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Analysis

CommuniGator - small but perfectly formed!
David Norris By: David Norris, Practice Leader - Analytics, Bloor Research
Published: 11th January 2007
Copyright Bloor Research © 2007
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Digital Marketing seems to be one of the hot topics of the moment, unfortunately not always for the right reasons. Whilst, in essence, it should be relatively cheap and easy to do, all too often people have failed horribly and have been left somewhat disillusioned. As a consequence, they seem to be either looking to get it provided by an outsourced agency, or are limited to those who are offering an in-house solution, but seem to be overcomplicating things to justify the cost of their solution. It is, therefore, a great relief to come across a solution like Communigator.

They have a web-based solution, which keeps to the essentials of e-marketing. As such it enables people who have no wish to become IT technicians to create, execute and measure highly effective closed loop campaigns. In essence if you are a marketer who feels comfortable with Microsoft Outlook, then Communigator will enable you to generate collateral, identify targets, execute the campaign, manage the closure and measure the effectiveness. The outcome, if you follow their lead, will be a highly targeted campaign with a double digit response rate, and customers who are more likely to become advocates than if they were mass marketed to with bland offerings on a hope and see basis.

Communigator should not be seen as just being about emails, they are about all of the digital channels which can be used as touch points with customers and prospects. The solution is configurable, so that customer preferences can be recognised. It is designed to target receptive customers with quality messages at times when they will be happy to receive the message. The whole solution is designed to avoid the blacklisting that is becoming all too common as large ASP centres, using lists of dubious quality, mass market over digital channels to increasingly infuriated recipients who have no desire to be targets, yet alone customers!

They are developing very innovative solutions with mobile devices. For instance, the subscriber to a service can be provided with highly targeted information based on their location and topical data such as the prevailing weather to provide information that would otherwise be difficult to find. It comes as no surprise to find that these solutions are being looked on with great interest by the British Tourism industry, facing as it does the vagaries of the British weather. Obviously using such devices also opens up the opportunity for two-way interactions in real-time, which creates new opportunities unavailable with traditional channels.

The solution is not a standalone silo, but is intended to be used to augment and complement many of the key CRM solutions found in the mid market. This is the niche for Communigator at present, so users of solutions such as Sage (who also OEM the product), Microsoft, and Siebel, amongst others, will find that the digital marketing solution is designed to fit. They will also find that Communigator can provide the professional services that are required to help ensure that the solution is integrated and adopted as part of the workflows of an effective marketing organisation.

Because Communigator believe that they are capable of ensuring that people do see the sort of returns that have always been spoken of with digital marketing, they encourage people not to take up their offer of providing the solution on an outsourced basis, but encourage people to bring it in-house.

To date, Communigator have developed predominately in the UK, based on a solid collection of finance, tourism and high-tech companies, but this is a solution with wide appeal. I think that anyone with a need to support digital marketing, with the exception of large multi-nationals who would be too big at present for Communigator's resources, should have this on their short-list, and I would expect it to fit the bill for the vast majority.

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