Published on 24 May 2012
"Offline CRM data integration with IBM Digital Analytics has significantly changed the way we do marketing. The solution is completely automated, intuitive and intelligent, and has enabled us to scale our campaign reporting and make data-driven marketing decisions." - Sameer Khan, Marketing Manager, Rackspace
Cloud Computing, EMM - Digital Marketing Optimization, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing
More than a decade of innovation has helped power Rackspace’s growth into one of the world’s leading cloud and IT hosting providers, serving more than 60 percent of companies on the Fortune 100. The San Antonio, Texas-based company has enjoyed phenomenal success, topping more than $1 billion in revenue in 2011.
Rackspace lacked timely, detailed visibility into how online marketing contributed to high-value leads, sales and conversions that were managed separately in a salesforce.com CRM silo.
A tailored implementation automates data integration between salesforce.com and IBM Digital Analytics, providing immediate, on-demand “click-to-close” campaign reporting.
Rackspace has improved online marketing effectiveness, with an increase in high-value sales while saving money that would otherwise have been spent to manually produce outdated static reports.
More than a decade of innovation has helped power Rackspace’s growth into one of the world’s leading cloud and IT hosting providers, serving more than 60 percent of companies on the Fortune 100. The San Antonio, Texas based company has enjoyed phenomenal success, topping more than $1 billion in revenue in 2011.
Now the company is applying that innovative drive to bridge the silo gap that B2B companies face between anonymous web activity and sales leads managed in offline customer relationship management (CRM) applications. With a tailored implementation of IBM® Digital Analytics, Rackspace is improving online marketing effectiveness and conversion with breakthrough insights into campaign performance.
As a B2B company, Rackspace’s prospects would respond to online marketing campaigns and research products on the company website. But as the sales process evolved and engagement moved from the website to direct interaction with sales personnel, online marketers had no easy way to determine which channels and campaigns contributed to high-value leads, sales and conversion—data managed separately in a salesforce.com CRM silo.
To address that gap, a Rackspace marketer would spend more than 16 hours to produce a monthly “click-to-close” report that tied together data from the salesforce.com CRM instance and its previous web analytics platform. Despite the high cost and effort, the static report lacked immediacy and the capacity for managers to drill down into the details of campaign performance and attribution.
Rackspace marketers began exploring how to automate data integration and click-to-close reporting, but quickly determined that the web analytics solution previously in place inter operated poorly with Rackspace’s heavily customized salesforce.com solution.
Rackspace turned to IBM® Coremetrics®, which offers a range of capabilities to import offline data from CRM and other applications into the IBM Digital Analytics solution for more comprehensive reporting and visitor analysis. The company worked with IBM Coremetrics Custom Services for SaaS consultants and mapped out a custom implementation plan that would automatically integrate salesforce.com data into IBM Digital Analytics.
Improving marketing effectiveness and high-value sales
Within less than three months, Rackspace marketers gained timely insights into how online marketing and web activity translates into high-value leads and sales. With automation, the company is saving money that had previously been spent on manual generation of monthly reports. Managers and staff of online, enterprise, small and medium businesses, and product marketing firms can analyze integrated data on demand, either in IBM Digital Analytics or in the IBM Digital Analytics Explore ad hoc reporting user interface. With the resulting business insights, Rackspace can identify opportunities within particular customer segments and tailor their responses to individual customers for more effective marketing.
“Offline CRM data integration with IBM Digital Analytics has significantly changed the way we do marketing,” said Sameer Khan, Rackspace marketing manager. “The solution is completely automated, intuitive and intelligent, and has enabled us to scale our campaign reporting and make data driven marketing decisions.”
Key to the solution is a Coremetrics cookie that identifies website visitors. When a visitor engages with a live chat or submits a form—data that is captured in salesforce.com—Rackspace can make the connection between the two. “We have detailed insight into which campaign and channels are driving our leads: paid search, email, SEO, display, partners and referrals,” Khan said.
In a related initiative, Rackspace took further advantage of IBM Coremetrics’ uniquely flexible architecture to connect its shopping cart for online purchases to the newly implemented web analytics platform. With the previous solution, the company had only high-level visibility into online purchasing. For instance, it could see that a web user bought a particular product after clicking a paid search advertisement, but it couldn’t see any details on the product.
“With integration, we’re passing information on products purchased and pricing from the shopping cart into IBM Digital Analytics so we can segment based on product,” Khan said. “That makes our marketing much more effective because we have greater visibility and can be laser focused on our higher-value products.”
Success supported by IBM Coremetrics professional services
With the automated solution, Rackspace has seen an increase in its number of high-value “multi-server” leads, Khan said. That’s translating into an increase in conversion for those leads in the market for larger implementations on multiple servers and Rackspace’s managed cloud offerings.
A key factor in the switch from the previous web analytics vendor to IBM Coremetrics was the superior support for both implementation and ongoing optimization offered by IBM, which aligns with Rackspace’s focus on “Fanatical Support” for its own customers, Khan said.
“We didn’t really have the support we needed from our previous web analytics vendor,” Khan said. “IBM Coremetrics definitely offers some of the industry’s best customer support. We’re a service company. We really care about our customers, and we expect our vendors to do the same.”
IBM Smarter Commerce on Cloud
IBM Smarter Commerce™ on Cloud provides the advantages of cloud economics and immediate access to software as a service solutions that can accelerate an organization’s ability to transform the entire customer experience. With these solutions, you can leverage the cloud to accelerate:
• Customer value, with solutions that reduce time to market and deliver innovation faster
• Customer and supplier engagement, by collaborating and sharing information more easily
• Your response to changing market dynamics, by analyzing and sharing data from multiple sources in real time and gaining deeper insights into customer behavior
For more information
To learn more about IBM Coremetrics, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/marketing-solutions
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
IBM Digital Analytics
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