Posted Oct 1, 2006
After hundreds of implementations, requirements, deployments, enhancements, upgrades, and campaigns, there tend to be five functionalities that businesses commonly ignore when implementing a campaign management system. Because these requirements do not seem particularly significant, marketers tend to overlook them. However, as the system grows in both acceptance and utilization, successful implementations lead to the business needs and technical development of these five functions. Companies that incorporate these features, or at least plan for them, will be ahead of competitors that do not anticipate these requirements.
Online and Offline Campaign Functionality
Typically, the campaign management system is developed for either online or offline functionality, and companies fail to consider both functionalities until later on. In many cases, the system is designed from a single perspective--within the siloed view of the implementing department's requirements. This limited view restricts the system's inherent capabilities and the marketer's ability to create comprehensive campaigns.
1. By incorporating online and offline campaigns marketing can have a stronger understanding of all consumer interactions that occur, regardless of touch point.
Developing business requirements should include:
Online and offline campaign criteria;
All marketing programs (i.e., upsell loyalty awareness), and
All marketing communications channels.
External List Functionality
For some reason marketers tend to believe that they will never use external lists as part of their system. However, it never fails that some marketer purchases a list of prospects, which then need to be used in an immediate marketing campaign. Reasons can range from a one-time mailing to test groups, yet the ramifications are always the same--the system was not designed to handle external lists, and marketing ends up using an alternative (possible third party) method for campaign processing.
Define business requirements for utilization, management, and monitoring;
Utilization represents marketing's regular use of the system;
Management ensures the "how" and "when" of the list utilization; and
Monitoring is the analysis of list effectiveness and penetration.
Inferred Campaign Responses
Now that a marketer has realized that the system should be used for both online and offline campaigns and external lists are part of some future campaign, he must consider how many marketing campaigns or projects are being generated which do not have a direct correlation to an identified consumer list. It is important to think about how many brochures, advertisements, articles, radio spots, and/or television commercials are developed on a regular basis. These are still part of the company's marketing strategy. They provide some insight into market penetration, user adoption, and marketing expenditures; therefore, it is imperative to track and analyze these campaigns.
Note: Inferred campaign responses do provide a level of understanding continually ignored for development but often requested for analysis.
In understanding inferred campaign responses, marketing will need to clearly define and document:
Zero Count campaigns (campaigns initially associated with no existing or potential consumer);
After the Fact campaigns; and
Indirect marketing communications.
Data Cleansing and Consolidating
It never fails that businesses become so focused on the implementation of a new system that they overlook one of the biggest issues faced by every company--data quality. Issues continually resurface from marketers who and IT departments that believe that their data has been cleansed, deduped, consolidated, and optimized. Marketers are assured that the data quality issue has been addressed, and that it is not part of the campaign management implementation. They are wrong. Data is data, and not taking into consideration every type of data possibility (including voided values) is a common problem that many implementations address only after system deployment.
While marketing should offer requirements of how data should be optimized and deduped, IT should provide a clear documentation outlining the data cleansing process. This should include
ETL process of data;
Rules used for data confirmation, cleansing, and optimization; and
Review of schedule and validation.
Developers never forget to capture product, date, or department expectations when defining business functionality requirements, but how many times have they forgotten what that data is going to be used for? How many times have marketers looked at the development of a system first, and then developed analytics as an afterthought? Reporting and analysis are the foundation of every company, department, and individual wishing to demonstrate value and purpose. Analytics let marketers target their consumers and show marketing's ROI. Forgetting analytical requirements and functionality shows that a marketer has lost the most basic method in proving the usefulness and success of his campaign.
Provide a detailed outline (with examples) of the measures, reports, and type of data that will be analyzed, tracked, and assessed from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. These requirements should include elements for analyzing the consumer, marketing success and penetration, and marketing ROI.
So how can marketing ensure that these functionalities are not ignored? By using detailed business requirements. Not just detailed technical requirements of what the system can do, but detailed requirements of the business needs. Avoid the common mistake of developing the system according to a tech focus. Instead, clearly define the needs, direction, and possibilities of every campaign objective (and then consider any and all possible future needs). If marketers do not implement this functionality today, there is a very good chance that they will be implementing it tomorrow--a little too late.
About the Author
Zimm Zimmerman is a senior consultant with BearingPoint. Please visit www.bearingpoint.com