Wide-Ranging Marketing Operations in Closely Regulated Environments
There are plenty of membership-based public interest organizations, but few are as large, as vital, and as prolifically active as this client. With $1.7+ billion in annual revenues across 3 service affiliates and 1 foundation, this client has 40+ million members for which it provides advocacy and services ranging across healthcare, insurance, educational, employment and retirement benefits.
To keep all those members informed about all those services – and to continually conduct advocacy and outreach programs on their behalf – this client by necessity operates vast marketing and publishing operations.
So vast, in fact, that the magazine and bulletin it sends periodically to its members are the two largest-circulation publications in the USA.
And, in terms of compliance and regulation, it’s hard to imagine a more challenging environment: this client’s business segments, and most of the causes it serves, are all among the most closely monitored and regulated by state and federal agencies.
So, running marketing operations tight, right, and with a clear line-of-sight is absolutely critical to success.
A daunting challenge for sure. However, by leveraging Aprimo’s Marketing Productivity platform, our client achieved those 3 goals by delivering across 3 key dimensions:
- A Single Source of Truth. Marketing activities are now consolidated across business lines and advocacy audiences, providing a unified Operational System of Record for all marketing initiatives and materials.
- End-to-End Efficiency. Marketing processes and materials are now digitally managed from ideation through development, approval and compliance sign-off.
- Real-Time Visibility. Marketing leadership is now able to view a consolidated report of activities across all advocacy and service lines, summary status reports across all campaigns and teams, and comprehensive audit trails to meet stringent compliance requirements.
Achieving a Single Source of Truth
Prior to deploying Aprimo, our client’s marketing initiatives were managed the “old fashioned” way: spreadsheets, phone calls, emails and meetings. In fact, email was effectively their operational system of record — marketing managers across all service areas relied on email almost exclusively to manage thousands of marketing initiatives for dozens of constituencies.
The client realized a transformation was needed. The organization simply couldn’t keep up with the exponentially increasing volumes of marketing materials. It couldn’t facilitate collaboration and communication across teams. It couldn’t provide a holistic view of all marketing activity, nor the resource assignment, project scheduling, reporting and audit logs needed to stay in compliance. Therefore:
Job 1 was to digitally re-imagine and consolidate the client’s marketing processes. With EMMsphere’s assistance, the client cataloged, synthesized and re-cast existing manual processes across teams and service areas into a library of digital workflow that could be consolidated and managed together, all within the Aprimo platform.
Job 2 was to facilitate change toward the client’s new digital operating paradigm. With EMMsphere’s support, the client enabled their marketing professionals to learn, understand and successfully conduct their day-to-day marketing operations within the new Aprimo environment.
Key results achieved with respect to a Single Source of Truth include:
- An Operational System of Record. The client standardized on Aprimo’s Marketing Productivity as its consolidated repository and management solution for all marketing activities.
- Process Consolidation. The client consolidated dozens of manual and ad-hoc production methodologies into a consistent library of digital workflows for all marketing teams.
- User Training, Learning & Support. The client leveraged EMMsphere’s extensive help and support resources to ensure that users experienced a smooth transition to the new Aprimo operating environment.
Achieving End-to-End Efficiency
Building a Single Source of Truth means consolidation across workflows, but it also means consolidation within workflows.
Working with the EMMsphere team, the client gathered all steps across the entire end-to-end lifecycle of each workstream – ideation, planning, development, review, approval and publication – and completely re-imagined, streamlined and rationalized processes to work seamlessly within the context of Aprimo’s Marketing Productivity platform.
This was an enormous challenge: the client was coming from a largely ad-hoc, email-centric working style, which had to be methodically translated and re-structured into a consistent catalog of production workflows that marketing managers across all constituencies could embrace.
The EMMsphere team then conducted many rounds of process validation and refinement sessions to eliminate redundancies, incorporate review and approval control points, and adhere to compliance requirements.
Key results achieved with respect to End-to-End Efficiency include:
- Process Rationalization & Consistency. The client consolidated dozens of manual and ad-hoc production processes across all service areas into a consistent and streamlined library of process templates, tasks and roles that could be leveraged over and over.
- Process & Data-Entry Simplification. The client streamlined the number of manual steps per process from 40+ down to 20-25 tasks on average, a 40% reduction. Data-entry duplication was also eliminated, facilitating end-user adoption and training.
- Review & Approval Checkpoints. The client incorporated an array of review and approval control gates at key milestones within each process. This proved particularly helpful for ensuring that regulatory and compliance requirements for marketing materials were properly met.
- Process Execution & Management. By leveraging Aprimo’s role assignment and management capabilities in conjunction with their newly streamlined production processes, the client is now able to handle marketing manager turnover without skipping a beat.
- Productivity & Throughput. With all of the new Aprimo-enabled efficiencies in place, the client was able to increase the volume of projects and campaigns completed per marketing manager by 20-25%.
- Speed to Market. Combining the end-to-end process efficiencies noted earlier with automated submissions for regulatory approvals and lean/agile work methodologies, the client was able to dramatically reduce overall marketing production cycle time by 35-50% in most cases.
Achieving Real-Time Visibility
With such a broad array of advocacy and service programs, being able to coordinate, schedule and view real-time information across the entire organization’s marketing initiatives was a critical need.
Therefore, having a clean line-of-sight into real-time marketing production status and resource availability was a key success factor for the entire Aprimo-based initiative.
In addition, for this particular client, real-time visibility can also mean the difference between smooth sailing or regulatory audits and penalties.
To that end, the EMMsphere team helped the client implement an array of management and compliance exception reports. The idea was to gain visibility to project status for production initiatives that were either going well, or were delayed – or were denied compliance approval.
Further, by leveraging Aprimo’s marketing scheduling and reporting capabilities, the client gained dynamic views into scheduled marketing initiatives by advocacy or service segment, by region, by team, by role and by timeframe.
Key results achieved with respect to Real-Time Visibility include:
- Project Status Reports. Since production-related data is now captured and maintained in an Operational System of Record for all marketing operations, the client can now view consolidated project status reports across all advocacy and service lines of business.
- Compliance Exception Reports. With EMMsphere’s support, the client prepared a series of reports to view upcoming compliance and regulatory submissions, as well as their result (and remediation if any)
- Views & Dashboards. Each team member can personalize their own views of their project and work assignments, and groups can now have their own purpose-built Aprimo dashboard, which will allow them to view graphical summaries of their work items at-a-glance.
- Resource Availability and Assignment. Project managers can now assign resources with confidence of their real-time availability, and they can view team, role and user assignment data across any desired timeframe.
- Audit Logs For Compliance & Regulatory Conformity. The client leverages Aprimo’s comprehensive audit logging and tracking capabilities to adhere with internal standards and guidelines as well as state and federal legal requirements.
About EMMsphere Services
EMMsphere is an end-to-end marketing solutions technology consulting and managed services provider. We offer a comprehensive array of services to help large organizations define, build, and maintain alignment across their marketing operations in order to successfully achieve their ultimate destination.