BACKGROUND: Bell Atlantic, a Fortune 25 company, is one of the top performers in the hotly competitive communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information.
PLATFORMS: At Bell Atlantic, the Xchange Dialogue for Marketing tool from Xchange, Inc. (formerly known as Exchange Applications) is installed on an HP- 2500 Series 9000 UNIX server running Oracle8.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Prior to implementing Xchange Dialogue for Marketing, Bell Atlantic relied on an ad hoc process to conduct all list generation, campaign management and analytics. Due to the technical complexities of our legacy systems, IT programmers played a key role in conducting campaigns. The heavy workloads of the IT staff and a fragmented, overloaded and bottlenecked process delayed initiatives for weeks or months. As a result, we sought a marketing automation solution that would empower our marketers with limited technical expertise to execute essential tasks themselves. Implementing a data mart and running Xchange Dialogue for Marketing were the cornerstones to realizing our vision for efficient campaign planning and execution and closed- loop marketing. Now, Bell Atlantic's marketing staff uses Xchange Dialogue for Marketing to plan, create, execute and analyze its own direct marketing iniatives. By taking the entire process in house, we have shortened our cycle time by almost half. We are also able to quickly and efficiently measure the effectiveness and ROI of each campaign.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Xchange Dialogue for Marketing sits atop Bell Atlantic's customer data mart, enabling our marketers to execute and analyze direct marketing efforts. We are currently in market trials with eXstatic eCampaign Designer, Xchange's e-marketing software, and we will be evaluating Campaign Optimizer, a Xchange Dialogue for Marketing module. Today, we find Xchange Dialogue for Marketing's ease of use, quick training period and automated functions let our busi-ness users efficiently execute the initiative so they can concentrate on planning and assessment.
STRENGTHS: Bell Atlantic chose to implement Xchange Dialogue for Marketing because of the ease of use, list management and generation capabilities, and scheduler functions. So far, we have seen the turnaround time for campaign execution shortened by 40 percent and, consequently, have been able to optimize our staff's time to conduct beneficial, targeted direct marketing efforts. This will enable the company to retain customers, cross-sell and up- sell additional products and services more effectively, increase the accessibility and integrity of our customer information and reduce over- solicitation to customers.
WEAKNESSES: Xchange Dialogue for Marketing does not currently offer a robust reporting template or profiler. Although it does provide quick counts, report generation is limited. Xchange, Inc., however, does provide integration to a number of popular third-party reporting tools and is developing their own tool with partner MicroStrategy, available in Q3 2000.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Bell Atlantic was looking for a marketing automation tool to fit into the existing system architecture with a friendly user interface. Xchange Dialogue for Marketing's architecture is open, which made implementation and integration with our legacy systems easy. The Windows- based desktop makes the tool accessible and less challenging to non- technical users. Lastly, Xchange Dialogue for Marketing's market acceptance and its proven track record helped us in the selection process.
DELIVERABLES: Xchange, Inc.'s services and software solution provided us with an easily accessible customer-centric data mart for maintaining integrity of information, measuring response rates and ROI, and
VENDOR SUPPORT: Xchange, Inc. provided us with a systems integration team that not only had the technical knowledge to get the job done, but maintained a strategic view of our marketing vision. Bell Atlantic thoroughly enjoyed working with Xchange, Inc. and found them to be knowledgeable, hard working and available. The Xchange services team also helped us construct a customer-centric data mart and provided strategic consulting to our marketing team.
DOCUMENTATION: Xchange Dialogue for Marketing's man-uals and training have been an asset in the implementation process. Xchange Dialogue for Marketing is Windows based and user friendly, and training non-technical users has been successful.
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