• September 14, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Affinium 7: Unica's Authoritative Solution

Unica on Wednesday released Affinium 7, continuing its emphasis on improving the product's ability to provide marketers with an end-to-end, EMM suite solution. In this version Unica has focused on a new "marketing system of record" that will provide the foundation for both managing and measuring performance, as well as systematically delivering personalized communications, according to the company. This system will enable marketing executives to view customer behavior across several channels and segments from a single location, and use that information to manage and measure marketing campaigns along with any corresponding resources. Companies can liken the marketing system of record to a giant control panel, says Andrew Hally, vice president of segment management at Unica. "It's a streamlined solution that has all the pieces in place so marketers can measure and manage the complete marketing cycle, from planning and resource allocation, through execution, through measuring the results." Hally cites the benefits of one of Unica's customers, a major credit card company, which uses Affinium to differentiate its various credit card offerings to customers. Unica also took the liberty of making Affinium 7 the first version to come with Affinium NetInsight, Unica's first Web-analytics solution, initially released in May. Customers will no longer have to worry about a separate integration, according to Hally, as NetInsight will come preintegrated. In conjunction with Affinium 7, NetInsight will enable marketers to integrate Web analytics with other customer data across the enterprise, and automate marketing based on Web and cross channel knowledge to "close the loop across customer touch points," Hally says. For example, marketers can automate the end-to-end process for lead generation from pay-per-click advertising to lead capture and distribution. Although EMM solutions sound similar to MRM solutions, Elana Anderson, vice president and research director at Forrester, says that companies should not be confused by the two, as MRM is a piece of the overall EMM framework. "MRM represents the ability to manage your marketing resources." Overall, Anderson says Unica is pitching a sound strategy. "They're taking the approach that until companies can track all of their activities, resources, campaigns, etc., in a single place, how can your marketing efforts and results improve? It's a solid approach." Kimberly Collins, research vice president at Gartner, says the ability to provide feedback from current campaigns so marketers can better allocate and manage resources for future campaigns is a critical need which EMM solutions answer. "They lack the tools to manage resources, campaigns and investments across product lines, divisions, and geographies, leading to duplicated efforts and conflicting marketing messages. EMM suites offer solutions that can increase marketing's effectiveness and return on investment." Related articles: The Maturation of MRM
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