BtoB helps 24/7 Real Media get worldwide offices on same page

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Challenge: New York-based interactive marketing and technology firm 24/7 Real Media was formed during the fourth quarter of 2001 with the merger of 24/7 Media and Real Media. The resulting company, which has 250 employees across North America and Europe, sells and manages online advertising for Web sites, advertising agencies and advertisers.

At the time, although the marriage of the two companies was a good one, the same couldn’t be said of their CRM technology. Each had several CRM and sales force programs, none of which was compatible with the others. As a result, employees around the globe couldn’t access the same customer information, and there was no way to create a central data repository, said Michael Bruzik, VP-operations for 24/7 Real Media. Language barriers were also a problem.

"We suffer from multiple location disorder," Bruzik said. "In essence, you have many bosses and many local customers, and each business unit has its own way of doing things. You could almost put up a Burger King sign in our offices because everyone wanted it their way."

Solution: Because 24/7 Real Media has multiple office locations, the company needed a solution that was Web-based and hosted, Bruzik said. In addition, he wanted a program that could handle both local and companywide reporting and forecasting in multiple languages. After reviewing several options, he chose Professional Edition for its CRM and sales force automation applications.

Results: Anecdotally, Bruzik said he’s seen increased efficiency and productivity as well as reduced information technology costs since switching to Most importantly, the company doesn’t need a full-time IT staffer, which saves it the cash equivalent of salary and benefits.

On the productivity side, Bruzik said the fact that customers can go to any of the company’s foreign-language sites, request more information and have that request translated and routed to the appropriate salesperson saves time and shortens the lead-management process.

Bruzik was impressed that just about anyone could administer the applications. "It can be done by an administrator. You don’t need a programmer to take care of anything," he said. "That goes for reporting, too. Everyone can create his or her own reports. Plus, if someone finds a problem with a particular type of rich media or type of marketing tag that we place out, they can post information about it [on]. So if someone else has the same issue, they can look and see if the problem has already been reported."

Also, lead generation is simplified, he said.

"There’s no more passing things around with slips of paper," Bruzik said. "We’re using [Microsoft] Outlook integration, so with a simple click you can attach a document to an e-mail. Leads come in, go to a manager and the manager can assign them. There’s no waiting around."

—Karen J. Bannan

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