CATEGORY: CRM

REVIEWER: John D. Stuart, senior vice president of worldwide field marketing for PTC.

BACKGROUND: PTC develops, markets, implements and supports software solutions that help manufacturers get superior products to market before their competitors. PTC is the world's largest software company with a total commitment to product development. The company services more than 30,000 customers worldwide. PTC's software helps these companies create new product innovations more rapidly and joins together companies, their customers and suppliers to collapse the time it takes to get products to market. The result is the first-to-market advantages of increased growth, market share and profit, coupled with accelerated customer acceptance of new products.

PLATFORMS: For PTC, Aprimo is providing Aprimo Marketing via a hosting model. Aprimo hosts the solution which we access across the Internet with a standard Web browser.

PROBLEM SOLVED: PTC's marketing department was faced with managing numerous databases and sources from which to collect the customer data used in our executive conference marketing. At one point, we were using approximately 30 different databases for our customer information ­ everything from separate field and corporate databases to separate databases for venues, graphics, invitations, budgets, calendars and vendors. To promote our seminars, our marketing efforts included sending targeted direct mail to our prospect database of about 80,000 names. We had too many databases and inconsistent lead and project management systems, and we needed to make a change.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: After we pulled all of our customer data into one central Aprimo Marketing knowledge base, we launched a new marketing program to support our conferences. We created a marketing database to help us send targeted mailings to customers and prospects. Now, we are receiving a five percent response rate from most of our mailings and have reduced the overall cost. With Aprimo Marketing, we have reduced implementation times for our seminars, allowing us to increase their consistency. Typically, each seminar now attracts more than 200 top CIOs and COOs. Aprimo Marketing helped us move away from one-off types of mailings, and we now reach our audience with an integrated program.

STRENGTHS: With Aprimo Marketing, we were able to collect customer and prospect information from all of our various sources into one central location. The strong planning module enables us to centrally define and organize our plans, goals and objectives. Aprimo Marketing allows us to manage touchpoints with the customer, helping us to deliver consistent messages every time.

WEAKNESSES: While Aprimo Marketing offers superb management of campaigns and operational information, we didn't have full customer insight until the most recent version which incorporates new analytics features.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We looked for a solution that would allow us to consolidate all of our information into one central knowledge base, help us to spend more time focusing on our marketing activities instead of the details and could grow with us. We selected Aprimo Marketing because it offers a centralized marketing platform that links our entire marketing organization in real time. Aprimo Marketing addresses every aspect of running a marketing campaign: identifying and adhering to objectives, approving creative concepts, managing the marketing supply chain, capturing and utilizing best practices, and measuring the true costs associated with campaigns.

DELIVERABLES: The customer and prospect information used throughout the organization is now in one centralized location. With Aprimo Marketing's automated workflow, we can create templates of activities we frequently perform and automatically populate new due dates and tasks. We also can utilize our templates to apply best practices to our activities and campaigns, streamlining our planning and execution efforts. We have access to an all-encompassing marketing calendar that displays all of our activities.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Aprimo's support for their product is superior. Our implementation of the system took less than six months with Aprimo's help. In our experience with them, they have been extremely responsive, reliable and quite knowledgeable about the product.

DOCUMENTATION: The Aprimo Marketing documentation is comprehensive and easy to understand. With context-sensitive help available on nearly every screen, information is available exactly when and where you most need it.

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