2007

Customer Experience Matrix

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What Makes QlikTech So Good?

Customer Experience Matrix

To carry on a bit with yesterday’s topic— QlikTech fascinates me on two levels: first, because it is such a powerful technology, and second because it’s a real-time case study in how a superior technology penetrates an established market. The general topic of diffusion of innovation has always intrigued me, and it would be fun to map QlikView against the usual models (hype curve, chasm crossing, tipping point, etc.) in a future post. Perhaps I shall. But I think it’s important to first explain exactly just what makes QlikView so good. What they barely do is discuss the technology itself.

I Want My LTV Shirt!

Customer Experience Matrix

I received my custom-printed “LTV RULES!” t-shirts yesterday. Naturally, you buy these over the Internet. The customer experience was painless at www.designashirt.com and I’d highly recommend them. What’s interesting from a Client X Client point of view is that the company offered a $.50 discount on each shirt if you add their logo. 50 per shirt). How did they come up with $.50?

Eventricity Lets Banks Buy, Not Build, Event-Based Marketing Systems

Customer Experience Matrix

As you may recall from my posts on Unica and SAS , event-based marketing (also called behavior identification) seems to be gaining traction at long last. By coincidence, I recently found some notes I made two years about a UK-based firm named eventricity Ltd. This led to a long conversation with eventricity founder Mark Holtom, who turned out to be an industry veteran with background at NCR/Teradata and AIMS Software, where he worked on several of the pioneering projects in the field. But those are all part of a larger product line, while eventricity offers event-based software alone.

Unica Strategy Stays the Course

Customer Experience Matrix

I recently caught up with Unica Vice President Andrew Hally as part of my review of developments at the major marketing automation vendors. It’s been a good year for Unica, which will break $100 million in annual revenue for the first time. On the product front, they continue their long-time strategy of offering all the software a marketing department would need. This has mostly meant incremental development of existing components, including continued assimilation of past years’ acquisitions in Web analytics, email, marketing planning, lead management, and event detection.

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Low Cost CDI from Infosolve, Pentaho and StrikeIron

Customer Experience Matrix

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts, QlikView doesn’t have the built-in matching functions needed for customer data integration (CDI). This has left me looking for other ways to provide that service, preferably at a low cost. The problem is that the major CDI products like Harte-Hanks Trillium , DataMentors DataFuse and SAS DataFlux are fairly expensive. One intriguing alternative is Infosolve Technologies. But I couldn't figure out exactly what they were selling since they stress that there are ‘never any licenses, hardware requirements or term contracts’. Interesting.

Just How Scalable Is QlikTech?

Customer Experience Matrix

A few days ago, I replied to a question regarding QlikTech scalability. See What Makes QlikTech So Good? August 3, 2007) I asked QlikTech itself for more information on the topic but haven’t learned anything new. So let me simply discuss this based on my own experience (and, once again, remind readers that while my firm is a QlikTech reseller, comments in this blog are strictly my own.) The first thing I want to make clear is that QlikView is a wonderful product, so it would be a great pity if this discussion were to be taken as a criticism. That said, let’s talk about what QlikTech is good at.

SAS Adds Real Time Decisioning to Its Marketing Systems

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve been trying to pull together a post on SAS for some time. It’s not easy because their offerings are so diverse. The Web site lists 13 “Solution Lines” ranging from “Activity-Based Management” to “Web Analytics”. SAS being SAS, these are indeed listed alphabetically.) The “Customer Relationship Management” Solution Line has 13 subcategories of its own (clearly no triskaidekaphobia here), ranging from “Credit Scoring” to “Web Analytics”. Yes, you read that right: Web Analytics is listed both as a Solution Line and as a component of the CRM Solution. So is Profitability Management.

BridgeTrack Integrates Some Online Channels

Customer Experience Matrix

What do “Nude Pics of Pam Anderson” and “Real-Time Analytics, Reporting and Optimization Across All Media Channels” have in common? 1. Both headlines are sure to draw the interest of certain readers. 2. People who click on either are likely to be disappointed. Truth be told, I’ve never clicked on a Pam Anderson headline, so I can only assume it would disappoint. But I found the second headline irresistible. It was attached to a press release about the 5.0 release of Sapient ’s BridgeTrack marketing software. Maybe next time I’ll try Pam instead. Let’s start with “all media channels”.

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Datran Media Sells Email Like Web Ads

Customer Experience Matrix

I wasn’t able to get to the ad:tech conference in New York City this week, but did spend a little time looking at the show sponsors’ Web sites. Oddly, I was unable to find an online listing of all the exhibitors. This seems like such a basic mistake for this particular group that I wonder whether it was intentional. But I can’t see a reason.) Most of the sponsors are offering services related to online ad networks. This latter capability is what’s intriguing. Datran is packaging email lists in the same way as advertising space on a Web site or conventional publication.

The Next Big Leap for Marketing Software

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve often written about the tendency of marketing automation vendors to endlessly expand the scope of their products. Over all this is probably a good thing for their customers. But at some point, the competitive advantage of adding yet another capability probably approaches nil. If so, then what will be the next really important change in marketing systems? My guess is it will be a coordination mechanism to tie together all of those different components – resource management, execution, analysis, and so on. Those are important but too rigid. Okay, enough with the horse metaphor.)

Independent Teradata Makes New Friends

Customer Experience Matrix

I had a product briefing from Teradata earlier this week after not talking for nearly two years. They are getting ready to release version 6 of their marketing automation software, Teradata Relationship Manager (formerly Teradata CRM). The new version has a revamped user interface and large number of minor refinements such as allowing multiple levels of control groups. But the real change is technical: the system has been entirely rebuilt on a J2EE platform. My contact at Teradata told me the delay was due to difficulties with the migration. But I digress.

Business Rules Forum Targets Enterprise Decisioning as the Next Big Thing

Customer Experience Matrix

I’m headed back from the combined Business Rules Forum / Rules Technology Summit / Rules Expo conference in Orlando. Theme of the conference was ‘Enterprise Decisioning Comes of Age’. The general idea is that business rules have been applied extensively in a few areas, including fraud detection and insurance rating, and are now poised to play a larger role in coordinating decisions throughout the enterprise. It therefore provides an essential framework for organizing, prioritizing and integrating enterprise decision projects.

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Neolane Offers a New Marketing Automation Option

Customer Experience Matrix

Neolane , a Paris-based marketing automation software vendor, formally announced its entry to the U.S. market last week. I’ve been tracking Neolane for some time but chose not to write about it until they established a U.S. presence. So now the story can be told. Neolane is important because it’s a full-scale competitor to Unica and the marketing automation suites of SAS and Teradata , which have pretty much had the high-end market to themselves in recent years. You might add SmartFocus and Alterian to the list, but they sell mostly to service providers rather than end-users.)

Proprietary Databases Rise Again

Customer Experience Matrix

I’ve been noticing for some time that “proprietary” databases are making a come-back in the world of marketing systems. Proprietary” is a loaded term that generally refers to anything other than the major relational databases: Oracle, SQL Server and DB2, plus some of the open source products like MySQL. In the marketing database world, proprietary systems have a long history tracing back to the mid-1980’s MCIF products from Customer Insight, OKRA Marketing, Harte-Hanks and others. In such a structure, data for each field (e.g., All of these are still available, incidentally.

Analytica Provides Low-Cost, High-Quality Decision Models

Customer Experience Matrix

My friends at DM News , which has published my Software Review column for the past fifteen years, unceremoniously informed me this week that they had decided to stop carrying all of their paid columnists, myself included. This caught me in the middle of preparing a review of Lumina Analytica , a pretty interesting piece of simulation modeling software. Lest my research go to waste, I’ll write about Analytica here. Analytica falls into the general class of software used to build mathematical models of systems or processes, and to then predict the results of a particular set of inputs.

Marketing Performance Measurement: No Answers to the Really Tough Questions

Customer Experience Matrix

I recently ran a pair of two-day workshops on marketing performance measurement. My students had a variety of goals, but the two major ones they mentioned were the toughest issues in marketing: how to allocate resources across different channels and how to measure the impact of marketing on brand value. Both questions have standard answers. Channel allocation is handled by marketing mix models, which analyze historical data to determine the relative impact of different types of spending. Cost was one obstacle for most of them; lack of data was another.

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Tableau Software Makes Good Visualization Easy

Customer Experience Matrix

I took a close look recently at Tableau data visualization software. liked Tableau a lot, even though it wasn’t quite what I expected. I had thought of it as a way to build aesthetically-correct charts, according to the precepts set down by Edward Tufte and like-minded visualization gurus such as Stephen Few. But even though Tableau follows many of these principles, it is less for building charts than interactive data exploration. This is admittedly a pretty subtle distinction, since the exploration is achieved through charts. to see if they explain differences in the sales price.)

Marketing Performance Involves More than Ad Placement

Customer Experience Matrix

I received a thoughtful e-mail the other day suggesting that my discussion of marketing performance measurement had been limited to advertising effectiveness, thereby ignoring the other important marketing functions of pricing, distribution and product development. For once, I’m not guilty as charged. At a minimum, a balanced scorecard would include measures related to those areas when they were highlighted as strategic. I’d further suggest that many standard marketing measures, such as margin analysis, cross-sell ratios, and retail coverage, address those areas directly.

What Makes QlikTech So Good: A Concrete Example

Customer Experience Matrix

Continuing with Friday’s thought , it’s worth giving a concrete example of what QlikTech makes easy. Let’s look at the cross-sell report I mentioned on Thursday. This report answers a common marketing question: which products do customers tend to purchase together, and how do customers who purchase particular combinations of products behave? (Ok, two questions.) The report this begins with a set of transaction records coded with a Customer ID, Product ID, and Revenue. The trick is to identify all pairs among these records that have the same Customer ID. But the mechanics are quite different.

Notes from the QlikTech Underground

Customer Experience Matrix

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting recently. The reason is almost silly: I got to thinking about the suggestion in The Power Performance Grid that each person should identify a single measure most important to their success, and recognized that the number of blog posts certainly isn’t mine. That may actually be a misinterpretation of the book’s message, but the damage is done.) Plus, I’ve been busy with other things—in particular, a pilot QlikTech implementation at a Very Large Company that shall remain nameless. It will be interesting to watch the QlikTech story play out.

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More Attacks on Net Promoter Score

Customer Experience Matrix

It seems to be open season on Fred Reichheld. For many years, his concept of Net Promoter Score as a critical predictor of business success has been questioned by marketers. The Internets are now buzzing with a recent academic study “ A Longitudinal Examination of Net Promoter and Firm Revenue Growth ” (Timothy L. Keiningham, Bruce Cooil, Tor Wallin Andreassen, & Lerzan Aksoy, Journal of Marketing, July 2007) that duplicated Reichheld’s research but “fails to replicate his assertions regarding the ‘clear superiority’ of Net Promoter compared with other measures in those industries.”

The Performance Power Grid Doesn't Impress

Customer Experience Matrix

Every so often, someone offers to send me a review copy of a new business book. Usually I don’t accept, but given my current interest in performance management techniques, a headline touting “Six Reasons the Performance Power Grid Trumps the Balanced Scorecard” was intriguing. After all, Balanced Scorecard is the dominant approach to performance management today—something that becomes clear when you read other books on the topic and find that most have adopted its framework (with or without acknowledgement). So it seemed worth looking at something that claims to supersede it. Well, okay.

APQC Provides 3 LTV Case Studies

Customer Experience Matrix

One of the common criticisms of lifetime value is that it has no practical applications. You and I know this is false, but some people still need convincing. The APQC formerly American Productivity and Quality Council) recently published “ Insights into Using Customer Valuation Strategies to Drive Growth and Increase Profits from Aon Risk Services, Sprint Nextel, and a Leading Brokerage Services Firm ,” which provides three mini-case histories that may help. Aon created profitability scorecards for 10,000 insurance customers.

Sources of Benchmark Studies

Customer Experience Matrix

Somehow I found myself researching benchmarking vendors this morning. Usually I think of the APQC , formerly American Productivity and Quality Center, as the source of such studies. They do seem to be the leader and their Web site provides lots of information on the topic. But a few other names came up too. (I’ve excluded some specialists in particular fields such as customer service or health care.): Kaiser Associates Reset Group (New Zealand) Resource Services Inc. Best Practices LLC MarketingSherpa MarketingProfs Cornerstone (banking) Some of these simply do Web surveys.

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Is Marketing ROI Important?

Customer Experience Matrix

You may have noticed that my discussions of marketing performance measurement have not stressed Return on Marketing Investment as an important metric. Frankly, this surprises even me: ROMI appears every time I jot down a list of such measures, but it never quite fits into the final schemes. To use the categories I proposed yesterday , ROMI isn’t a measure of business value, of strategic alignment, or of marketing efficiency. guess it comes closest to the efficiency category, but the efficiency measures tend to be more simple and specific, such as a cost per unit or time per activity.

Marketing Performance: Plan, Simulate, Measure

Customer Experience Matrix

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the relationships I mentioned yesterday among systems for marketing performance measurement, marketing planning, and marketing simulation (e.g., marketing mix models, lifetime value models). Measures in this are traditional Balanced Scorecard measures of business results and performance drivers. By design, the Balanced Scorecard focuses on just a few of these measures, so it is not concerned with the details captured in the marketing planning system. Balanced Scorecard proponents recognize the importance of such plans; they just want to manage them elsewhere).

Marketing Planning and Marketing Measurement: Surprisingly Separate

Customer Experience Matrix

As part of my continuing research into marketing performance measurement, I’ve been looking at software vendors who provide marketing planning systems. haven’t found any products that do marketing planning by itself. Instead, the function is part of larger systems. Even marketing resource management software is primarily bought for other functions (mostly content management and program management). This makes sense in that most marketing planning comes down to aggregating information about the marketing programs that reside in these larger systems.

James Taylor on His New Book

Customer Experience Matrix

A few months ago, James Taylor of Fair Isaac asked me to look over a proof of Smart (Enough) Systems , a book he has co-written with industry guru Neil Raden of Hired Brains. The topic, of course, is enterprise decision management, which the book explains in great detail. It has now been released (you can order through Amazon or James or Neil), so I asked James for a few comments to share. What did you hope to accomplish with this book? Fame and fortune. have been writing about this topic a lot for several years and seen lots of great examples. That’s a unnecessarily manual decision.

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Free Data as in Free Beer

Customer Experience Matrix

I found myself wandering the aisles at the American Library Association national conference over the weekend. Plenty of publishers, library management systems and book shelf builders, none of which are particularly relevant to this blog (although there was at least one “loyalty” system for library patrons). There was some search technology but nothing particularly noteworthy. The only exhibitor that did catch my eye was Data-Planet , which aggregates data on many topics (think census, economic time series, stocks, weather, etc.) Also available: a 30 day free trial and $49.95