Today many organizations use marketing campaigns to inform clients and partners, conduct a survey, invite to event, offer a product or a service, increase loyalty of clients etc. They usually use simple campaigns for one interaction with a target audience through a selected channel. But is such approach always reasonable? Let`s take a closer look at the benefits of multi-staged marketing programs (a set of campaigns) in practice.
As an example we will have planning and running of a multi-staged marketing campaign in Oracle Siebel CRM for a telecommunication company.
A telecommunication operator is going to offer to clients whose traffic exceeds 20 GB to switch to unlimited rate plan. To allocate resources rationally it would be reasonable to divide the campaign into several stages. Besides it is possible to benefit using several communication channels. Every channel is unique in its own way and what should be taken into account when planning a marketing campaign. Let`s consider several the most popular channels.
||The relative cost of one action
||Depends on the resource popularity and client`s preferences when using internet-services in comparison to other channels.
||Rises a question of necessity of email addresses and whether clients actually want to read this mail
||SMS capacity is not big enough to contain a proposal, clients do not write a response
||Strongly depends on the accuracy of IVR-menu and whether a client is ready to spend time searching for necessary information in the diversified structure
||Channel that needs much resources and results heavily depend on qualification of operators
Experience shows that it is reasonable to use SMS to briefly inform clients and transfer them to another communication channel. Email fits best for a detailed description for a vast target audience with an option to collect feedbacks (feedback forms, hyperlinks). Outbound is the most effective way to communicate with highly interested audience.
Thus my campaign looks as follows:
Stage 1. To inform target audience about a new rate plan
Goal: To find interested clients
- Customers whose email addresses are known receive an email with a detailed description of a proposal. The letter contains a link to the website with information about a new rate plan.
- Clients who do not have an email address or who have not received the email will receive SMS with a synopsis of the proposal and an invitation to contact call-center for further information.
Stage 2. Giving necessary information, sales completion
Goal: Transfer interested clients to a new rate plan
- Contact-center operators receive calls from clients who are interested in the proposal mentioned in SMS.
- Contact-center operators call clients who used the link to a detailed description of the rate plan.
Stage 3. Campaign completion
Goal: To thank for switching to another rate plan
- All clients who switched to a proposed rate plan will receive SMS with the words of gratitude
The diagram above shows that the results of the previous campaign have become the criteria of the target audience formation for the next one. Thus the main task of a multi-stage is to transfer obtained results to another campaign. Client feedbacks (for example clicks on links) and interaction facts (SMS, emails delivery and callbacks). The solution of this task will directly depend on the accuracy of CRM-system integration with used communication channels.
Integration with Email channel
To integrate Oracle Siebel CRM with Email Channel we use Siebel Email Marketing Server that supports mailout and automatically receives delivery statuses and responses. Siebel Email Marketing Server includes three components:
- Email Sending Daemon (ESD) is responsible for letters arrangement. When you start a campaign it combines proposal template, personal information of a campaign participant and the list of participants in a file of a proper format and then transmits it to the corporate mail server to send mail.
- Bounce Handler Daemon (BHD) manages returned emails. If a letter is returned it analyses the reason of delivery failure and determines its category (Soft, Hard). The letters that have not been delivered because of wrong address are determined as Hard and will be sent again. Letters in Soft category can be sent several times more.
- Click-Through Daemon (CTD) manages the facts of “mail opening”, “mail forwarding”, “following the link” etc. As soon a recipient does one of the mentioned above actions, Click-Through Daemon receives http-request and creates an appropriate response in Siebel CRM. The response is linked to the campaign and client that allows you to analyze statistics on the campaign and see the reaction of the client on a marketing proposal in his profile.
The important requirement for a mail campaign is an option to create personalized mail templates not only in text but in HTML as well. Standard Siebel CRM functionality supports two personalization modes. Basic mode uses main fields of a campaign participant. The further mode uses even information that Siebel CRM does not contain. To do this Oracle BI forms a data model that will serve as a link for lookup fields for proposal templates. Such approach allows to add information on personal account and services from billing.
Integration with SMS channel
Siebel CRM integration with SMS channel strongly depends on the capability of SMS-platform to control its workload. Every SMS-platform has limited capacity. If you do not control the number of messages transmitted to the channel, you may exceed platform capacity what will cause a malfunction in sending and delivering. If SMS-platform controls channel workload, integration will come to a transmission of a list with phone numbers and message content from Siebel CRM. When a message is sent the SMS-platform will return a list with delivery results.
In case if SMS-platform does not control capacity, CRM-system can take these functions.
Above is a scheme of integration with SMS-platform when capacity is controlled by Siebel CRM.
In the described above multi-stage marketing campaign there are two SMS-outs to be run. Simultaneously there may occur a necessity to have SMS-campaigns for other purposes. When planning SMS-campaign the user marks in Oracle Siebel CRM approximate number of campaign participants, date and time when campaign starts and finishes, the template of sending calendar (weekdays and hours). A channel administrator sees all registered campaigns and their requirements what allows him to start planning a channel workload. To do this he inputs additional restrictions on SMS sending:
- Days that are exceptions – dates when it is forbidden to send any messages.
- Anti-spam settings – the number of SMS that can be sent to a client for a certain period of time. This number can vary depending on the client segment.
- Additional workload – Number of SMS that must not be exceeded on certain days or hours.
- Black list – clients who have previously asked not to send them messages.
When additional restrictions are defined, administrator starts procedure of workload planning. Siebel CRM compares requirements of registered campaigns, administrator`s additional restrictions and channel capacity. On the completion of this procedure each campaign will have its own schedule to send messages and administrator will see the whole schedule of the channel workload.
When the person in charge starts a campaign, Siebel CRM in accordance with a schedule begins to load the transit base with lists of participants and message content. Every hour the capacity control component will take a “portion” of messages from the transit base and transmit it to SMS-platform which will send them and return sending statuses. Delivering statuses will return to Siebel CRM through the transit base and will be tied to the campaign.
Integration with contact-center
Aleksandr Shevtsov analyzed in details the role of CRM-system in outbound. I will focus on technical features of Oracle Siebel CRM integration with contact-center. Siebel Communication Server component is used here. Communication panel (CTI-panel) appears in Siebel CRM interface after the component installation. It contains elements to manage incoming calls, call transfers (consultative and blind), hold call and operator registration in a call-center. To work with CTI-panels and client identification scripts administrator configures Siebel Communication Server to communicate with driver used in contact-center. After setting commands and events that are defined in the driver, they will be agreed with standard Siebel Communication Server interfaces. So when a contact center receives a call the driver will pass it to Siebel Communication Server as an event. After receiving this event Siebel Communication Server will start a correspondent identification script and open a necessary form. And vise versa: when a CTI-panel user manually initiates an outgoing call Siebel Communication Server will run a correspondent command of contact-center driver. Besides, settings of Siebel Communication Server remember all operators, their numbers and working places.
A well designed multi-stage marketing campaign will help not only to use resources more rationally but also to increase the efficiency of every single interaction with clients.