MarketSphere Marketing Receives Teradata APEX Award for Marketing Operations Consulting

Posted by Rachel Noland

Apr 15, 2014 12:31:20 PM

Leading marketing technology consulting firm accepts APEX Partner Innovation award during the Teradata Summit 2014 APEX Awards event held in Los Angeles.


Omaha, NE – April 3, 2014 – MarketSphere Marketing received the Teradata APEX “Partner Innovation” award last month in Los Angeles, California. The award recognizes a partner’s innovative use of Teradata Marketing Solutions to deliver measurable results for a client. The award was given for MarketSphere’s work on a Marketing Operations project at a leading national mutual insurance company.  This year’s 13th annual Teradata Applications Excellence (APEX) awards recognized seven Teradata customers and partners in a field of more than 1,500 companies worldwide who use Teradata software. The award ceremony was held on March 12, at the J.W. Marriott during Teradata Summit 2014, an annual gathering of marketing solutions professionals from across the U.S.

“We congratulate all of the winners and thank Teradata for recognizing the hard work of the team, which included MarketSphere consultants, our Teradata partners, our client’s professionals,” said Brian Brownrigg, MarketSphere Practice Leader. “This award means a great deal to all of us, not only because of the great respect we have for Teradata and its products, but also because APEX award winners exemplify the best ideas and innovations in data-driven technology for marketing.”

Eligible nominees for the APEX awards are end-user organizations with marketing solutions built on Teradata’s marketing applications software. Award nominations were judged by executives from Teradata as well as previous APEX winners. Nominations were judged in four categories: Marketing Operations (MO), Campaign Management (CM), Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) and Digital Messaging, with specific requirements for each category. The Innovator of the Year Award honors a Teradata customer who has championed innovation within his or her team or organization.

Nominees in each category are judged according to the application implementation’s strategic importance to the business as measured by financial return and measurable payback, customer impact, strategic advantage and ability to overcome challenges.

This Marketing Operations implementation project provided organizational structure needed to manage marketing materials and maintain compliance in the heavily regulated insurance industry. MarketSphere Marketing’s extensive knowledge of the business landscape and Teradata’s data-driven marketing applications delivered a solution that managed a wide range of products for all 50 states, as well as the unique regulatory requirements. In addition, MarketSphere was able to incorporate automated workflow processes that provide the most current versions of marketing materials. The advisory and implementation of Teradata’s marketing applications offerings has drastically improved the marketing process, and reduced cycle turnaround time for the client. 


About MarketSphere Marketing

With more than two decades of service to the marketing technology industry, including experience consulting with 20 of the nation’s top 80 marketers, MarketSphere Marketing provides technology and marketing managers with the tools and operations intelligence they need to control marketing chaos. Using a collaborative, problem-solving, change management approach that promotes user adoption, the company helps clients develop their marketing superpowers. As technology evolves, MarketSphere Marketing clients become stronger, faster, and better at gaining loyal customers. Visit MarketSphere Marketing at



MarketSphere Marketing 
Rachel Noland
14301 First National Bank Parkway
Suite 111
Omaha, NE 68154



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Topics: Marketing Operations

Headed to DMA 2013 in Chicago?

Posted by Alex Najako

Oct 2, 2013 11:34:00 AM

If so, meet us there! Find out how we’ve helped companies like Wells Fargo, Sprint, Nike and many more Control the Chaos™ in their marketing operations—is your company next?

Book your FREE whiteboard session now.

DMA 2013
The Global Event for Data-Driven Marketers
Oct 12-17, 2013
McCormick Place West
Chicago, IL

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Headed to the Teradata Partners 2013 in Dallas?

Posted by Alex Najako

Oct 2, 2013 11:31:00 AM

If so, meet us there! Find out how we’ve helped companies like Wells Fargo, Sprint, Nike and many more Control the Chaos™ in their marketing operations—is your company next?

Book your FREE whiteboard session now.

Teradata Partners 2013
Unleashing the Power of Data
Oct 20-24, 2013
KBH Dallas Convention Center
Dallas, TX

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Headed to Eloqua Experience in San Francisco?

Posted by Alex Najako

Oct 2, 2013 11:27:00 AM

If so, meet us there! Find out how we’ve helped companies like Wells Fargo, Sprint, Nike and many more Control the Chaos™ in their marketing operations—is your company next?

Book your FREE whiteboard session now.

Eloqua Experience 2013
North America
October 23-25, 2013
Hilton San Francisco Union Square
San Francisco, CA

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MarketSphere Marketing Operations becomes a consulting partner for BrandMaker’s North American operations

Posted by Alex Najako

Mar 4, 2013 11:24:00 AM

Merging consulting and operational expertise with Europe’s leading MRM solution, the partnership will serve 21st century marketers

CHICAGO – Mar 4, 2013 – MarketSphere Marketing Operations has officially signed an implementation partnership with BrandMaker Inc., the U.S. arm of the European-based software provider specializing in Marketing Resource Management (MRM).

MarketSphere consultants align marketing process, organizational structure and new marketing technologies to help clients achieve higher returns on marketing investment (mROI). BrandMaker provides a modular MRM solution that completely automates marketing operations, such as planning and budgeting, workflow-enabled job management, digital asset management and web2print. The partnership draws from the strengths and focus areas of each company, and gives MarketSphere another solution offering to present to clients wanting to optimize the marketing value chain.

As BrandMaker expands into North America, MarketSphere Marketing Operations will offer consulting and implementation expertise to BrandMaker customers through a proprietary process called Envision, Enable and Enrich™.

“This partnership gives us more opportunities to help companies control their marketing chaos,” said Lonnie Janecek, president of MarketSphere Marketing Operations. “We have deep marketing operations consulting experience with Fortune 1000 firms like Wells Fargo, Nike and Sears, that demand optimum service and technology.”

“With a broad and highly configurable solution, BrandMaker can be deployed for media asset management, local area marketing, complete brand management or marketing operations automation,” Janecek continued. “Combining this powerful and flexible platform with our expertise in rapid deployment will help companies achieve the key strategic benefits of enterprise-class marketing automation at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional MRM systems.”

“Most enterprise and near-enterprise companies in North America already have one or more marketing automations applications and are now considering second generation or replacement solutions,” said William McInerny, CEO of BrandMaker Inc. “These companies are looking for a unified, next-generation platform to bring efficiency and control to all facets of corporate marketing. The BrandMaker platform is comprehensive and configurable for each customer’s needs. Our partnership with MarketSphere Marketing Operations will further optimize deployment and ongoing use of the platform.

About MarketSphere Marketing Operations
MarketSphere Marketing Operations is committed to helping Fortune 1000 companies control their marketing chaos by delivering innovative Marketing Operations and Marketing Management Consulting services to marketing leaders and their teams. MarketSphere Marketing’s clients benefit from a proven approach, Envision, Enable, Enrich™, that aligns marketing process, organization structure and new marketing technologies with measurable increases in operational efficiencies and overall marketing investment (mROI).

About BrandMaker, Inc.
BrandMaker is the next generation Marketing Resource Management solution, with a modular platform for complete automation of your marketing operations. From planning and budgeting to workflow enabled job and approval management to world-class Digital Asset Management to leading edge web2print capabilities and more, BrandMaker delivers powerful yet affordable marketing tools available in both on-demand and installable platforms. Serving the Americas, BrandMaker, Inc. is the regional headquarters for BrandMaker, GmbH, Europe’s #1 Marketing Resource Management provider. BrandMaker, Inc. brings a range of product packages and offerings specifically optimized for the markets we serve.


MarketSphere Marketing Operations
Jeff Parriott
180 N. La Salle Street, Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel. (312) 357-4430

BrandMaker, Inc.
William McInerny
3920 East Jones Bridge Road, Suite 180
Atlanta, GA 30092
Tel. (678) 735-7361

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2013 Predictions: Are you hiring the right people?

Posted by Alex Najako

Jan 25, 2013 9:28:00 AM

In our last post, Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and IT, we talked about how today’s CMO must speak both Marketing and IT. The role of CMO is evolving to CMT –Chief Marketing Technologist. A CMO must be able to reign in the flow of customer data and transform it into meaningful insights (and ROI!), whether that means the next new big marketing campaign or better personalizing customer experiences based on past behaviors.

IDC recently released their top ten predictions for 2013, and they agree — the number one prediction is that “The C-suite (CEO, CFO, and COO) will demand that the CMO produce both a strategy and a plan for how market-driven data will significantly contribute to corporate objectives.”  But IDC also recognizes that it’s not just the CMO that needs to be data-focused.

Prediction 5 states: “Starting in 2013, after the CMO realizes that he/she does not have the skill sets in place for data analytics proficiency, 50% of new marketing hires will have technical backgrounds.” So, if the CMO can’t do it — or isn’t able to do it alone —they are beginning to recognize how important it is to surround themselves with people who are proficient in understanding and translating data into actionable marketing initiatives.

What does this mean for marketing departments and marketing operations management? Will creative-types be replaced with IT gurus? We don’t think that’s the case. But admittedly, finding that hybrid professional with equal parts technology and marketing creative sounds like a daunting challenge.

iStock_000010317329_Small-300x225Keeping up with the latest marketing technology and trends isn’t any easy task in and of itself. If you don’t have the latest marketing automation software, or at the very least a system that allows you to harness all the power of Big Data, it can be a full time job just finding and implementing a solution that fits all your organization’s needs. Add that to a focus on campaign creative in line with overall organization objectives and reaches target audiences with relevant and timely messages, and that’s one special individual, indeed.

It begs the question — is that really the best use of your in-house marketing talent?

Are either skill sets as strong as you need them to be in order to be effective? What sacrifices do you make by hiring staff with those skills – if you can find them? Will one skill set suffer for the other? The prediction states that 50% of new marketing hires will have technology backgrounds. 50%. What does that say for the fate of campaign creative? Does it make more sense to outsource the technology function to a consultant that has this hybrid capability and allow in-house marketing to focus its efforts on execution?

CMOs are in a position where they need to embrace technology or risk losing their jobs. (IDC Prediction 4: Even with their new partnership with the CIO, many CMOs will find that their positions are in jeopardy as they failed to produce a robust data analytics function — or even a game plan to get there.) We don’t have the answers to all these questions, but one thing is clear: the role of technology and its ability to harness marketing data is crucial.

See the full list of IDC predictions here.

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Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and IT

Posted by Alex Najako

Jan 17, 2013 9:19:00 AM

Today’s CMO is asked to bridge the gap between two very different worlds: marketing and IT. On the one hand, they must be able to read the psyche of the customer and determine what will inspire, delight and motivate them.

On the other hand—or maybe even the other side of the brain—they must have a knowledge of technology and how technical solutions can make their marketing function even more efficient and effective.

In other words, today’s CMO must speak both marketing and IT.


Now, Virginia Sharma, Vice President, Marketing and Communications for IBM India/South Asia, has recognized the importance of this skill. In a recent presentation posted on Slideshare, she introduces the idea of a Chief Marketing Technologist.

Sharma writes, “With technology now infused into every aspect of commerce, the entire craft of marketing has become more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. This has led to profound changes in ways the discipline is understood, led and practiced. The onus of this evolution has landed on the doorstep of the Chief Marketing Officer. And that means that the mind-set, as well as the skill set, of a CMO has to evolve right along with it to transform from a Chief Marketing Officer to becoming a Chief Marketing Technologist.”

The presentation examines the role that data and technology play in successful enterprise Marketing organizations, and how the marketing function is being transformed by this huge influx of customer data. Without the capability to harness this power, Marketing can quickly find themselves playing catch up to customer demands instead of leading the way.

She writes, “Chief Marketing Technologists design the full customer journey, knowing what clients want before they do and creating value at every touch.” What marketer wouldn’t want that experience?

However, it takes more than an individual to make that happen. It also takes a strong Marketing Operations solution to capture customer data across all channels and mediums and to put that into a format that transforms data into actionable insights. It breaks down silos and leverages Big Data for stellar social media campaigns and cross channel promotions. It helps control the chaos of the Marketing function in a way that allows marketers to shorten the time it takes to get campaigns to market, reduce costs and focus on positive outcomes and better MROI.

When you have the right tools, all of a sudden becoming a Chief Marketing Technologist doesn’t seem like that big of a leap. Are you ready to become fluent in both marketing and IT?

See Sharma’s complete presentation here.

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Are you a CMO of the future?

Posted by Alex Najako

Jan 10, 2013 9:08:00 AM

Let’s face it. The role of CMO isn’t easy—and it’s not getting any easier. Not only are you responsible for the marketing initiatives for your entire organization, you’re constantly asked to defend marketing’s existence to the rest of the C-Suite. The truth is, if you don’t have a strong MRM system in place that allows you to gather and interpret customer data and show the results of your efforts—you’ll never quiet the naysayers. Heck, you may be out of a job.

It’s time to get serious about Marketing Operations. It’s time to step into the future.

bigstock-Past-And-Future-Two-way-Stre-8091558-300x300A recent report entitled Outside Looking In: The CMO struggles to get in sync with the C-suite from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by SAS, looks at just that—what direction CMOs need to head in order to change the course of their relationship with the rest of the C-Suite, and ultimately the perception of the Marketing function.

Some basic survey logistics:

  • It was a global survey conducted in July 2012 of 389 executives representing 42 countries.
  • It included marketing and non-marketing professionals from 19 industries such as financial services (14%), consumer goods (11%), IT/Technology (8%) and manufacturing (8%).
  • It also included a series of interviews with a handful of executives from major companies and experts.

One of the findings that immediately jumped out as a disconnect between CMOs and the rest of the organization was the perception of Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). In the survey, half of CMOs say marketing can track the value of marketing investments across different functions and channels, but fewer than 40% of non-CMOs in the C-suite believe marketing has this capability. The two sides also disagree on which metrics are best for tracking ROMI: the majority of the C-suite likes customer satisfaction, while sales leads are the top metric for CMOs.

All of this comes back to data measurement — and how well Marketing can accurately collect, mine and measure the available customer data. According to the survey, CMOs are recognizing this as well.

When asked, “What skills needed by the CMO are gaining or losing importance?” The top two areas that CMOs responded they saw skills significantly increasing in importance are customer insight and data driven analytical capability:

  1. Customer Insight 28%
  2. Data-driven analytical capability 25%

On the flip side, CMOs are also recognizing the challenge in bridging the gap between data collection and transforming that data into actionable insights. When asked, “What are the primary barriers that impede marketing from delivering more value to your organization?” the third most popular response focused in on a better use of data (behind strategic roles and marketing talent):

  1. Lack of a strategic role for marketing in the organization (38%)
  2. Hiring and retaining skilled marketing talent (36%)
  3. Inability to turn data into actionable insights  (33%)

Even though turning data into actionable insights was number three on the barrier list, CMOs see that area as the largest focus for upcoming investments.

Which is where a strong Marketing Operations technology initiative comes in. A good MRM tool as part of a larger Marketing Operations solution is integral to helping CMOs gather data, gain visibility to that data, effectively execute campaigns, and track ROMI. Marketing teams can efficiently manage and measure complex campaigns while leveraging cross–functional resources anywhere, anytime. They can use integrated data from multiple sources to make decisions about the best ways to interact with their customers.

The survey numbers would indicate that CMOs are starting to recognize the importance of Marketing Operations as a larger strategic solution for their organization. Are you creating a Marketing Operations capability? Are you a CMO of the Future? If not, how soon are you willing to take the leap?

For a full copy of the report, click here.

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That’s a Wrap?… Is Your Organization Equipped to Handle Change Post-Launch?

Posted by Alex Najako

Dec 6, 2012 9:01:00 AM

If you haven’t actually seen the shows, you’ve probably heard of them: Restaurant: Impossible or Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. A restaurant is in dire need of a turnaround, they are precariously close to closing their doors and they enlist the help of a British chef to come in and redo their menu, décor, kitchen and staff all within an impossibly tight timeframe and usually with a bit of swearing and sometimes a few tears. The inevitable result is a beautiful new decor, a packed house and rave reviews by the time the credits roll.

But what happens after the episode wraps and the cameras leave? Do the changes stick? Is the business saved? And how on earth does this relate to Marketing Operations?

First off, no one is disputing the fact that these restaurants need a change. They are engulfed in chaos to the point that their businesses are close to being shuttered because of it. Hopefully, an enterprise marketing department doesn’t allow the chaos to get to that point.

But recognizing you need a change and successfully implementing change are two very different things.

In the reality shows, the celebrity chef coming in makes all the decisions and implements his vision for the restaurant; contractually the owners have no say whatsoever. You don’t get to see the part where it’s determined what menu items customers really want to see or décor that they find inviting. Does this even happen?

When it comes to a Marketing Operations initiative, the “owners” are the people most directly impacted by the initiative. For an MO initiative to be successful, it’s critical to get them involved from start to finish through a solid Change Management process.

A good MO guide will help your Marketing team assess all their critical needs and wants when it comes to a solution to help them be more productive and efficient. We call this our Envision process. It involves some hard looks in the mirror at where the cause of the chaos lies and what the Marketing team would ultimately like to be able to do to eliminate negative chaos. It looks at all aspects of the Marketing function — including its people, processes, technology and results — to ensure that every part is working together toward the common goal of a more efficient and effective Marketing department. Oftentimes a Change Management committee or procedure is established to help adapt the new technology to changes that will need to be made or problems that will need to be resolved.

But Change Management doesn’t end there. It continues as the technology is selected and customized as necessary. The “owners” continue to be involved in those decisions and trainings and tests. Their input is invaluable to the ultimate success of the project.

“After the cameras leave” as it were, where does that leave your “owners?” For the Restaurant: Impossible folks, it often left them with an empty restaurant after a month or two. They hadn’t done the upfront work to see what was really needed in terms of changes and getting key buy-in before taking the blind leap in a new direction.

For enterprise marketers implementing a Marketing Operations initiative, once the technology solution is launched, the Change Management process continues to be a living, breathing thing. It involves ongoing training, additional software tweaks and updates and feedback loops that help ensure needs continue to be met.

They key is to get the team members who are most impacted involved from start to finish. While the glamour of a big celebrity surprise makeover (or a brand new technology investment) is exciting, it’s the people that make the difference when it comes to the ultimate success of the changes being implemented. Getting those people on board from the beginning and engaging them throughout the process makes a smooth implementation seem not too impossible anymore.

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DMA’s Big Data and Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Posted by Alex Najako

Nov 10, 2012 11:37:00 AM

Do you want to learn how Big Data can drive more effective customer lifecycle marketing?
Big Data creates an opportunity for marketers to create enhanced profiles that enable them to segment by customer behavior and preferred channel. The Direct Marketing Association’s latest webinar will show marketers how to execute campaigns that publish the right offer at the right time to the right buyer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the impact of Big Data on the Customer Lifecycle
  • Create sophisticated customer profiles using Big Data
  • Map customer profiles to segments, channels, buying stages
  • What’s needed to build Big Data customer profiles

Chris Baribeau, Marketing Services Practice Director, Extraprise
Michael Fazio, Director of Business Solutions, SDL

The DMA’s Big Data and Customer Lifecycle Marketing
November 15, 2012
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET
Register Now!

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