It's a Digital World (2,835 words)
These two sides of a company's data come together to help it understand the relationship between its offerings and its customers. You have the operating data on one end that tells you where your customers live, what they have bought from you, when they bought these items, how much they paid and in what form and what type of offer brought them in. The other stack of data is your communications content—the images, copy, audio and video you use to communicate your offers and messages.
The link between these information warehouses supports your company's ability to maximize its sales potential across all media, customer segments and product lines, says Russell Keizer, of Cascade Systems, a privately held software developer and systems integrator located in Andover, MA.
Cascade Systems markets a software program called SureCast, Keizer explains, that helps companies look in both directions—at the sales and behavior history and at the assets—to make marketing decisions. When companies determine what products get marketed to which customer segments, the software enables them to make sure it's the right time for the sales pitch by linking operations data to image data for a complete look at the possible connections.
What's Your Plan?
Before you can reap the benefits of digitized content, you have to decide how to set up your system. Naturally, you'll have to consider whether you want to outsource or bring the operation in-house.
Three immediate questions, says Banta's Leibly, are:
(1) Does your company have the expertise to handle digital content management in-house? While your firm probably has some key people who understand what's needed to create this new workflow, can you spare employees from the jobs they do every day to handle this important function?
(2) In planning for the size of the system, can you quantify your business' needs—how many users, the amount of content, the number of mailings put out using this content and the complexity of your operations? Such components greatly affect the type of work team constructed to oversee this new set-up.