Aprimo Applauds its Customers and Predicts a Change

At the Aprimo Marketing Summit, held October 18 and 19 in Chicago, enterprise marketing management vendor Aprimo honored three customers for significant accomplishments and improvement in their marketing organizations. Cummins, best known for its industrial diesel engines, was recognized for reduced marketing project times, Nedbank of South Africa received the award for its coordinated program of dozens of customer communication campaigns, and Option One Mortgage Corporation won on the strength of its organizational coordination. Now in its seventh year of operation and offering more than two dozen marketing automation modules, Aprimo says that very little has changed in its vision. "The mission for the company has been the same from day one--to create the de facto standard platform for enterprise marketing management," says Bill Godfrey, Aprimo president and CEO. The company grew through acquisition earlier this year, when it picked up marketing production components in the purchase of software vendor Then. Although Godfrey did not mention specific upcoming acquisitions, he repeatedly predicted a wave of marketing vendor consolidation and foreshadowed more mergers, saying that privately held Aprimo is "uniquely positioned to be at the forefront, and be a consolidator." Noting that Aprimo's customer base grew 33 percent last year, Godfrey says that one of the major challenges in marketing management adoption revolves around marketing "artists," one of four personality types he says dominate marketing. "The 'scientist' has no problem being accountable, [nor does] the salesperson asked to fix marketing [nor] the GM running marketing as a training ground for the CEO position. But the artist is all about the brand and being creative." The key to driving acceptance from all marketing professionals, not just those motivated by numbers and compliance, is to improve their workflow. AOL adopted Aprimo when it became clear that brute force was not solving its marketing challenges, which had evolved from a simple acquisition game in the 1990s to premium services, broadband, and retention in the 21st century. "We couldn't work any faster," says Michael Murray, vice president of marketing infrastructure development. "Before, we could [only] react, but now we have the ability to be out in front." Aprimo also used the occasion to announce a B2C marketing alliance with SAS, which has been aggressively promoting its marketing automation solutions in recent years. SAS brings predictive analytics and database campaign management functionality to the table, while Aprimo's tools manage the planning and production aspects of the marketing process. The formal partnership announcement follows months of joint selling efforts by SAS and Aprimo. Related articles: The Week in Review: July 23, 2004
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