REVIEWER: Ashish Vachhani, direct marketing manager for Blinds to Go.

BACKGROUND: Blinds To Go is the largest manufacturer and retailer of custom blinds and shades in North America. The company currently operates 120 superstores throughout the eastern United States, Midwest and Canada along with two world-class manufacturing facilities located in Lakewood, New Jersey, and Montreal, Canada.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Our primary business objective was to select a marketing automation solution that would enable us to enhance our target marketing activities through greater customer understanding. We also sought an ASP solution that could provide easy access to our data. Group 1's DM1 offers essential data hygiene and enhancement capabilities by integrating Group 1's leading data quality solutions. It also provides analysis through ad hoc query tools, data visualization and campaign management. An easy-to-use enterprise marketing automation solution designed for marketers, DM1 additionally incorporates leading third-party technologies.

APPLICATION FUNCTIONALITY: We are very pleased with DM1 to date. It is maximizing the effectiveness of our CRM and target marketing efforts. In utilizing DM1 via ASP, we can concentrate on strategic analysis and sales-generating marketing programs without allocating resources to implementation, data hygiene or database management. The system serves as our primary direct marketing tool, providing us with accurate customer data, the foundation for successful customer-centric business initiatives. In addition to direct mail, DM1's campaign management capabilities enable us to develop, roll out and track the success of marketing campaigns. We also use the solution to profile and analyze our customers' transaction history. This data is used to guide subsequent marketing efforts.

STRENGTHS: DM1's data cleansing capabilities are powerful. This functionality significantly enhances our customer data quality. Accurate data provides substantial operational savings as well as greater customer intelligence. The name and address verification and standardization component of DM1 is particularly robust. Additionally, with National Change of Address (NCOA) data, we can ensure that our communications reach our customers. This is of great importance considering 15 percent of Americans change residences each year. We are also satisfied with the campaign management technology provided by DM1, particularly the response tracker. This component of DM1 enables us to identify our best direct mail campaigns, providing added insight into our marketing efforts. Finally, DM1 is great for handling generic lists. Its sophisticated name and address matching algorithm is unmatched at identifying and eliminating duplicate records. Consequently, we can go to market using consolidated customer and prospect information, thus avoiding wasted postage and direct mail costs associated with duplicate mailings.

WEAKNESSES: Some of the available reports and statistics cannot be exported to tools such as Microsoft Excel for further analysis. This also limits the presentation and printing options for those reports. Additionally, data from certain fields cannot be exported outside the DM1 database.

SELECTION CRITERIA: DM1 provided us tremendous ease of use since the solution was designed with marketers in mind. It also was a good value for the money. DM1 provides a great deal of functionality at a fraction of the cost of similar systems from larger vendors. Finally, DM1 has a proven track record in the database marketing arena.

DELIVERABLES: DM1 provides customer count, name and address information based on our queries. We receive a number of outputs that are of great value including location statistics, area of dominant influence information and MSA reports. DM1 also outputs demographic information and latitude and longitude data used for mapping. Transaction information such as sales, date of sale and dollar amount is exported to other tools for further analysis and modeling.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have been very satisfied with Group 1 during both pre- and post-implementation. We benefited from the development team taking time to learn our business dynamics. The project management team was excellent.

DOCUMENTATION: DM1 is very user-friendly and hardly needs any reference information. We could easily run the system on our own without the documentation. The training we received was also valuable.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access