Today, Silverpop made one of the most important announcements in its history.
I am pleased to share with my blog readers that Silverpop has acquired Vtrenz, one of the key leaders in the rapidly expanding space of lead management. You can check out the press release here:
Lead management, also known as demand management, has gained a lot of attention in recent months. The Wall Street Journal did a great article on the space in March and mentioned Vtrenz as one of the early players.
Forrester's report from late 2006, "Improving B2B Lead Management" makes a great case for the incredible value that can be delivered if marketers adopt improved processes and next-generation marketing tools. Vtrenz was also cited in the report as a key player in this space.
Most modern emailers tend to see email as a way to drive ecommerce or to share information via promotions and newsletters. As a result, email marketing is often judged by list size or conversion numbers on an ecommerce site. The great news is that this approach has proven very successful and is the reason our industry has thrived.
However, the last few years industry discussions have moved toward behavior-based targeting, automated campaigns, multi-channel integration (print, email, RSS) and integration with external systems like Web analytics and CRM. JupiterResearch's exploration into some of these areas shows that ROIs can double, triple and even increase four-fold when these new approaches are put to use.
Along the way, a small group of marketers has been quietly growing their craft outside the mainstream of our industry. Rather than focusing solely on creating huge lists, they are creating smaller but far more targeted lists.
Rather than relying on click-throughs for ecommerce sales, they are integrating their marketing processes with those of their colleagues in direct sales. And, rather than using email to drive the action behind a relatively low involvement purchase, they are using a variety of online marketing technologies to facilitate and support the completion of what we are calling a "highly involved" sale. Think about the differences between purchasing a music album or MP3 player versus purchasing a house or a business product like a copier. One purchase is simple and even impulsive.
The other is highly involved and requires many steps. The more you think about these differences, the more you can see the benefit that a specialized product like Vtrenz can bring to the world of online marketing.
Technically, Vtrenz offers many of the same things Silverpop offers today:
surveys, email, campaign automation and reporting. Vtrenz also brings scoring, postal mail, landing pages, advanced salesforce.com/MSCRM integration and lightweight Web analytics. The real story, though, isn't just the extra functionality. It's far more about the way Vtrenz brings all these features into one, very simple application. Marketers can sit down at a single dashboard and create truly automated, multi-channel campaigns with unprecedented ease. Their campaigns are no longer stand-alone. Instead they tie seamlessly into popular CRM/SFA tools like Salesforce.com so that sales people see everything that their colleagues in marketing have seen for years.
The combination of Vtrenz and Silverpop promises to be one of the most exciting moves in my company's history. Our high involvement sales clients (like BtoB and insurance) will have an amazing specialized tool available to them. And, our higher volume, largely online clients will see their tools improve even more rapidly as we gain the benefits of the generations of experience Vtrenz brings to the table.