The Marketing Tech Revolution

 
 
By Guy Currier  |  Posted 2011-12-07
 
 
 

Trend 2:  The Marketing Tech Revolution

It’s a perennial complaint in the business world: We need to increase marketing. But that sentiment is not usually connected to a clear sense of the return to be gained for each dollar invested. So it’s usually up to business and finance managers to perform the calculations and either put on the brakes or open up the purse strings.

If our survey is any indicator, the purse strings are opening up—at least for marketing technologies, which have been demonstrating pretty strong support levels in finance. In last year’s survey, for example, only about 5 percent of midsize and larger organizations indicated that social communications initiatives were getting significant support from finance or business managers; this year, the number is more than 12 percent.

Republic Services, a nationwide waste collection and disposal firm based in Phoenix, has made new communications technologies a foundation of a much-improved customer relations system. This was essential because, as Director of IT Doug Saunders puts it, “Trash is a very local business.” There is only so far bricks-and-mortar centralization can go in waste disposal, leaving Republic with many distributed communications centers.

To break down regional and departmental walls and provide better customer service, Republic adopted what Saunders calls an “all of the above” approach. The company uses a Cisco suite that includes voice, video, IM and Cisco’s Quad social software bound together with the Cisco Customer Voice Portal.

“We want the customer to dictate how they communicate and interact with us,” says Saunders. “It’s not just phone calls anymore; it’s video. And they want [to get] analytics back in a real-time fashion, just like the banks and airlines [provide].”

Click here to read Baseline's Top 10 Business Trends for 2012.