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CASE STUDY: Teradata Aprimo Marketing Operations Management for Real-Time Interactions


Our client is the customer relationship marketing (CRM) function within a large, Fortune 100 retailer.  

The CRM group supports execution of more than 400 distinct real-time offers across the retailer’s ten marketing channels. The CRM group is comprised of over 100 marketing users from five distinct teams representing several of the retailer’s business units.  

Business Challenges

After a successful implementation of an enterprise-wide real-time marketing function, the retailer found itself in a position where it had very little structure to manage the unique challenges of a sophisticated and rapidly expanding real-time interaction process.  All of the projects, approvals and communications were managed using email. The average project had between 50 and 100 email communications between the various teams and stakeholders. They had limited ability for tracking and accountability of the current team workload. This lack of visibility and discipline was creating duplicate efforts and inefficiencies.

The team understood they needed to:

  • Handle hundreds of offers and the associated eligibility rules
  • Improve the process for offer testing, analysis and broader roll-out of the offers
  • Manage against profitability metrics to ensure offer strategy and decision rules are designed to drive engagement
  • Better understand the volume of overall workload for the team and individuals on the team
  • Manage short change cycles for decision rules while still maintaining an approval process and change log for the real-time offers
  • Have better visibility into trends of production processes delivering late and/or with quality issues

What was the proposed Pinpoint Solution?

Pinpoint consultants worked with the retailer to apply the discipline and automation of a Marketing Resource Management system (Teradata Aprimo) to the real-time offers and interactions process. This solution included a central repository needed to house all offer documentation, offer decision rules, history of assigned and completed tasks, process notes and activity.

The processes needed to be automated within the software and standardized in the Teradata Aprimo system. It also needed to be flexible enough to manage a continuously changing set of offers and decision rules in a real-time interaction environment.

The solution provided improved communications, streamlined and automated campaign instructions, enhanced processes, training materials and reports for better insights and analytics.

Solution Summary

create_visibilityCreate Visibility

Before the Real-time Interaction MRM System

A weekly meeting with the business units would provide a snap-shot of the offers needing to be deployed. This block of 300+ offers was added to the intake sheets and parsed out among the developers. Once distributed, the marketing operations team had no visibility into task owners. For example, once a job was submitted by email to the developers, the only way to know if the current owner/step of a job was on track was to send an email and manually chase down the job to determine owner and current status.

After the Real-time Interaction MRM System

Pinpoint consultants assigned a role within Teradata Aprimo and created rules to automate the way they assigned the work. They also added a task to confirm that the offers are going into production and aligned it with a new process with greater visibility into where the developers were within the process.

Tracking was put in place for all jobs.

  • Each step in the new workflows was labeled with a Process Stage. Anyone looking at a particular activity could tell exactly what step it was at in the process.
  • Within the established daily reporting, timing for a job is now being tracked so that everyone can tell of a job in on-schedule, at risk of missing its delivery date or if it has already missed its delivery date.
  • Mandatory Peer Review steps were added for most project workflows

The graphic of the process tasks shows multiple activities—some in tandem—that needed coordination:


improve_offer_effectivenessImprove Offer Effectiveness

Before the Real-time Interaction MRM System

The marketing operations team held weekly meetings with the business unit stakeholders to determine the real-time offer strategy for the week. Based on cross-sell/up-sell opportunities, there were excel sheets created for each business unit, based on individual business objectives.

The business unit objectives guided the creation of offers based on those goals. The marketing operations teams used reports from the previous offers in order to test the analysis and determine which offers would be deployed across which customers each week. These strategies were compiled for each business unit, but they needed a way to show the offers across the group to help avoid any potential duplication and for a better prioritization of the offers based on revenue goals. To do this, Pinpoint helped to create a "strategy grid" to better organize the goals and offers for each team.

Offers were determined by customer behavior goals to:

  • Get customers to shop a specific department when they haven't            
  • Get previous customers who have shopped a specific department in past to get return business             
  • Get previous customers who have shopped, but not in last 3 months, to return
  • Get customers who have shopped a department in last 3 months to make a subsequent store trip
  • Get customers who are shopping in another department to visit your department
  • Get customers currently shopping a department to make a subsequent trip to the store
After the Real-time Interaction MRM System

Pinpoint consultants created an offer platform where stakeholders could manage their offers and associated business rules. The strategy grid is updated as the offers are created and now an automated approval process is in place to confirm when offers are ready to go to the development team.

A prioritization process is also in place so the most important things get done in higher priority order.

Today, the process begins with a business review of offer effectiveness and the team can easily modify offer inventory and create, delete or deactivate offers. The combination of the business unit processes and production processes—as opposed to a traditional campaign process—now shows where every task is checked off the list.

The marketing strategists have tasks throughout the workflow: initiation of the process, build of their intake sheets and associated tasks so that a final sheet is completed at the end of the week. All the while the production team is able to make the updates as data is flowing back and forth towards the final and approved offers. The tandem activities all converged on a pre-determined timeline. This improved accountability and, consequently, the relationships between the teams were improved to eliminate “finger-pointing” if something went wrong.

positives_into_negativesTurning Negatives into Positives

Before the Real-time Interaction MRM System

The old process included a negative list of issues. Metrics were in place for:

  • Jobs running behind/running into issues
  • Jobs submitted late without enough time to complete on schedule
  • Submitters regularly submitting jobs late and/or with incomplete/issues
  • Production employees delivering projects late and/or with quality issues
After the Real-time Interaction MRM System

Today the team is able to measure the effectiveness of each of the offers in the queue.

Some of the improvements include:

  • A daily “meter” email is deployed to show if the real-time offers are operational at the time they are supposed to be
  • 90% on-time execution of time to market for the offers
  • Reports that show closed and open statuses
  • Processes/steps were added to ensure increased quality

The most valuable improvement has come in the number of offers deployed each week. Volume has nearly doubled. Previously, during the holidays the team could only accept 200 offers a week, then the team would deploy more real-time offers on the basis of “if you have time to get these added. ” Now they can deploy nearly double that amount, and not just during the active holiday season, but for each week of the year.

Benefits Summary

Today Teradata Aprimo is the central repository for all real-time offer documentation, activity, instructions and process notes history. Processes were built with an initial required upfront review step to quickly determine if there was enough information supplied to conduct a detailed review of the job requirements.       

Workflow management provides:

  • A streamlined process
  • Awareness of the campaign status within the process
  • An opportunity to further develop the timelines
  • Better checks and balances on offer selections
  • Better instructions/details for requests
  • Better tracking of all documents
  • Better organization of tasks

A large retailer improves offer effectiveness and gains 90% on-time execution of time to market.

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