Background and challenge
Anderson Baillie, one of the top ten UK business-to-business and technology marketing agencies, recognised the potential that technology could bring to marketing some years ago.
The agency advocates an integrated approach to marketing underpinned by advanced technology.
When it began its search for the technology which could realise this vision, it chose Sage Saleslogix as one of the main elements.
Anderson Baillie consultant, Andrew Ball explained, "We are in the business of providing IT marketing solutions and we must be able to communicate directly with our clients. They expect a high level of technology support and we want them to feel they are an extension of the marketing programme.
"The system we have built around Saleslogix enables us to stay in close touch with clients and deliver full campaign management - the whole marketing campaign is visible and everything is available on line. It is very much in line with our business approach to integrated marketing.”
Saleslogix is the central component of what Anderson-Baillie sees as an 'integrated toolbox' to support integrated marketing.
Ball said, "We have taken Saleslogix and componentised it. Clients can be confident that the data associated with a marketing campaign is accurate - it is data cleansed, for example. And it gives us and our clients live, on-line reporting facilities"
While Saleslogix is the starting point for Anderson-Baillie's campaign support toolbox, the agency has added significant functionality to the core application.
Anderson-Baillie's information system manager, Julie Mallam says the application has evolved over the last two years.
She said, "When we first installed it, we concentrated on internal use first. We wanted some way of forecasting and then started running campaign monitoring.
Rated by Campaign magazine as the sixth most important technology marketing agency in the UK, Anderson-Baillie operates from two offices - its headquarters in Warrington, Cheshire and a satellite office in Oxfordshire - and employs 20 staff. About ten staff use the application regularly.
The application proved to be so successful that it also caught the eye of Anderson-Baillie's clients.
Mallam said, "Some clients saw it and said they wanted access too. They wanted on-line progress reports so they could, for example, monitor the effects of a telemarketing campaign."
She added the general trend towards automating customer relationship management (CRM) has also helped to raise the profile of Anderson-Baillie's approach.
Mallam explained, "As CRM has hit the scene in a big way, clients expect a high level of technology support. We saw that it was not only good for us - it could extend to our clients."
Anderson-Baillie provides links for clients to access varying levels of data about their campaign. Clients pay for the service indirectly through the standard agency fees.
Typically, the application supports about ten client users on top of the ten Anderson-Baillie staff who use it on a daily basis.
Mallam is keen to emphasise that Anderson-Baillie does not operate as a 'reseller' - but as an integrated marketing service provider which includes a level of technology support.
She said, "You don't have to use the whole system - you can just take what you need. But we are not a reseller, so the cost is rolled into the fees. All they are getting is access to the data which we would set up for ourselves anyway."
The level of service that Anderson-Baillie provides, she goes on, depends on the kind of client: "We have found clients want different levels of support.
They can access data. They can carry out administration or they can take control of a campaign. It is really quite minimal work for us."
Mallam said Anderson-Baillie has built on the Saleslogix core software to produce an application which fills a wide range of functions for the agency and its clients.
Despite the broad scope of the customisation needed, the development proceeded in a trouble free way.
Mallam said one of the main change was to 'anglicise' the software: "When we implemented it, we thought it was very American in its approach. We have altered this to fit in with what we want. Now it sells itself."
The application has brought significant benefits to Anderson-Baillie and its clients.
Ball says it not only helps Anderson-Baillie operate more effectively - it has a real impact with clients.
He added, "With 80 per cent of clients we can be up and running in three days so they can launch a campaign very quickly. The other 20 per cent take a little longer because they might want more reports."
Ball went on to say that the main benefit comes from the flexibility provided by the application.
He concluded, "We can adapt it very easily to keep up with what our clients want. It is so flexible you can range from the minimal service to a full managed service. It's really a whole marketing campaign in a box."
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