Planning for Enterprise Marketing Platform – Forrester’s prescription

Suresh Vittal of Forrester released a report on successful implementation of Enterprise Marketing Platform couple of months ago. It had some interesting learnings for any enterprise planning to get this going in their organization. Here are some highlights:

  • Pre-implementation planning should include a full data profiling exercise. Many marketers stop after a cursory audit of their potential data
    sources. But a basic data audit misses most of the data issues that
    marketers will encounter during the implementation. Profiling data
    early helps identify key data inconsistencies with sufficient time to
    solve them without any delays to subsequent phases. These
    inconsistencies stem from issues associated with data cleanliness,
    rapid acquisition of multiple data sources, and data-software
    incompatibilities. A leading retailer told us, "Our campaign management
    system likes data to be set up in a certain way. We spent one year
    structuring the tool to fit our data mart and then switched to
    organizing our data mart to fit the tool.
  • "Major process and workflow revisions are par for the course. By
    their very nature, marketing automation tools make some processes
    obsolete and require the creation of others. As one large bank told us,
    "Marketers must realize that with automation they are capable of
    planning and executing 50 campaigns instead of three. This means that
    they will need to pay attention to workflow and analytics."
  • Increased demand for analytical skills after rollout requires upfront planning.
    Traditional marketing practices place little emphasis on deeply
    understanding one’s data — a required skill for using an enterprise
    marketing platform. As a result, the skills mix of most teams shifts
    after implementation, and on some occasions teams even undergo a
    complete reorganization. One large financial services institution found
    that, "The bulk of requests moved downstream. Marketers who originally
    dealt with campaign execution are now requesting campaigns and defining
    segmentation and offer requirements, with the production happening in
    the background."
  • Technology support organizations are essential. Enterprise
    marketing platforms are complicated enterprise software, which require
    a technical background to install, configure, and maintain. Marketers
    should secure advice and assistance from their technology support teams
    for planning and defining requirements and dealing with integration
    issues and software upgrades post-implementation. One large insurance
    organization had its IT department write a portion of its request for
    proposal (RFP), while a large high-tech firm found great success in
    partnering with both finance and IT. In both cases, marketing retained
    ownership of the final decision, but it brought in experts for advice
    as needed.
  • Change management and on-boarding takes longer than anticipated.
    With changes to process, technology, and skills, most marketing teams
    need time and resources to adjust. One enterprise-level, high-tech firm
    told us, "Don’t try to shortchange the effort. Refresh it and keep it
    moving by focusing on process, culture, rewards, and behavior
    management." A large brand manufacturer told us "Scoping support was a
    challenge. We were taking a core tool used daily and completely
    replacing it with a new one. The team was busy just keeping up with
    campaigns, and now they have to make time to sit with the project team
    and learn the new tool."


  1. This seems like a great fullfeatured solution. I actually looked at it, when I was searching for something for my business. But after a while I realized that I don’t need all those functions. So I went for a simpler web-based system –


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