Published on 28-Nov-2011
"Using our customized templates, it is easy for our people to faithfully follow consistent project processes. And, as they do, IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand creates a complete project trail for review and learning. What’s more, the system’s flexibility makes it easy for us to continually refine and improve our processes." - Marketing Operations OnDemand Administrator, Leading Healthcare Organization
A leading healthcare company
EMM - Cross-channel Marketing Optimization, EMM - Marketing Performance Optimization, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing
As one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, this organization focuses on people in the care cycle: both patients and care providers. The company develops products and services that deliver value throughout the complete cycle of care: disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, health management, monitoring and more. The organization competes in four highly competitive markets: Home Healthcare, Imaging Systems, Patient Care and Clinical Informatics, and Customer Services.
Through multiple acquisitions, the company has strengthened its leadership position in the worldwide healthcare industry. But, according to the Senior Manager of their global marketing communications operations, these acquisitions present unprecedented challenges for the company’s marketing communications organization as they find themselves struggling to manage fragmented, inconsistent approaches to marketing communications that were inherited from the organizations it had purchased.
After extensive research, the company selected IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand because of its ability to enable marketing teams across the globe align resources to objectives, streamline production processes, track budgets and expenses and improve collaboration.
• Lowered marketing costs as a percentage of revenue • Streamlined work for marketing communications teams globally • Greater financial transparency and accountability • Can systematically audit regulatory review processes and information
As one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, this organization focuses on people in the care cycle: both patients and care providers. The company develops products and services that deliver value throughout the complete cycle of care: disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, health management, monitoring and more. The organization competes in four highly competitive markets: Home Healthcare, Imaging Systems, Patient Care and Clinical Informatics, and Customer Services. The marketing communications organization within the company has over 100 employees, which comprise an “in-house agency” across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Through multiple acquisitions, the company has strengthened its leadership position in the worldwide healthcare industry. But, according to the Senior Manager of their global marketing communications operations, these acquisitions present unprecedented challenges for the company’s marketing communications organization.
According to the Senior Manager, the company’s marketers found themselves struggling to manage fragmented, inconsistent approaches to marketing communications that were inherited from the organizations it had purchased. This fragmentation made it more difficult to provide financial transparency, either to the organization as a whole, or to the internal product managers who are the marketing communications organization’s customers. These inconsistent approaches also made it difficult for marketing communications professionals to move between assignments, or to grow in their careers within the company.
Meanwhile, the marketers found themselves performing redundant work, achieving inconsistent quality, and spending more on marketing communications as a percentage of sales compared with the competition. Equally worrisome, marketers focused primarily on tactical rather than strategic communication—and missed significant business opportunities as a result. With the company aiming to continue its rapid growth, its executives recognized that these problems would only become more pressing—and that they needed to be addressed promptly.
The company’s leadership decided to centralize the marketing communications function into a shared services organization. In pursuing this initiative, the executives aimed to address three sets of high-level goals:
- Support growth by effectively leveraging communications investments; providing competitive, sustainable investment levels; and focusing on more strategic messaging
- Strengthen the company’s internal marketing talent by professionalizing the marketing communications role; creating learning opportunities and better career paths; and making it easier to share best practices across the organization
- Unify communications by simplifying and improving the consistency of messages, structures, and processes; and eliminating silos to strengthen integration across the company
The company recognized that its new centralized organization and revamped processes would only work if supported by a comprehensive marketing software infrastructure. That software would need to help define and support a common way of working that would bring together marketers across the entire enterprise. It should provide a simple structure for driving marcom processes; managing roles, responsibilities, and customer relationships; improving visibility and financial transparency; streamlining analysis; centralizing data; and supporting executive decision-making.
The company was equally determined to avoid the problems sometimes associated with large software implementations. According to the Director of Marketing Communications Operations, “We were determined to find a tool that would not inflate bureaucracy or add complexity.”
After extensive research, the company selected IBM® Marketing Operations OnDemand. “We chose IBM Unica for its power, its flexibility, and its simplicity,” says the Director of Marketing Communications Operations.
“We concluded that with IBM Unica we could rapidly roll out a consistent set of marketing processes and automated marketing tools across the entire organization. Its on-demand, web-based approach gives us a very cost-effective solution, without requiring us to assign extensive IT resources for either customization or day-to-day administration.”
Consistent processes, a single point of contact
Within months, the company successfully rolled out IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand to more than 550 users: the core marketing communications team and peripheral users— including product managers, legal and regulatory reviewers, and its worldwide vendor community. “IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand has helped us unify and integrate the way we do marketing communications,” says the Marketing Operations OnDemand Administrator.
Improved strategy, visibility and transparency
The company’s marketing communications team uses IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand to set both strategy and individual project plans. The system provides them with complete organizational visibility and financial transparency, and helps them to streamline analysis. It also enables them to show their internal customers exactly what they are doing for them, how they are doing it, and how much it is costing them.
The company has one part-time system administrator, who manages IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand worldwide. Another administrator handles all troubleshooting and help desk requirements, circulates best practices and runs the change management process. According to a one administrator, “Gurus have emerged at each of our locations: people who have really taken the system to heart, know its ‘ins’ and ‘outs,’ and can help their colleagues use it even more efficiently.”
IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand has already helped the company achieve many of the core goals it identified when it embarked on its global centralization initiative:
- Systematic regulatory and legal review. The system provides an audit trail for regulatory and legal review, to ensure that all groups comply with global policies.
- Greater consistency. With standardized project templates, the organization has established consistent, streamlined processes at locations worldwide.
- Improved accountability and transparency. Internal marketing customers now have full visibility into their project costs, schedules and business value.
- Lower costs. The company has reduced costs by eliminating redundant work and consolidating data and processes.
- Continuous improvement. By centralizing all project information and making it easier to analyze, IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand is helping managers to uncover problem areas and drive continuous improvements in strategy, tactics and processes.
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand
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