Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) solutions become trendy (again)

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Content Copyright © 2007 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

The ad:tech (Advertising Technology) exhibition hit London
Olympia at the end of September, and what a show it was. 200+
exhibitors on two floors fought it out for the attention of the
young, funky advertising types who cruised the show. There were no
seats in the refreshments area as pretty young girls air-kissed,
and handsome young men saluted one another with strange-looking
handshakes. It was mobbed.

This show was more impressive than the Technology For Marketing
show in February, which has become associated with CRM and the
negative connotations that CRM invokes. As one senior marketing
executive said recently of CRM ” . . . many man years, millions of
dollars, and end up with an expensive diary for the sales team and
an even greater chasm between the sales and marketing

At the ad:tech show few of the usual CRM suspects were there. A
few well known brand names stood out, notably Microsoft, Alterian,
Omniture, Unica and DoubleClick, but most were relatively unknown

As you might expect from the advertising crowd, there were some
extravagant company brand names – such as Eyeblaster, Front Porch,
Fortune Cookie, and StatsPlugger. Equally extravagant were some of
the marketing claims ” . . . serving over 20 billion monthly
impressions and over 200 million unique worldwide users per month”
and “serving 9 billion monthly impressions” and “delivers over 54
billion annual impressions globally”. Blimey, we must be using the
Internet more than I thought!

So what were the vendors trying to sell? Well PPC
(Pay-Per-Click) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and web site
analytics were the clear established favourites, but new areas
include affiliate marketing (payment for sales leads received from
the web sites of channel partners), online comparison shopping,
competitive intelligence (captured from the web), and even “white
label” dating services – enabling web site owners to instantly add
dating services to their web site.

In truth it was all rather confusing. The brand names were
unfamiliar, the language used by vendors to describe products and
benefits was mostly obscure, so many visitors headed straight for
the free education seminars to try and understand what all the fuss
was about.

One thing is clear though – the advertising and marketing crowd
understand that the web is a vital source of market information and
a potent channel of communication to potential customers. As the
market matures and market leaders emerge, there will be a fast ramp
up of spend. CRM might have become somewhat discredited, but
broader Enterprise Marketing Management solutions powered by the
web will become ubiquitous.

SAP used to say that once 30% of major companies in a given
industry sector used their software, everyone had to have it –
because the competitive disadvantage of not having it was too
extreme. So it will be with web-based technology for marketing.
Organisations will not be able to live without it because it offers
such a source of advantage for competitors. First off, first
movers’ in the market and innovators will use this type of
technology to identify and anticipate trends and optimise their
marketing ROI.

One implication is that some creative people in marketing will
make way for tech-savvy analytical types who can make sense of all
this new web-sourced data. Technology and marketing to date has
been an uneasy marriage, but will become hip and joined at the hip,
as an inseparable force for real-time customer-centric marketing