10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Campaign Management Solutions
[Posted by Christophe Kuhner, Senior Product Manager, Neolane]
Investing in a campaign management solution is a big decision that begs many questions. If your business is considering implementing at campaign management solution to drive its cross-channel marketing strategy, there is much research to be done about which solution will best fit with your needs and deliver optimal results.
Many solutions will offer support for a select few areas of campaign management but neglect other important aspects. At Neolane, we believe that the most effective solutions are based on a single platform and intuitive interface that marketers leverage to plan, target, execute, and measure their campaigns. In order to obtain optimal results from a campaign management solution, we recommend asking these questions during the vendor evaluation process:
1. Can the campaign management platform be used to build a single marketing view of customers?
An effective solution should be able to collect all customer-related data into a single marketing view that can be easily tailored to your business needs and requirements, including adapting to your existing data architecture. The right solution will provide a clear view of all customer activity—socio-demographics, transactions, campaign responses, behavioral data, scores, aggregates, etc.—so that marketers can extract actionable insights to execute successful cross-channel campaigns and fine-tune marketing performance.
2. Can the campaign management solution deliver seamless customer experiences across traditional and emerging channels?
Consumers use multiple channels and devices every day to consume content and interact with brands. Therefore, your campaign management solution should be able to support a cross-channel experience. Every channel should be seamlessly integrated to ensure that each customer always receives the next best offer or message, independent of the touch point. While many products sufficiently support traditional channels, very few elegantly incorporate social, SMS, mobile app push, and other emerging channels. This seamless integration is critical to delivering positive (and measurable) brand experiences where your customers spend most of their time.
3. Is the campaign management solution easy to use?
The most effective campaign management tool is one that is user friendly and doesn’t require extensive background training in SQL or other technical knowledge. A solution should offer an intuitive interface and visual workflow environment that allows users to easily perform campaign design as well as complex targeting and segmentation.
4. Does the campaign management solution offer marketing automation and triggered messaging capabilities?
A campaign management solution should take into account the desired targeting and timing of marketing interactions. If your strategy requires recurring and/or event-triggered messages (e.g. lifecycle, nurture, remarketing, transactional messages, etc.), it’s important that the solution you choose offers robust workflow and execution capabilities that can automate these campaigns and ensure real-time delivery, increasing marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
5. Does the campaign management solution include contact optimization and fatigue management capabilities?
Customers’ interests are constantly changing and the challenge for marketers is to remain relevant and interesting to the target audience. In order to prevent what is known as “marketing fatigue,” be sure to invest in a campaign management solution that’s equipped to intelligently manage both the number and frequency of communications sent to contacts to ensure you’re sending relevant content and enhancing the customer experience.
6. Does the campaign management solution have a robust execution engine?
A campaign management solution should offer scalability and be able to support high message volume demands at all times. A single integrated platform with native message delivery capabilities typically requires less integration while improving campaign efficiency. Moreover, depending on your average message volumes, you may want to inquire as to whether the vendor has client references sending hundreds of millions or even billions of messages annually.
7. Can the campaign management solution leverage real-time interaction management (RTIM) capabilities?
In order to dynamically optimize outbound communications, a campaign management solution should feature real-time interaction management capabilities. By using a client’s profile, interaction history with the company, immediate behavior as well as information from external databases, the right solution will provide real-time content and messages that are relevant and personalized seamlessly across inbound and outbound channels.
8. Does the campaign management solution offer reporting and analytics capabilities?
Reporting and analytics are critical for monitoring client behavior and campaign performance, as it provides marketers with a data set that can be analyzed for actionable insights. The reporting and analytics capabilities of a solution should allow marketers to perform the analysis needed to extract customer insights and optimize marketing performance without advanced technical skills or the help of a data scientist.
9. Can the campaign management solution be easily adapted to meet the needs of complex organizations?
Campaign management solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to large, global brands with sophisticated needs. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a flexible solution that can be tailored to your business processes and needs. For instance, you might need to configure robust automated validation processes that can streamline your company’s production activities. Or you might need integrated distribute marketing capabilities to empower local operational entities (e.g. agents, branches, franchises, etc.) with marketing tools and best practices, while maintaining corporate standards. On an operational level, flexible licensing and deployment models can help you to select the right solution based on your technical and financial needs.
10. Will the campaign management solution be able to support my future needs?
Marketing is a constantly changing industry and your campaign management solution should be equipped to incorporate new channels, technology, and customer needs. A solution that can adapt to the requirements of your company’s will prevent you from being behind the curve in today’s fast-paced digital world.
If you answer “no” to one or more of these questions, you may start to question the viability of the campaign management solution. The most effective and productive solution is one that features an integrated system of customer monitoring, analytics, contact optimization, real-time automation, user-friendly layout, and a streamlined process of adoption and validation. Before your company invests in a campaign management solution, ensure that all of these questions can be answered with a solid “yes” and backed up with examples.