You’ve heard of category killers. SAS thinks it has a category creator. With the acquisition of marketing resource management pioneer Assetlink, SAS believes it has stretched beyond the standard marketing resource management (MRM) solution for retailers and other verticals. According to Assetlink CEO Chetan Saiya, the combination will bring Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) and its lead management capabilities to the forefront.
“There’s a tremendous convergence happening right now in the amount of media and the amount of automated messaging that a company manages,” Saiya said. “Companies are having to very tightly integrate the data from their messaging with the impact that it has on sales and marketing. We think it creates the new category of integrated marketing management.”
Saiya sees the combined SAS and Assetlink offering as a way to make it easier for marketers to plan, create and optimize marketing programs. For retailers he believes it will lead to more efficient marketing and media planning, with an emphasis on driving leads and optimizing offers. For example, currently, he says too much retail marketing is aimed at traditional print mechanisms that are tough to measure. With the Assetlink/SAS integrated solution companies will be able to analyze campaigns to define the ones that generated the most leads and also the strategies for hot to follow up on them.
The two companies have actually been working together for more than four years. In fact, American Eagle and T-Mobile have been among their joint customers during that time. SAS VP of Product Management, Randy Guard, said the increased emphasis on offer distribution and workflow process in the marketing measurement space made the transition from partnership to acquisition more urgent. The integration of SAS with Assetlink will add value to customers already using SAS in the marketing department. Marketing organizations are increasingly challenged to execute more sophisticated marketing programs while holding staffing levels flat, he says. Assetlink stretches workflow management across multiple channels to help marketers avoid potential bottlenecks. With Assetlink, SAS helps manage and optimize marketing operations through more efficient asset management, increased measurement capabilities and improved financial reporting.
SAS is already well-known for marketing resource management. According to Guard, the integration of SAS and Assetlink addresses new areas including the capability to manage inbound marketing and access real-time analytics, essential for choreographing relevant communications within the call center, website, and mobile and social media channels. Other features include:
- Advanced analytics, including the ability to predict customer attrition calculate customer profitability, and discern topics and sentiment from consumer reviews and complaints;
- Marketing optimization, including the ability to select the best combination of customer, offer and channel to maximize a given business objective, such as profit;
- Data management and cross-channel data integration capabilities portable to any data warehouse platform, essential for a single, accurate view of the customer across all channels.
“Data collected by marketing operations management solutions is a rich source of information,” Saiya said. “By applying powerful SAS Analytics to the data captured by Assetlink, CMOs and marketing professionals can discover how to get more out of their marketing resources and identify new opportunities from which to wring value.”
The acquisition positions SAS as a leader within integrated marketing management (IMM). First described by analyst firm Gartner, IMM refers to an increasingly prevalent strategy of integrating people, processes and technologies. According to Gartner, by 2014, organizations that develop an integrated marketing strategy “will deliver a 50% higher Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) than those that don’t.”
Expect to hear more from SAS about using the resources created by the integration of retail data, marketing analytics and customer data for lead management purposes.