Extending IBM Campaign to deliver value – Innovation in Marketing

Tuesday 27th, September 2016

innovation photo

The background:

One of our customers is a leader in their category of Online matrimony services. We had partnered with them earlier for their Digital Transformation journey as a result of which we came up with several innovations – one of which was to successfully build an off-line enterprise from an otherwise purely online marketplace (ironically, this was opposite to what was happening otherwise, where traditional brick-and-mortar was being replaced with purely online services, but we will save that story for later).

Our customer was looking for a true, multi-channel platform by way of which they could reach out to their customers effortlessly with minimal intervention from their IT department. At Xerago, one of our responsibilities involves recommending technologies and platforms that would be of benefit to the customer. While we are agnostic to the tech platforms we end up implementing, the customers usually have their choices based on their comfort, budgets and so on. In this particular case, we felt a technology platform like IBM Unica could really be of value to the customer given the campaign management platform was truly world-class given what we have seen with some of our other customers.

With Unica campaign being implemented, naturally, the customer wanted every single way by which they could leverage the power of the campaign platform. BAU was now about sending more and more personalized offers and campaigns to their customers and setting up response metrics and reports that would help them understand RoI for their marketing spends.

The Problem:

The sales team for the customer was split into field sales and call centre agents – both of whom had their targets cut out. It so happened that many a time, the customer that was being called was also being targeted by the field sales agents. Naturally, this led to the question of attribution or who was responsible for the customer conversion (in case of a conversion) or even fundamentally, how could the teams ensure they did not end up chasing the same customer in the first place. Manual intervention was failing and often led to conflicts.

The Solution:

To overcome this issue of lead distribution and to bring a judicious solution which was fool-proof, Xerago came up with an automated manager – “Lead Distribution Engine (LDE)”. The LDE was a series of IBM Campaign flowcharts (often triggered by an automated routine, on a scheduled basis) who would monitor all leads (consolidated in the leads database) and perform automatic distribution based on business rules. The business rules themselves had to come from the stakeholders who came up with a series of rules (“If-then-Else” kind of steps) which Xerago then implemented using a combination of IBM Campaign, Unica derived fields, macros, Cognos BI (which would be responsible for the enterprise wide reports post distribution) and MySQL DB. To give you an example, 2 of the simplest rules were distribution based on numbers and Domain-based distribution.

  • Numbers Distribution: Under this rule, the agents would be allocated a fixed number of leads (say, 10) per agent.
  • Domain based distribution: Assuming there are 100 leads that come in for the day, the LDE would automatically use language, segment, or region based rules to automatically assign the leads to the respective agents. This method proved quite efficient as there were no common leads being chased by 2 agents.

This proved for a nice innovation since Unica Campaign was typically used for sending 1-to-1 communication for customers and never really looked at for internal usage. Needless to say, this solved some conflicts between the teams!

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