Trend Micro’s Wilson Lau on Using SaaS Data Integration to Manage E-mail

Deploying 5 million e-mails a month to North American consumers would not only be difficult, it would be impossible without help from its software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, says anti-virus Internet security software company Trend Micro. In fact, using an SaaS approach helped Trend Micro create its e-mail strategy a couple years ago, says Wilson Lau, the online marketing manager for the Japanese company with a Cupertino, Calif., home base in the U.S.

A few months away from adopting a new product from San Bruno, Calif.-based Responsys, the on-demand e-mail and marketing automation solutions provider Trend Micro hired about five years ago, Lau explains why SaaS is a good fit for his company. (Trend Micro already uses Responsys Interact, the campaign management platform, and plans to add on the new product, Responsys Interact Connect, another data integration tool that will allow Trend Micro to manage more of its own data.)

Target Marketing: What measurable results has Trend Micro seen from using SaaS data integration during the past two years?
Wilson Lau: It’s huge. … Before we had done that integration, we didn’t have any e-mail campaigns for consumers. … If we wanted to launch an e-mail, we pretty much needed to manually pull the data and manually upload it to Responsys. And because of the volume of the consumer business, I don’t know if it’s technically possible to do it manually. And also, even if we can do that, send out an e-mail blast, we won’t be able to do the timing and the data and subscription cycle-driven e-mail messages like we’re doing today. … We get new customers every day, and existing customers may renew the product so that their subscription … will change. …

TM: How does Trend Micro manage e-mail campaigns via the SaaS data integration tool?
WL: … All the campaigns make use of our customer data. And the customer data is initially created and maintained in our in-house database. So in the equation we created a couple years ago, [the SaaS tool] allows us to push the customer data and send updates to Responsys every day so that Responsys, inside the Interact platform … has almost an exact copy of our customer data. And with the campaign, and with all the accessibility, like data analysis and [the] extraction tool within the Interact platform, we are able to slice and dice and pick up just one tiny piece of customer information that we need for each particular campaign. So that we can send out very targeted e-mail at a predecided schedule and time to the customers.

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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