Published on 21-Dec-2011
"Thanks to this software, the time usually needed for the creation of content for e-mails and newsletters has been significantly reduced, since @ttivaIntelligence provides templates for all ANCIS’s different business areas. Also, thanks to the monitoring and analysis of data, ANCIS knows exactly which ‘hot topics’ it needs to focus on when defining and organising events and campaigns." - Marta Santagostino, Event Manager, ANCIS
IBM Business Partner:
Established in 1992, ANCIS Associazione is an Italian company based in Milan, which provides professional training and management system certification for businesses and service companies. A small but solid company, it has always considered the relationship with its clients one of the fundamental aspects of its marketing and communication strategies. However, its online communication processes were relatively underdeveloped, relying mainly on the use of emails and occasionally newsletters to inform clients about the events, initiatives and courses that ANCIS was organising and promoting.
ANCIS wanted to create events, workshops and courses that would interest its target clients. However, its online communication processes were basic and inefficient, preventing the company from really understanding its clients’ main interests, and from taking action accordingly.
ANCIS decided to implement @ttivaIntelligence, a software suite from IBM Business Partner ZEL. ANCIS is currently using three modules: @ttivaMail, @ttivaMailPlus and @ttivaEventi. This intuitive, user-friendly solution allows the company to monitor, track and report on all forms of online communication with its customers.
Saw a 35 percent rise in the number of emails that were opened and read by clients. Reduced the cancellation rate of newsletter subscriptions to less than one percent. Cut email address failure rates by two percent.
To read an Italian version of this case study, please click here
Established in 1992, ANCIS Associazione is an Italian company based in Milan, which provides professional training and management system certification for businesses and service companies. With 20 employees – 10 on a permanent basis and 10 external collaborators – ANCIS reports an annual revenue of around €700,000. A small but solid company, it has always considered the relationship with its clients to be one of the fundamental aspects of its marketing and communication strategies. However, its online communication processes were relatively underdeveloped, relying mainly on the use of emails and occasionally newsletters to inform clients about the events, initiatives and courses that ANCIS was organising and promoting. In addition, all of this was managed on Microsoft Outlook alone, with few or no chances to customise content and graphics.
Without a proper analysis tool, ANCIS could not monitor or enhance the effectiveness of its online messages. It could not ensure, for instance, that a certain e-mail or newsletter had been delivered to the right person or group of clients, and it was impossible to verify whether the receiver had actually opened and read the e-mail itself. Finally, the company was unable to track and determine its clients’ interest in particular subjects and, as a consequence, marketing and communication initiatives sometimes failed to deliver the expected results because ANCIS’s marketing teams could not identify the real hot topics.
“Our methods of interpreting our clients’ interests were based on experience and observation alone, rather than data analysis,” explains Marta Santagostino, Event Manager at ANCIS. “Even when we were convinced that we knew whether a subject was of particular interest or not, we were not able to actually demonstrate that we were right.”
@ttivaIntelligence: the perfect IRM solution
After reviewing possible software solutions, the @ttivaIntelligence software package developed and offered by IBM Business Partner ZEL emerged as the winning choice. This application is based on the concept of Intelligent Relationship Management (IRM), a cutting-edge idea that allows companies to manage all communication channels and marketing initiatives in an innovative and more effective way.
Walter Zucchelli, Marketing Director and Partner at ZEL, explains: “@ttivaIntelligence is a web-based solution built on the IBM Lotus Domino platform and delivered via a software-as-a-service [SaaS] model. We chose Lotus Domino primarily because its disaster-recovery capabilities make it highly reliable, and also because it provides an integrated, comprehensive platform.”
Santagostino adds: “Lotus Domino was the right choice: very reliable, simple, intuitive and offering good value for the money.”
The complete @ttivaIntelligence package consists of several modules, of which ANCIS is currently using three. Of the three modules, @ttivaMailPlus is currently delivering the greatest benefits. As Zucchelli explains, “The most innovative feature of this solution is probably the @ttivaMailPlus module, a highly effective tool for monitoring and analysing recipient actions and the outcomes of online messages. It provides statistics and scores for each message the company sends, which effectively helps the company to derive great benefits.”
Zucchelli continues: “@ttivaIntelligence is user-friendly and easy to handle. The user can access the application via a browser using his or her personal ID and password. The application provides several tools to create, update and categorise customer profiles, and to select which customer should receive which specific messages. It also allows the user to assign points for scoring various online activities of the customer, such as opening and reading an email, subscribing to a newsletter, or clicking on particular content within an email. The user can then choose among other tools and features to create the content of events, select the participants and send the event invitations. The application supplies further tools which enable the measurement and tracking of such events, as well as the clients’ responses and reactions to a single event or campaign. By tabulating the overall scores, the solution can segment the company’s customer base in a very precise and detailed way, either focusing on loyalty with clients who appear more interested and active, or to boost the interest of those who seem less involved.
Santagostino continues: “The application offers a default series of typologies about client involvement which we rely on to define the behaviour of each individual customer. We are also planning on delving into this more thoroughly in order to better describe certain features of our client-base.”
@ttivaIntelligence also helps ANCIS to decide whether it is necessary to change the channel of communication with a specific client: for example, the company can decide whether to send brochures or calendars to its clients’ home address or call them to promote a particular event or course.
“The software performs a precise and punctual data analysis for each client in order to track the areas that seem to be of greatest interest to them,” says Santagostino. “This interest becomes tangible when the client participates in a certain ANCIS event or course prescribed for them.”
Partnership delivers innovation in online communication
ANCIS’s decision to select the ZEL solution was motivated by the fact that ZEL’s offering appeared to be the most complete, advanced and intelligent package, and was capable of meeting ANCIS’s expectations and business needs through the provision of highly innovative and reliable tools for monitoring and analysing online communication. Moreover, as Santagostino states, the relationship with ZEL wasn’t a brand new one: “The choice of ZEL as Business Partner was also due to the fact that we had already worked with them and experienced a high level of reliability, professionalism and expertise.”
“Implementation of the application was completed over a couple of months”, explains Zucchelli. “During this phase ZEL consistently worked very closely with the client, on the technical, training and support sides. Eventually, ANCIS will be able to work on its own with no need for external support, even though ZEL will always be available to address any issues that might arise. The ultimate goal is to make ANCIS a wholly independent user.”
At the moment, ANCIS is almost completely independent in its use of the three @ttivaIntelligence modules and can autonomously organise and define specific marketing campaigns. However, ANCIS occasionally requests support from ZEL, which continues to provide support services.
Real benefits for renewed communication
Even though the solution has only been in use for a short time, ANCIS has already noticed several improvements in different key aspects of its online communication management.
“Thanks to this software, the time usually needed for the creation of content for e-mails and newsletters has been significantly reduced, since @ttivaIntelligence provides templates for all ANCIS’s different business areas. Also, thanks to the monitoring and analysis of data, ANCIS knows exactly which ‘hot topics’ it needs to focus on when defining and organising events and campaigns,” states Santagostino. “In addition, the number of emails that are opened and read by customers has increased by 35 percent, the newsletter subscription cancellation rate has been reduced to less than one percent, and email sending failures have decreased by two percent.”
According to Santagostino, in the future ANCIS can also expect to see a significant improvement in customer service and a chance to boost its business by reaching new types of clients and markets. “This solution allows ANCIS to manage marketing-related statistics in a very coherent and systematic way, relying on one single source of data,” she explains. “As a result, the amount of time we spend sending e-mails and newsletters has been reduced by nearly a third. The ultimate goal of this project is undoubtedly to provide clients and readers with the services that they are actually looking for, or are more interested in.”
@ttivaIntelligence therefore operates on a number of levels, integrating rapid and precise data-tracking and analysis with the prospect of creating smart, targeted and customised marketing and communication events and campaigns. By helping ANCIS focus its messaging more carefully on specific market segments and clients, the solution is increasing efficiency and driving better results for the company’s marketing campaigns.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Italia, Circonvallazione Idroscalo, 20090 Segrate - Milano. Produced in Italy, November 2011. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Domino and Lotus are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. @ttivaIntelligence is a product of ZEL. IBM and ZEL are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor ZEL makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.