Cummins Revs Up Its Marketing

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For more than three quarters of a century Cummins' mission has been serving customers by building high-quality, technically advanced diesel engines, fuel systems, and other diesel products.
That tenet has seen the company through the Great Depression, World War II, strict changes in environment emissions laws, and expansion efforts in the Pacific Rim in the 1980s. It has also fueled the company's growth to becoming a $5.9 billion global operation. In 2003 Cummins found itself up against a new challenge: The company had an undisciplined process for direct communications with customers, virtually no direct marketing via email, and it was difficult for customers to provide feedback. With 24,00 workers and 500 (company-owned and independent) distributors in 131 countries, Cummins needed to develop a consistent review and approval process for marketing campaigns, link marketing materials to strategic objectives, develop global marketing materials, better track resource allocation, and manage digital assets. So in September 2003 Cummins began implementing Aprimo's marketing automation solution. By January 2004 more than 200 users were on the system. With Aprimo's campaign management and marketing resource management functions, the company was able to improve the process of developing marketing materials, define an optimal process, and create a control plan. To date Cummins officials say they have seen a variety of benefits, including a reduction in collateral-material cycle time, a reduction in revisions and waste, decreased costs of dealing with agencies, the ability to share best practices across business units, and better information to make planning and budgeting decisions. The company has also created thorough process documentation, and has identified and implemented best practice processes for direct mail newsletters, emails, and surveys. Cummins accomplished all this while reducing the time spent training users. Cummins says it plans to continue to improve the process for developing marketing materials and is looking to further tighten the integration of Aprimo with other sources of customer data. Other plans include sharing best practices with other Cummins marketing organizations; performing testing and delivery of direct marketing content; establishing tools to measure results; and developing reports to allow easier interpretation of results.
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