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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.
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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