CATEGORY: Business Performance Management
REVIEWER: Tom Galvin, vice president of public affairs for VeriSign, Inc.
BACKGROUND: VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable everyone, everywhere to confidently engage in commerce and communications. These services create a trusted environment through four core offerings Web presence services, telecommunications services, security services and payment services powered by a global infrastructure that manages billions of network connections and transactions each day.
PLATFORMS: Because Market360 is a Web-hosted application, it doesn't run on VeriSign's systems. We can access Market360 anywhere the Internet is available.
PROBLEM SOLVED: For a company like VeriSign, generating media coverage is less of an issue than monitoring the tone of coverage, tracking industry issues and staying on top of what and how much is being said about competitors. We needed the sort of media analysis that would truly inform our business strategy. We needed to put media results in a meaningful context for our executives who drive business and product strategy to show them exactly how our strategies shape VeriSign's portrayal in the marketplace.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Market360, Biz360's media measurement application, continuously analyzes media coverage on VeriSign, our competition and the security market to provide us with real-time insight on our reputation and overall market, similar to business intelligence for the external world. Market360 quickly became an integral support mechanism for the VeriSign communications team to enhance and protect the company's reputation, and to support lines of business in expanding their markets. Because Market360 provides the intelligence to move beyond speculation about the market, we can act based on quantitative data. We can access real-time data on our competitive position, market sentiment and industry issues. All of the reports are customizable and interactive, allowing us to drill down to uncover relationships we would not have detected otherwise. For each report, we can filter the data by time frame, publication list, company, prominence, sentiment and a number of other factors. Market360 enables us to integrate analysis of external factors with other business intelligence analysis to drive strategy. The application also enables our product management and product marketing teams to understand the needs of our target audience in order to refine products and services, monitor and analyze competitor positioning and deftly communicate product benefits.
STRENGTHS: The strengths of Market360 include real-time aggregation and analysis of print, broadcast and online information; quantitative measurement of critical metrics such as mindshare, prominence and sentiment; the ability to filter data across multiple dimensions on the fly; and drill-down capabilities for in-depth analysis.
WEAKNESSES: We correlate data from Market360 with other sources of internal data. It would be useful if Market360 could integrate with other internal applications or if we could export data from a Market360 chart directly to a spreadsheet as opposed to accessing the data from a data table.
SELECTION CRITERIA: I've been acquainted with various measurement tools for communications and marketing, and I haven't been very impressed. A good information aggregation service tells you what you're getting, but it doesn't help you understand what it means or tell you what you're missing. Market360 is the first truly effective market intelligence tool I've used. It is continuous, Web-based, and it can be modified and tailored as our business needs change.
DELIVERABLES: Key deliverables include analytical tools and reports that enable us to: demonstrate how our communications efforts connect to corporate strategy; minimize missed coverage opportunities; monitor competitor moves and messages; impact our position in the media, who's covering us and how; and track mindshare, sentiment and thought leadership.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Pre- and post-implementation support was great, and because Market360 is an ASP solution, there was no IT setup required.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is sufficient, but the Market360 application is so easy to use that it did not require much training.
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