programs," says Todd Davison, Bulldog's president. "We had over 40 different reports to pull and reconcile for every campaign." To determine exactly how effective campaigns were in particular areas--say, an email blast versus a Web-site banner ad--Bulldog's employees often spread out the reports all across the conference room. Then, they manually cobbled them together to get a bird's-eye view of the numbers. From these, they then created custom reports for customers. After deploying performance management software in September 2006, Bulldog cut 90 percent off efforts spent reconciling campaign analytics, Davison says. "We experienced a dramatic drop-off on the timeline and cost-overhead of delivering reports to clients," he says. The software, from Philadelphia-based HardMetrics, compiles information regardless of platform. The reports it produces with that information can be broken out, drilled down into, and depicted graphically in myriad ways, Davison says. This helps customers who want simple, clear information easily explained. Bulldog's disparate systems track marketing information by channel. Now those numbers go into the performance management engine to be crunched. Numbers from different channels no longer have to be manually married. "So Bulldog tracks how many emails went out with an email blast, down to how many of those emails were opened; and bounce rate; and demographics of bounce. Or clickthrough rate on banner ads. Or how many people came to a seminar," says Ron Winner, HardMetrics' president. "So something tracks those results. Now HardMetrics amalgamates them," he adds.
"When you put performance expectations against all those processes and present them in a common way, you can see what went well and what didn't," Winner says. "And then you can drill down to see how extensively they didn't go well and fix them to maximize return." Bulldognostics is the name Bulldog gives its HardMetrics system coupled with its own in-house software and marketing efforts. To test how effective Bulldognostics could be for its customers, Bulldog became its own guinea pig. Because the company uses the same methods to benchmark and improve the sales and marketing efforts that it uses for customers, the software seemed a perfect fit. "We're continually tweaking the mousetrap internally," Davison says. "So we were our initial HardMetrics client." The software immediately gave Bulldog a deeper understanding of its marketing and sales processes, says Amy Bills, Bulldog's senior manager of field marketing. She predicts the number of sales leads will rise by 66 percent in the third quarter over the previous quarter. "And that's with only a 10 percent increase in media spend," she says. "That's because of the visibility Bulldognostics gives us now into the efficacy of media buying and into the different resonance of different messages." The Payoff HardMetrics enabled Bulldog Solutions to:
  • cut by 90 percent time and cost of creating reports on its marketing-campaign efforts;
  • increase in-house sales leads by 66 percent;
  • analyze its customers' marketing-campaign results in many more ways by drilling deeper into information; and
  • produce reports with more graphics and readily understandable information for its clients.
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