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Ernst & Young Better Manages B2B Marketing with Aprimo Marketing

  Product Review published in DM Review Magazine
March 2003 Issue
  By David Shadick
Review of: Aprimo Marketing from Aprimo, Inc.


REVIEWER: David Shadick, associate director of marketing information systems for Ernst & Young LLP.

BACKGROUND: Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to restoring the public's trust in professional services and in the quality of financial reporting. Our 110,000 people in more than 135 countries operate with the highest level of integrity, quality and professionalism to provide clients with solutions based on financial, transactional and risk-management knowledge in our core services of audit, tax and corporate finance.

PLATFORMS: Aprimo Marketing runs on Microsoft Windows NT and 2000. Our marketing professionals need only Internet Explorer versions 5.5+.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Ernst & Young needed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our B2B marketing efforts with our core group of global clients. With several hundred individual contacts at a single client, maximizing the impact of our marketing programs was a significant challenge. However, with many of these client lifetime values exceeding millions of dollars, this challenge was overshadowed by the significance of the opportunity. When we began our search for a single client repository and marketing toolset, there was no single database that tracked contact history and the depth of our client relationships. With hundreds of marketing professionals promoting our services across multiple channels, it is easy to see how a lack of visibility and shared best practices quickly diminished our ability to market appropriately and optimize client lifetime value.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Ernst & Young uses Aprimo to perform the following general functions: targeted direct e-mails; ongoing lead management; inbound interactions via Web form submission; Webcast registration and follow-up; and project management (task assignment and follow-up) for our national and regional marketing. Many components of the information within our Aprimo Marketing knowledge base are shared with other customer-facing organizations within the firm. For example, opportunities are collected from our events, sponsorships, Webcasts and direct communications, which are then distributed to the appropriate individuals for follow-up. Partners and managers are now better able to respond to our clients' needs because the Aprimo knowledge base provides real-time access to client interests and inquiries.

STRENGTHS: Aprimo Marketing provides us with several key benefits. The first is a single data repository that includes prospect/customer- touch histories. Increased efficiency in managing campaigns through automation allows marketing managers more time to create campaigns instead of administering them. Shared best practices and templates allow marketers to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks experienced in previous campaigns. Another key benefit of Aprimo Marketing is decreased time in disseminating lead information and the ability to reach many more client-serving professionals who can act on those leads.

WEAKNESSES: While Aprimo Marketing has given us the ability to capture and utilize a tremendous amount of client, prospect and campaign data, we would like to have the system provide this visibility, as well as the results from our improved campaigns, in a more proactive format. We are planning to gain this value through the implementation of both e-mail-based report distribution capabilities and the new Lead Portal when we upgrade to Aprimo's latest version, Aprimo Marketing v5.5.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected Aprimo Marketing because it provides a comprehensive enterprise marketing management (EMM) solution. While many vendors focus on campaign management implementation and lead tracking, Aprimo offers an entire suite of programs in one platform that allows marketing to monitor current and past marketing programs and track customer interactions. Most importantly, we needed a platform that could justify marketing programs by demonstrating ROI for every campaign.

DELIVERABLES: Because of Aprimo Marketing, Ernst & Young has mapped more than 1 million client touchpoints in the past year. Additionally, our targeting is tighter, our response rates are higher and our marketing people are spending between 30 percent and 80 percent less time executing our campaigns. We solved the problem of keeping track of our valuable clients and are now communicating more efficiently with client contacts at all levels of the organization.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The combination of the Aprimo global services team and the Aprimo customer support team has enabled us to realize value early in our implementation and also as we grow in our ability to utilize more and more of its capabilities.

DOCUMENTATION: Aprimo provides comprehensive and intuitive documentation. With context-sensitive, online help available on nearly every screen, the information we need is available where and when we need it.


For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...

David Shadick, associate director of marketing information systems for Ernst & Young LLP.

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