• February 23, 2005
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Aprimo Marketing 7.0 Arrives

Aprimo has unveiled the latest version of Aprimo Marketing, a Web-based suite that Rob McLaughlin, executive vice president of Aprimo, says is a direct response to "the growing need for greater marketing productivity, accountability, and control as organizations seek greater ROI from their marketing spend." Designed to automate, streamline, and enhance how marketing organizations function, Aprimo Marketing 7.0 couples a graphical user-environment with an HTML client interface to provide a multi-windowing system in one browser. Via its user interface and the introduction of Aprimo Tools, a modular set that uses the component architecture with an integrated, XML-based toolkit, the suite offers customers greater ease-of-use functionality and full control of the user interface, which according to Elana Anderson, senior analyst at Forrester Research, are its most significant augmentations. "It has a number of enhancements, particularly the user-interface (UI) enhancements that are really focused on making the solution more flexible and easy to use, which is where Aprimo has had challenges in the past against competitors like [DoubleClick's] SmartPath," she says. "They've made it possible for administrative-level IT folks to completely change and alter the look and feel of the application [with] a lot of overall focus on both usability from the user side, but also configurability from the application side to make it a more flexible application." With the product upgrade, says Chris Selland, industry analyst with Covington Associates, Aprimo enhanced its functionality and expanded its digital asset management capabilities considerably with its 2004 acquisition of UK-based digital asset management company, Then. Not surprisingly, the enterprise marketing management vendor's latest release includes complete marketing digital asset integration, including the incorporation of Then's intelligent asset (i-Asset) management products. The solution also includes improvements to its market planning functionality, while providing workflow management to marketing operations with capabilities including enhanced business rules to incorporate ad-hoc review assignments and reassignments to its current role-based reviews. Additionally, the company is trumpeting its improved financial management capabilities including its Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, which Selland says is a buyer hot button. "What a lot of companies are finding is that people see CRM as something they might want to do, but not something they have to do," he says. "Sarbanes-Oxley is something they absolutely have to do, so basically [vendors] are saying if we can incorporate that into our CRM pitch that makes us more of a must have as opposed to a nice-to-have." The bulk of the functionality enhancements, however, are more focused on the MRM side of things, Anderson says. And even while Anderson says that it is her sense that Aprimo is seeing Unica in more MRM deals than it did before, today, most of the Affinium Plan deals that Unica wins tend to be tied to campaign management. "Where Aprimo is probably seeing the most competition for more core MRM functionality is from the SAPs and Siebels," she says. "In the MRM space Aprimo has classically gone head-to-head with SmartPath in almost every deal, and I think what the new release does is address some of the weak points, primarily functionality, where SmartPath has been able to beat them in the past. The new release, coupled with the uncertainty of DoubleClick's/SmartPath's future, will certainly benefit Aprimo in the short term." Related articles: Marketing Automation Hits the Mark
Aprimo Applauds its Customers and Predicts a Change Market Watch: Marketing Tools Emerge as Comprehensive Solutions
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