It is used to "program" campaigns. 2/3 of the campaigns are one shot, 1/3 is recurrent. 1/2 are commercial …
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- Tech Details
- Supported: End-to-end campaign management
- Supported: Campaign measurement and reporting
- Supported: Deeper customer relationships
- Oracle Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite (discontinued)
It is used to "program" campaigns. 2/3 of the campaigns are one shot, 1/3 is recurrent. 1/2 are commercial campaigns, 1/2 are administrative campaigns to inform clients of p.e. changes in interest rates and so on.
- The most powerful in Unica are the audience swaps. They are very helpful for cleaning up audiences like households, if one of the members of a household has a product, you can easily exclude the whole audience.
- When working with segments in a flow, this goes really fast.
- The use of templates is easy and helps to standardise the working process.
- The mappings of tables can be different in every campaign
- Logging is not easy to read and is incomplete. It has a lot of information i'm not interested in, but the queries that really interest me, p.e. the queries used for calculation of derived fields are missing. I also miss the queries that add the result of the derived field to the final selection.
- Difficult to document a flow in a good manner.
- No way to search in a flow. and over all the flows where something is calculated.
- No way to have a good overview of what is happening in a flow or a process in a flow.
- The calculation of derived fields is far too slow.
- You can not make decisions in a flow based on data.
- You have to promote flows by copying them manually from a test environment to a production environment.
- This might lead to inconsistence over the environments.
In our environment we have lots of many-to-many relations. for example one product is held by more then one client. And that client might have more of those products with other clients. These kind of situation demands for a lot of calculations with derived fields(*), and there things go far too slow. Unica is probably not such a good solution for us, because our environment is too complex, and so is to process of creating the selection, we often have to change things in the selection flows. Because of the complexity it is difficult to see what the flow is exactly doing afterwoods, it also takes to much time to modify existing campaigns.
The interface is not handy to work with, if you have long lists of variables, of tables or derived fields(*) you have to scroll through trough them, you can not really search them or reorder them. You can not drag and drop fields or other objects like derived fields in the flow, what would be easy if you have to make frequent changes to the proces flow.
When you copy objects something the content of the object changes because the links with other objects or lost.
(*) derived field: field to calculate something
- We are only using Unica for the selection part of campaigns, I think things go twice as slow as before when we were working in SAS, but it is difficult to compare, as the people doing the work in SAS had all up to 20 years of experience and those working with Unica now are all new people. The people who liked to do the campaign selections with SAS did not like to work with UNICA, so they left, and with them also their experience.
If there are changes in data sources, it is really difficult to find out with unica campaigns are affected, and very time consuming to make the changes.
In SAS we it was possible to automatically document all our programs, so that we could easily search that documentation for the use of variables, files, calculations and so on, in UNICA this is all done manually.
- Selections for the call centers
- Sending email messages
- Selections for surveys
- Product Reputation
- Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
- Vendor implemented
- Implemented in-house
- technical test fase
- user test fase
- production test fase
- The design of the underlying datamart
- The difficulties of setting up response tracking
- The response tracking of the campaigns never worked out well, it was impossible to implement a direct response where there is a link between the lead and the response in our operational process.
- If you don't make complex selections, the interface is simple to use.
- With few explanations, you can make simple selections.
- the use of date functions in selections
- the right way of mapping the used tables seems to be difficult for beginning user
- Allows for complex selection to be made using both simple process of 'merge/purge' processes and also the ability to use raw SQL within a selection process.
- One campaign flowchart can cover off multiple channels for an individual campaign, along with multiple campaigns within one flowchart (can defeat the purpose but it is an option)
- Contact History - Allows good management of contact points with a individual be it a customer or a prospective customer, allows you to provide compliance information when required to appropriate authorities or respond to a customer/prospect complaint.
- Automation using scripts outside of the actual application environment to call an IBM Campaign object (such as a flowchart), to trigger a campaign post another process such as a data load into a table within the defined application schema.
- A user can schedule a flowchart to run on a set schedule and an output file delivered to a specific location on an going basis (set and forget).
- IBM Campaign is a tool for enterprise organisations with large and complex data content, with the introduction of IBM Marketing Cloud (dubbed Unica Lite) this will allow access to the power of this tool to smaller organisations. To use a previous reviewers comment "It's VERY involved. Hire a an integrator and educator!" - this is an involved integration process and the right training can make it very easy to use.
- IBM Campaign by itself lacks data visualisation within it's module, additional modules within IBM's EMM suite does allow data visualisation but as within any additional module it does come with the IBM price tag.
- Automation - allows employees to be more productive and allow better analysis on the data, opposed to time spent building campaigns that run a on regular schedule.
- Minimal downtime - pushing through the regular patches and updates from IBM is key to maintaining the environment but it is a very simple process.
- Improves processes and removes risk by the use of templates for campaigns, allowing a predefined set of inclusions and exclusions based on campaign type (acquisition or retention) and channel (OTM, DM, eDM, SMS).
It's been a market leader within this space for over 10 years, it has a high ability to execute time and time again. Against it's competitors it has been tried and proven to been robust but flexible within reason to allow adaptations that will not break the system. Can be simply managed by an experienced DB Administrator and/or DB Developer, along with the appropriate system administration for the maintenance of the actual server environments.
It is fair to say that it is generally more expensive that its competitors, but it has been proven that costs on implementation of the base of the IBM EMM suite IBM Campaign is a lot more cost effective when done right but a reputable service provider.
There are three main factors to renew a licence:
1) Cost to migrate to another platform would be rather expensive and time consuming, plus the requirement of retraining employees to use a new tool
2) It has been proven time and time again that it is a market leader in the space (10 years +)
3) It can be built upon, with the addition of additional IBM EMM modules - despite theories it does have very strong digital capabilities.
There are three key resources to maintaining a solution:
1) An expert in the IBM Campaign software, itself
2) An experienced DB Administrator or DB Developer with Administration abilities.
3) System Administration to ensure the servers are functioning an up to date with latest patches based on the operating system.
- Marketing automation, set and forget - only remember when there is an issue and you are alerted by failure triggers
- Resource management, allowing resources to focus on other items whilst repetitive campaigns can be managed by a schedule (be it within Unica or managed outside)
- Can handle complex data sets, and large amounts of data
- Using external Cron-tab scripts to manage automated campaigns where it requires pre-work to be completed on the database side prior to the campaign running.
- Using the Scheduler tool to run tasks or campaigns in an automated fashion that only have a short lead time or run time.
- Pre-building segmentations and using data flags to create pre-built selection criteria's which will then speed up campaign flowcharts. Opposed to querying the whole database each time you create a new campaign.
- Building out the stack of IBM EMM, and using such modules as Contact Optimisation to provide the right message at the right time OR eMessage to bring the campaign selection and execution into one environment.
- Implemented in-house
- Professional services company
There where several phases of the implementation:
1) Reviewing the environments and ensuring they where specified as needed
2) Implementation of the development/test/uat environment
3) Migration of Campaign objects from the old environment to the new, within the development/test/uat environment
4) UAT testing of the development/test/uat environment
5) Implementation of the Production environment
6) Migration of Campaign objects from the old environment to the new, within the Production environment
7) Side by Side testing of the old production environment to the new production environment
8) Sign off on the new implementation
9) Shut down of the old environments
Depending on if you are upgrading or not then all of the above are not necessary, but I strongly suggest ensuring you have a secondary environment for testing/uat and even training.
- Lack of understanding of what was required for the installation/implementation prior to bringing on an experienced implementation partner.
- Upgrading multiple versions at the same time - never do this. Keep up to date with fix packs and feature packs as they are released and where possible keep moving along with versions as soon as practical. NOTE: the move from 8.x versions to 9.x version will require some additional testing due to the changes in the flowcharts (design and code)