Why IBM Campaign (Unica) is still number 1 for Enterprise Marketers
Brent Banning | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 28, 2014

Why IBM Campaign (Unica) is still number 1 for Enterprise Marketers

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

8.5

Modules Used

  • IBM Unica Campaign

Overall Satisfaction

IBM Unica Campaign (IBM Campaign) is hosted on behalf of clients, to provide access a customer and prospect data for the purpose of marketing and service campaigns. Generally the tool is used by either analytics team who have a core understanding of data OR marketers who are using pre-built pre-defined campaign segments. IBM Campaign can be used for very simple data selections or complex data selections that require numerous requirements to be met, this includes splitting 'contacts' by channel based on customer preferences (opt outs) or data that is available (presence of data or not, based on a requirement for a contact channel - telephone contact obviously requires a telephone number).
  • 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.

The more data you have, the more likely I would recommend IBM Campaign over the other tools in the market. It is truly an Enterprise Marketing Management solution, that can be built on as you mature your marketing requirements from traditional channels to the evolving channels under the digital banner. There are over 10 modules within the full suite of IBM EMM from Campaign through to Marketing Operations, Opportunity Detection and email campaign execution (IBM eMessage).

Product Usage

100 - It is used widely across the client delivery functions, from analytics teams through to consultants and account managers. Dependant on their roles does increase of decrease there use of the tool. Our clients also use this tool as a self service tool to create there own campaigns, whilst at the same time we manage a number of automated campaigns that are scheduled to run on a regular basis.
100 - 

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.

Implementation

Use an experienced implementation partner, that has a good track record.
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
We partnered with RiverPoint (www.riverpoint.com), we brought across 3 of there best consultants (from USA to Australia) to complete not only the implementation but a complex upgrade and jumping up numerous versions in one go. I cannot speak highly enough of the team from RiverPoint.
Yes - 

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.

Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - Use an experienced implementation and training partner to ensure that it is done to the required specifications. Whilst it is a wizard install, there are multitudes of complexities that can cause issues from the application, to web server to the database. Having experienced people on hand to deal with whatever came up in front of them, helped ensure we progressed even when we did hit road blocks.
  • 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)