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3/30/2011
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IT And Marketing: How Digital Media's Changing The Relationship

The pressure is on to show measurable results from campaigns. That should make IT and marketing teams closer partners than they are.

Scale Back Brand Advertising

Under pressure from the recession and high unemployment, job listings site Monster.com scaled back its broad-based, brand advertising in favor of a more cost-effective, multichannel approach. After a bit of experimentation, it has settled on combining personalized email, direct mail, social engagement, and prioritized telemarketing.

Monster tracks all those efforts in a campaign management system from Unica, the vendor IBM acquired last year. The on-premises system is supported by the company's applications team, which meets with marketing weekly to review trouble and service tickets, ongoing projects and changes, and the regular release schedule.

If IT wants to build trust with marketing, this kind of close interaction can be critical. In a survey of marketing and IT teams by the CMO Council and Accenture, nearly two-thirds of marketers say they had problems implementing marketing software, and the No. 1 reason cited was the low priority IT puts on marketing.

At Monster, a typical campaign starts with email, but it has evolved from sending generic messages to big groups to sending personalized messages to targeted segments. Its best prospects are HR decision-makers at large companies in growth industries, such as high tech and healthcare.

Monster uses SAS statistical modeling software to identify customers and prospects most likely to buy job listings and other services in a given quarter. These scores are applied to the marketing database under Unica, which also maintains details on when campaigns ran, who received them, who opened them, and who clicked through. Unica's campaign module pulls mailing lists based on a range of criteria, including the opportunity score and past response behavior.

Cream-of-the-crop HR execs might receive a high-touch--and expensive--direct mail promotion, so the stakes are high for getting the analytics right. For example, Monster recently sent top prospects GPS devices to promote its new Power Resume Search product, since the promotional copy described it as a GPS for finding job candidates. "We use analytics against attributes like location, industry, and company size to score the data and home in on a subset of maybe 1,000 customers where we want to spend that kind of money," marketing VP Matthew Resteghini says.

Monster also has its social media team try to initiate interaction with select prospects through LinkedIn and other business-oriented social networks and groups. These prospects, too, are pulled from Unica. If the target list has 1,000 executives, Monster staffers might engage 50 to 100 of them through social media.

Behaviors tracked in Unica also drive prioritized telemarketing follow-up calls from Monster's sales force. For example, any customer who has opened and clicked through on more than one email is likely to get a call.

Resteghini says Monster is getting much better results now that it presents a consistent, targeted message across its core direct-marketing channels of email, direct mail, and telemarketing. But he's not entirely happy, particularly with measuring the impact of broadcast advertising--something RBC seems more confident about.

Monster also wants to do a better job of integrating banner ad campaigns with its email, direct mail, and telemarketing efforts. Web ads are now tracked through separate Web analytics tools, helping Monster determine how much revenue online campaigns are generating. The company's considering using Unica's NetInsights Web analytics product. With better Web analytics integration, Resteghini says, Monster could also use behavioral data--clicks and other actions tied to online ads--to drive direct-marketing efforts.

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