Monday, October 23, 2006

Marketing Stim-Response Data Warehouses

Question: What do you need before you have any business starting media mix optimization or direct marketing rationalization?

Answer: A marketing stimulus-response data warehouse.


I was reading the marketing news this morning and came across a press release for a "Physician database marketing system" from CPM that "is specifically designed to link internal, external and computed data to the main consumer CRM system..." I have no idea if this system works or not, but it highlights an interesting trend. I've started to see these "supplementary data warehouses" in the market place... Another good one to look at is Upper Quadrant.

CRM systems, I would argue, are first and foremost about capturing transactions through a user interface. Even Siebel's Marketing Enterprise is largely about getting program planners, direct marketers, etc., to enter in their campaigns, tactics, etc. in an organized way. This was information that was, before CRM, largely uncaptured. Where CRM systems have fallen down is giving a holistic view of sales and marketing stim-response across the enterprise. This is because CRM system are, by definition, somewhat siloed (or a lot siloed). It is unrealistic to expect the Salesforce.com installation to contain financial outcomes of leads, a complete view of the marketing database, time series data on advertising, etc.

So, the solution is the marketing data warehouse. Up until now, these have existing in two flavors and they were almost always customized / built by system integrators. Flavor one are the customer / lead / direct marketing data warehouses. These are primarily executional. Flavor two are the stim-response databases that tend to be primarily analytical. There are a couple places where I've also seen attempts at one data warehouse that covers both executional DR and analytical in one.

My point here is simply that there is huge white space for a company that can come in and deliver a largely pre-baked marketing data warehouse solution that pulls data in from CRM, Marketing Automation, ERP / Financials, and, most importantly, commonly used external sources. Getting back to Upper Quadrant, they are starting down this path. They are building the hooks into Nielsen, common call center switches, competive data, media trackers, etc. so that customers can get marketing data warehouses up and running quickly. It should be an exciting space to watch over the next couple years.

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