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Decisions, Decisions

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At Bella Pictures, which matches regional photographers with clients based on their styles and preferences, operations involve more than capturing smiling faces. The business model is complex -- far beyond a bride merely calling up and booking a photographer. Bella Pictures often pops the question on its own, snapping up prospects through cold-calling. Bella Pictures, after assessing all the factors not included in its process, turned to the expertise of Business Researchers to deploy predictive analytics modeling and to start segmenting prospects appropriately. Bella Pictures may not call itself a decision-centric company, but by reorganizing its business operations to make the decision process more accurate, that's precisely what it became. As you might expect, EDM often boils down to making the right offer for the right person in the right way at the right time.

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									Neither your best guess nor
            your gut instinct is good enough anymore.
     Fortunately, with enterprise decision management,
                the technology and methodology
                                now exist to help you reach
                     a better conclusion |         By Lauren McKay




38   CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | MAY 2009
D        um dum da-dum.                          Wedding photography doesn’t immediately strike
          a chord as being a forward-looking, tech-savvy industry, does it? Well, at San
          Francisco–based Bella Pictures, which matches regional photographers with clients
based on their styles and preferences, operations involve more than capturing smiling faces. The
business model is complex—far beyond a bride merely calling up and booking a photographer.
Bella Pictures often pops the question on its own, snapping up prospects through cold-calling.
   In a presentation at the recent Predictive Analytics World conference, Traci Chu, Bella’s direc-
tor of CRM, recalled a realization: Bella’s leads were no longer turning into sales—the market
was changing, and Bella’s lead-scoring method was not. The scoring system in place was effec-
tive in prioritizing calls to make, but didn’t share with representatives a number of important
factors that influence a buyer’s decision—the wedding date, the budget, the venue, the time
until the wedding, and whether the lead had filled out a Web-site form. (For more on influ-
encing sales, see “The Psychology of the Sale,” page 34.) Additionally, the system neglected to
account for any previous interest shown by leads, such as whether they received email offers
or if a bad address had led to a bounce. “Marketers’ intuition doesn’t always include negative
variables,” Chu said. “So why keep investing in a lead if the messages aren’t getting through?”
   Bella Pictures, after assessing all the factors not included in its process, turned to the exper-
tise of Business Researchers to deploy predictive analytics modeling and to start segmenting
prospects appropriately. Chu says leads are now scored in real time, rather than just after a

                                                    CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT | MAY 2009        39
       DECISIONS, DECISIONS

potential customer submits a form. The        says. “The reason behind the ‘E’ was not       IS EDM REALLY SO COMPLICATED?
predictive models include both positive       so much that you have to [make] every          Experts, however, firmly believe that
and negative variables that are weighted      decision enterprisewide, but…you have          EDM’s far less mystical than it seems.
using statistics—complex stuff for a          to make [every decision] into an enter-           Consider the science behind auto-
bunch of wedding photographers. And           prise asset,” Taylor explains.                 matic car windows: What’s powering
yet, although the implementation has             EDM also spans silos. More than just        the up-and-down motion? Freescale, a
just begun, Chu says she expects to save      a marketing strategy, the methodology          company in Austin, Texas, that manu-
money now that she can target just the        is relevant for all parts of the enterprise.   factures microcontrollers and semi-
most-interested prospects, and her            The idea of competing on decisions is          controllers, could probably tell
agents can make the right decisions at        spreading. In fact, the Predictive Ana-        you—albeit in a highly technical man-
the right time. Because, in the end, it all   lytics World conference Bella Pictures’        ner. Freescale competes in a complex
comes down to decisions.                      Traci Chu presented at was the first of        field—complexities that involve not
                                              its kind. Taylor, who also presented at        just the products it sell
								
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