Aprimo's Midsection Marketing Muscle

Not wanting to restrict the bird's-eye and close-up views Aprimo says its Enterprise Marketing Management software gives to the large companies it targets, the vendor on Monday added Aprimo Marketing Professional Edition to its solution mix. The Web-based version of the company's marketing management suite should lend marketers and executives at SMBs a SaaS hand by giving them a way to improve marketing effectiveness. In terms of features, the midsize edition includes the same bells and whistles as its enterprise counterpart, including a project and production management feature that lets marketing executives create best-practice templates to follow for procedures, reviews and communications, according to Bill Godfrey, Aprimo's chairman and CEO. On the financial side Marketing Professional Edition comes in handy when structuring budgets and tracking marketing spending. Marketers might like the marketing calendar feature that tracks marketing activities. "Software as a service is a viable delivery model for small and midsize businesses and for large organizations with primarily departmentally focused initiatives," says Rob Desisto, a Gartner anaylst and research vice president, and author of the November 2006 Gartner publication "Predicts 2007: Software as a Service Provides a Viable Delivery Model." With the Gartner nod to individual departments in mind, Aprimo doesn't exclusively market its newest edition to small and midsized players. The edition can be an option for departments within larger companies that don't have an enterprise marketing solution in place, says Michael Emerson, Aprimo's CMO. "Members of a company's creative department, for example, might turn to software to manage job requests and to track workflow as they develop and review creative materials and documents." But one industry analyst says simply bringing in a marketing automation solution--without tying it to other company systems--won't be enough to drive marketing effectiveness. "Aprimo is wise to offer a lower-cost, quicker implementation product to a middle and smaller-market sector, though it also needs to focus on integrating that product with these companies already existing systems, including sales force automation, content management, and email marketing automation software," says Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal of Beagle Research Group. "A lot of customers tell me they see a shortage of systems that link marketing automation to those other marketing processes in order to see when you last emailed a customer; and what they said they needed," Pombriant says. "Marketing automation software focuses on tracking and managing the cost of marketing, but that alone doesn't get anything sold." Related articles: The Maturation of MRM
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