Thursday, October 21, 2010
The client wanted three basic things:
2) automatically trigger an event when a site visitor exhibited sufficient interest in a product and
3) take what they knew about the site visitor and present content to them that was both relevant and specific to the individual
Conceptually both Peter and I know that it was technically possible to do exactly what the client needed and even do it really well using available technology. Measuring, scoring and reporting website behavior was all very standard functionality for a web analytics vendor. Triggering tasks and activities attached to an individual within a company was very achievable with a CRM solution. And sending an email with content specific to an individual subscriber based their preferences and attributes was a slam dunk for ExactTarget.
It was in that boardroom where we dutifully distributed our four color hand-outs, feverishly presented our meticulously crafted slides, scribbled emphatically on the white boards that surrounded the room, and took turns demonstrating the functional depth of our respective solutions. It was here that it occurred to me that something was missing.
Later that day, Peter and I met with a mutual partner of ours who was in the middle of an identity crisis. They were founded as a traditional system integration and IT services organization including CRM systems and done well enough to acquire several smaller competitors to build and diversify their services offerings. More recently they had been asked by several clients to help with deploying online strategies, much like an interactive agency. They described their current operating model as being one that was predicated on working with IT systems, but becoming more and more like an agency all the time.
It was at this point that I realized that what was missing from the boardroom that morning was the “glue”. While Peter McCormick and I could present the value of our respective solutions, and even the value of integrating those solutions, what was missing was the people with the knowledge of all three systems (Web Analytics, CRM, and Email Marketing) that could take the clients requirements, configure the integrations and workflows and ultimately deliver the comprehensive solution that we had all envisioned leading up to that day.
For me that was the beginning of my Nexus moment. As a software developer ExactTarget will always be hyper focused on building world class solutions that meet a variety of customer needs however, we will never be all things to all people and therefore our ability to connect and interact with other related solutions is of paramount importance. Of equal importance is having a vibrant ecosystem of both products and service providers that can come together to collaborate on design, architecture and workflows for any given customer engagement and deliver sophisticated solutions for complex problems. The power of that operating model just can’t be touched. This is just one example but there are literally hundreds of engagements like this happening organically today. We didn’t create these scenarios, we just called it: Nexus!
If you are interested in other cool aspects of Nexus and I encourage you to take a look for yourself. We’ll continue to incorporate new and better features into the application and continue to evolve it into a destination to address the needs of frustrated marketers.
Director Channel Operations
ExactTarget Partner Team