Published on 30-Nov-2011
"We have had a great experience using this tool. I believe the ROI is easily 2-4x what we paid for it, and we achieved this within the first several months of using the solution." - US Director, Institutional Marketing Communications, Leading Global Investment Management Company
A leading independent global investment management company
EMM - Cross-channel Marketing Optimization, EMM - Marketing Performance Optimization, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing
With over 5,000 employees in 55 offices worldwide, this leading independent global investment management company is dedicated to helping people worldwide achieve financial security. The firm brings together the power of distinctive worldwide investment management capabilities to offer a comprehensive array of enduring investment solutions for retail, institutional and high net worth clients around the world. The company has a significant presence in institutional and retail markets across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
When the new US Director of the Institutional Marketing Communications department took over, she faced weak, inconsistent internal marketing processes. She says, “We simply lacked a good way to track, prioritize or manage the assignments we were asked to perform. We had some information stored in spreadsheets, but no standard way to accept or manage work. We rarely utilized best practices: in fact, our processes varied from person to person. Designers felt overwhelmed with work. Clients’ requests were falling through the cracks—or were not completed in a way that met their needs.”
After investigating various options, including third-party solutions and internal customized systems, the Director and her colleagues selected IBM Unica. “We were extremely dissatisfied with what we saw— until we discovered IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand,” says the Director. “The product had all the features we needed: it was web-based, flexible and customizable.
• Satisfaction with marketing communications increased 37 percent • Improvements seen by 66 percent of internal customers • Dramatic reduction in error rates • Improved ability to plan projects and manage workloads without additional staff
With over 5,000 employees in 55 offices worldwide, this leading independent global investment management company is dedicated to helping people worldwide achieve financial security. The firm brings together the power of distinctive worldwide investment management capabilities to offer a comprehensive array of enduring investment solutions for retail, institutional and high net worth clients around the world. The company has a significant presence in institutional and retail markets across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm’s extensive global footprint, high level of diversification, and full range of investment capabilities enable it to quickly and effectively meet the diverse needs of its clients, wherever they reside. The company manages over USD350 billion in assets. Operating in 20 countries, the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
When the new US Director of the Institutional Marketing Communications department took over, she faced weak, inconsistent internal marketing processes. She says, “We simply lacked a good way to track, prioritize or manage the assignments we were asked to perform. We had some information stored in spreadsheets, but no standard way to accept or manage work. We rarely utilized best practices: in fact, our processes varied from person to person. Designers felt overwhelmed with work. Clients’ requests were falling through the cracks—or were not completed in a way that met their needs. Clients did not understand our lead times. Everyone was frustrated.”
The Director knew that introducing effective marketing technology would be critical to overcoming these problems. She set several key objectives for the new system. At a high level, “we wanted a comprehensive marketing resource management and collaboration tool that was web-based, easy to implement, customizable and cost-effective.” Next, she and her colleagues identified the specific operational and management improvements they needed:
- Standardized and centralized project request processes
- Better project prioritization
- Streamlined, consistent “creative project management” best practices
- Integrated tracking and reporting
- Improved rush request tracking
After investigating various options, including third-party solutions and internal customized systems, the Director and her colleagues selected IBM® Unica®. “We were extremely dissatisfied with what we saw— until we discovered IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand,” says the Director. “The product had all the features we needed: it was web-based, flexible and customizable.
Within one month after choosing IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand, the company had the system up and running. “The implementation was incredibly fast,” says the Director.
Just one month after the implementation was complete, the company deployed:
- A customized project request form containing all the information marketers needed to prioritize, plan and staff every new project
- Customized project fields that made it possible to track projects by initiative, line of business, department and product line
- Project scheduling and tracking based on best practices and its own workflow
- Review areas to simplify and streamline project collaboration
- Project and resource reporting to support management decision-making and help marketing leaders work with line-of-business managers more effectively
Managing the marketing function more efficiently
The IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand reports have made it significantly easier for the Director to run her department. In particular, she relies heavily on these four reports:
- Executive reports that summarize projects and budgets by various areas, such as strategic initiatives versus ad hoc requests or line of business
- Closed reports that identify which projects have been completed and provide the information she needs for effective project post-mortems
- Open reports that the Director uses at weekly staff meetings to review next steps and potential challenges on current projects, roughly 75-100 assignments at a time
- Time reports that show which assignments are on each staffer’s plate, helping the Director balance the load equitably
Achieving the benefits of online collaboration
“IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand’s web-based system has been immensely helpful,” says the Director. “We have employees who work in different locations and on flexible schedules. Some come in early; some work late; some are telecommuters. Now it is easy for us all to collaborate. For us, web access is definitely ‘best practice’—and it is something we did not have before.”
Driving major quality improvements
“When I first came onboard, customers were bringing errors to my attention more often than I found acceptable. Using IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand, we have eliminated virtually all those errors because we now consistently use processes that produce superior results. What has really helped is using the scheduling templates to build QA steps into every stage of production.”
The team also uses IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand to ensure that the company’s compliance logging codes are requested, received and included in each project as needed.
Eliminating unnecessary “fire drills” and costs
Prior to implementing IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand, marketers encountered a problem that bedevils many marketing organizations—some clients consistently wait until the last minute, then request ‘rush’ projects that cause unnecessary stress and can reduce quality. The company now tracks ‘rush’ requests through a specific field on its project request form.
“It really helps to have quantitative data, not just anecdotes that people tend to take personally. I can tell someone, ‘overall, 15 percent of my projects are rush, but in your group it is 68 percent. How can we help you plan better?’ We can see at-a-glance that last fall we had 22 rush requests associated with a client conference, and we can go to those people ahead of time with a project plan to better manage that process.”
Demonstrating the full value of marketing to the business
With IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand in place, says the Director, “I can report to product management about what we are doing and how it benefits them. I can identify exactly which projects benefit which group—something I could not do accurately before.” For example, marketing communications can quantify how many projects each manager—responsible for each type of investment—has requested. As well, marketers can identify requests by sales teams for projects that supported these investments—projects that also drove value for investment product managers, but were previously ‘invisible’ to them.
“Now, I can go back to an investment team and say, ‘you only requested 20 projects, but last year we actually did 50 projects that you benefited from.’ I can demonstrate our value more effectively than ever before.”
Support for the company’s global operating platform
IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand offers the company powerful opportunities to standardize its processes and systems worldwide— already a key corporate goal. In the words of the Director, “Our CEO has set a strategic priority to ‘unlock the power of our global operating platform.’ This means taking advantage of a single system worldwide. The company grew through acquisitions, and some of our legacy business groups have not taken full advantage of centralized systems. IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand gives us yet another way to leverage the benefits that come with being a global organization. By adopting the solution, we can all share an easy-to-use system that everyone is familiar with wherever they are working. Marketers can move to new assignments anywhere in the organization and be effective immediately. Importantly, we can also retire other legacy systems and reduce IT costs.”
This logic—together with IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand’s capabilities—is compelling. Since the company’s Institutional Marketing Communications organization implemented the IBM solution, the group has merged with the company’s largest retail marketing organization based in Texas. “We are now all operating on the system together. We worked with the retail channel marketing professionals to add fields at the project level, tweak some fields, add new options and provide additional project templates. Fortunately, that is all easy to do with IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand.” Even more recently, the company’s UK and Continental Europe marketing teams have agreed to adopt the system.
“We have had a great experience using this tool,” says the Director, “and I am a great advocate of extending it throughout the company. We do not have a detailed business case, but I believe the ROI is easily 2-4x what we paid for it, and we achieved this within the first several months of using the solution.”
IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand has helped the company’s marketing communications department dramatically improve both internal efficiency and customer satisfaction.
From the perspective of company’s management, customers for marketing services:
- Increased satisfaction with marketing communications from 42.3 percent to 79 percent in just one year
- Tripled the number of “very satisfied” responses from managers from 11.1 percent to 30 percent
- 66 percent of customer respondents experienced improvements
Internally, results within the marketing organization have included:
- Implementation of best practices for the entire project lifecycle, from project requests and scheduling through delivery
- Dramatic reductions in errors as well as improvements in overall quality
- More effective prioritization and use of limited resources
- Increased flexibility in supporting diverse project and employee schedules
- More effective online collaboration
- Improved management visibility on bottlenecks, staffing and potential cost issues
- Greater ability to demonstrate the value of marketing to the business
For more information
To learn more about IBM Unica products, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/info/unica.
Smarter Commerce: An integrated approach
IBM Unica products are part of the IBM Smarter Commerce initiative. Smarter Commerce is a unique approach that increases the value companies generate for their customers, partners and shareholders in a rapidly changing digital world. To learn more about Smarter Commerce, visit ibm.com/smarterplanet/commerce.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
IBM Marketing Operations OnDemand
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