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What's in a Name?

Why salesforce.com users are not necessarily enabled to do (online) campaign management

For a long time, CRM platforms such as salesforce.com have been touting marketing campaign management as one of their core offerings. At the same time it also has been the cause of some confusion. Maybe even more importantly, it has lulled their users into thinking that they are covered to address the challenges of running marketing  campaigns in a buyer-controlled world. 

Today, however, salesforce.com actively starts clarifying its old school narrow definition of campaign management, which is more about reporting, centralizing and managing campaign (meta) data. But not about managing the campaign itself.

Until now, salesforce.com positioned the term as if it was solely about reporting to users how a campaign performed. For example, it was addressesing how many people were invited to an event, how many registered, and how many actually showed up. Campaign management, according to salesforce.com, also provides the ability to analyze how many leads, deals, and associated revenues are generated by a campaign. 

As a result of their "campaign management" ability, salesforce.com lets you create additional, higher-quality leads and make smart decisions about where to invest the hard marketing dollars. This is indeed vital but again we think there's more. The campaign itself still needs to be designed, created and executed and thus .... managed. 


So what about the campaign itself? How do you segment your audience, and based on what attributes (only those in SFDC or is there more)?  How do you create the emails and landing pages, how do you facilitate lead data management, how do you determine whether the lead is qualified enough to get passed on to a receiving function? And how do you nurture those that do not reach the qualification criteria? In our minds, this is what campaign and program management also is about and it's usually enabled by marketing automation systems and not just a CRM system, which tends to fall short when it comes to really "managing" campaigns.

Check out this video from salesforce.com, where they show that there is more to campaign management. In fact, it's a pretty good piece of content that explains the whole process of how to engage with your target audience in easy to understand terms. Now, perhaps what remains is that Salesforce.com should just redefine their "campaign management" definition into something like “campaign resource” and “conversion reporting”? 

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