Under an agreement announced last month, Leo Burnett Technology Group, Chicago, was awarded a one-year, $5 million contract to handle all the brand marketing business for enterprise software company MarketSoft Corp., Lexington, Mass.
The account win includes a partnership under which the agency will test and sell software to advertisers that will automate the marketing function across the sales channel.
Executives at both Leo Burnett and MarketSoft are quick to point out that the software, an extension of MarketSoft’s DemandMore product line, does not fall specifically into the marketing resource management (MRM), enterprise marketing management (EMM), or customer relationship management (CRM) niches that have been a source of confusion and fallout in the marketplace.
"It’s an alphabet soup out there," said Mike Kozub, VP-chief marketing officer at MarketSoft. "Everybody is claiming to do everything."
Jeff Jones, president of Leo Burnett Technology Group, is even more blunt. "Part of our job is to get rid of all that crap," Jones said, referring to the acronyms that define the space. "It is incredibly confusing, but it is the new language of marketing. When you are trying to sell to a traditional marketing company, it means nothing."
Beating the competition
The marketing and sales automation space includes such competitors as Aprimo Inc., Emmperative Marketing Inc. and Notara.
MarketSoft says it has a distinct strength in targeting large enterprises, those with sales in excess of $200 million, multiple sales channels and multiple partners in the supply chain.
"For companies with complex sales forces and complex channel partnerships, who are spending a lot of money generating leads, once they hand the lead over, they never know whether those leads are converted into sales," MarketSoft’s Kozub said. "We arm the marketer with technology that gives them insight to follow a lead all the way through the sales cycle and prove ROI."
MarketSoft’s products span more than lead tracking. They include DemandMore Leads, a lead management service launched in 1998; DemandMore Interactions, an e-mail tracking service introduced in 2000; DemandMore Metrics, an online marketing measurement service started earlier this year; and DemandMore Programs, a marketing management software service which is just rolling out.
Leo Burnett is testing market segmentation and positioning of DemandMore Programs into traditional marketing organizations, as well as conducting internal beta tests, before launching advertising in the first quarter of 2002, Jones said.
Better for b-to-b
The software will be targeted at both business and consumer advertisers, although Jones said it’s really more applicable to b-to-b marketers whose organizations are typically more complex and involve multiple partners in the supply chain.
Jean-Gabriel Henry, senior analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix Inc., said MarketSoft’s strategy of going after enterprise companies with multiple supply chain partners is a good one, because not many companies are doing it successfully.
"I like the company," Henry said. "I think they’re unfortunately in a space that no one is spending money on right now, except lead management."