Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

“It takes a lot less time for marketers to plan now.”

—Global marketing performance manager

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

Before Uptempo: planning in spreadsheets

When it came time for planning season, the company’s former process was based on spreadsheets.

With Excel, regional planning managers would manually enter data and send different versions of their spreadsheets back and forth among teams in different countries.

However, they found it “very hard to consolidate” all their respective information, which they centrally collated annually for the upcoming year’s planning season, according to our contact.

spreadsheets marketing

Calling this “highly manual process” essentially “a nightmare,” he details some of the problems they’d face: data inaccuracies, time delays, and out-of-date numbers, preventing clear visibility of plans and how they tied to budgets.

“We didn’t really know what was going on in the various teams and regions,” he explains.

In addition, they tried another major marketing planning software solution that didn’t work for them. Specifically, they didn’t find the other system flexible enough to meet their needs; it required too many process changes and forced limitations that would reduce the value they were trying to capture.

The after: planning in Uptempo

Since using Hive9, the energy company has seen improvements in two areas of planning:

1. It’s easier to understand how plans have changed.

A big part of the reason the company wanted to get out of spreadsheets was that they lacked visibility into changing plans and budgets throughout the year.

“Before, I would know what the plans are globally once a year,” he says. “So, in Q4, I would know what the plan is for next year, but I would have zero visibility during the year of how plans changed.”

Now, teams are able to clearly see what’s been happening throughout the year in the context of their overall strategy—a particularly welcome change for 2020, especially. When the pandemic necessitated sudden budget alterations, the marketing and finance leaders, in turn, had to “rework all their plans,” he explains.

“Local and regional teams were able to do that a lot more quickly,” the contact says, “and then, centrally, we were able to pull together a complete overview for the business, saying, ‘This is what the new balance looks like.’”

Additionally, with the use of scenario planning, he notes, a team in one region was able to link their plans up with two types of potential budgets in the future—a “base budget” or a “rebound budget”—and have a clear visualization of either scenario.

“Being able to do that helped us prepare for a rebound,” he says. Using Hive9, everyone was able to get on the same page, budget- and plan-wise, despite some unexpected changes along the way.

2. It’s easier to understand what’s planned for the next year.

With everyone now planning in the same place, everyone has access to the same data in real time, with all plans tied to budgets.

In fact, in a survey conducted with their Hive9 users, the majority said that access to data was the most beneficial part of their switch to Hive9, while access to reporting and a simplified planning process came in second and third, respectively.

Furthermore, they’ve discovered increased time-savings, with about half of the respondents reducing an estimated 30 minutes to 2 hours spent each week on marketing planning, tracking, and analyzing.

Not only are the teams around the world able to more easily see what’s planned—more than just once a year—but they’re able to do it more quickly, too.

“It takes a lot less time for the marketers to plan now,” he says.

The before: managing finances in spreadsheets

When it came time to reconcile what they had spent with what they had planned to spend—i.e., actuals vs. plans—they found the task “very difficult” to manage in Excel.

“There were always different versions [of spreadsheets] when it came to collating on a regional level, let alone on a global level,” he explains.

That made it “very hard to know what was what,” he continues, “and how much we planned to spend versus how much we actually spent”—particularly because the actuals were housed separately in SAP. In turn, for them to effectively reconcile actuals vs. plans, they needed a smooth and timely integration with SAP.

Sample data of Uptempo’s financial management solution

The after: managing finances in Hive9

Having swiftly connected Hive9 to SAP, their teams were then able to see an improvement in cost management, gaining a better understanding of exactly how much was being spent, and in which areas.

Through the integration, their actuals flow daily from SAP and then get allocated to their marketing plans in Hive9, which—especially in light of pandemic-related changes—helps them gain “much better control over the budget,” he says.

When finance leaders at the regional level make any budget changes, he explains, those changes can then immediately be seen from a “central perspective” in Hive9, enabling everyone to gain visibility into spending down to the tactic level, and how that spending aligns with plans.

For example, if they want to check up on how much money is being spent in relation to “strategic priorities” or “various customer segments,” he adds, they can see the information in one place and know all their numbers are the same, no matter where they are in the world.

“Having all of that in one easily accessibly tool has helped enormously,” he says, adding that they no longer have to send around templates for everyone to fill out, either.

“You always use the same tool, but you can actually update your parameters—i.e., attributes—to understand a lot better how you budget or how your plans are split.”

Importantly, being able to reconcile plans vs. actuals also gives the company the ability to immediately flag any inbalances in the budget: for example, if they’ve spent more or less than they had planned in certain areas.

“It gives regional [marketing] reps the ability to act a lot quicker on driving actions when it comes to budget savings or investing more in other areas,” the contact says.

Additionally, further enhancing their financial management capabilities, the company has transformed their GL code integration from a months-long process into an overnight job.

Previously, the task required teams to manually enter numbers in SAP, send multiple spreadsheets back and forth across time zones, and reconcile all the data—a process taking as long as one to two months. Now, because of the Hive9-SAP connection, they have access to the GL codes the very next day.

This automation of “unnecessary manual work,” our contact says, is another way to further reduce red tape.

Finally, to close the loop on automated financial reporting, the company is in the process of adding Hive9’s Purchase Support Module, which will create Purchase Requests (PRs) from Hive9 and automatically report on Purchase Order status and consumption for the marketing team inside Hive9. They believe the error rate for PRs will be eliminated and anticipate additional time-savings with the new process.

Improved global collaboration

To kick off the project, the energy provider benefited from Hive9’s consultative workshops, launched with the Hive9 Customer Success team. This process helped Hive9 understand exactly what they needed from the solution at global, regional, and local levels, according to our contact, and in what sequence.

“It was good to have these workshops right from the beginning,” he explains, “where we got together to be clear on requirements to really spell out what it is that we want.”

From the initial workshops to validation of their setup decisions and regularly scheduled checkpoints, the close collaboration “has made a big difference,” he adds.

hive9

Sample data of Uptempo’s marketing planning solution

More to come

Having reduced headaches, wasted time, and confusion surrounding important data across many operating units, the company is on a path to continuous marketing performance management improvement.

As a marketing manager recently said in a testimonial, the tool “has totally changed the game” for the the company.

Having implemented the Hive9 planning module and completed the financial integration, what’s next for the energy provider is turning on Hive9 Performance, which includes revenue attribution, waterfall attribution, and reporting actuals compared to goals, as well as predicting future performance.

With Hive9 collecting all performance data in aggregate—and in the context of the plan—everything will come “full circle,” the contact says, “further improving the business impact of our marketing plans.”

Interested in learning how 625k other marketers around the globe are transforming their marketing business?

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Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

PwC: Fast facts

Business type:
Global professional services firm providing auditing, accounting, taxation, strategy management, and HR consulting services

Contact:
Mattias Eklund, head of digital marketing

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial
management

Key quote:
“For anyone who is evolving their marketing and digitizing it, this is an essential tool.”

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

Before Uptempo: no closing the loop

A few years ago, PwC set out to significantly digitize its marketing efforts.

“We’re on a path to making the switch from traditional, events-based marketing to much more online, multichannel and closed-loop-type marketing,” Eklund explains. “And [Uptempo’s Hive9] is one of the components of that.”

spreadsheets marketing

The impetus for the change, according to Eklund, was the company’s growth, industry trends, and increased pressure to demonstrate marketing’s impact on revenue.

Previously doing marketing “more from a branding point of view,” he explains, their successes weren’t connected to sales in a way that was clearly measurable. However, seeing marketing as a “vital part of building business revenue,” they sought more of a closed-loop environment through which they could show ROI.

“We increasingly see marketing as an investment, not a cost,” he adds.

With their former marketing software, the company viewed it “more as a financial tool.” Then, as PwC’s requirements changed because of their “maturity” and “how [they] did marketing,” they sought “more features and a better overview of what [they] were doing”—especially on the planning side while the company multiplied its digital marketing campaigns.

“[Hive9] catered better to our needs as we advanced in our digital marketing program,” says Eklund.

In turn, PwC ultimately decided to adopt Hive9, implemented it within 4-5 weeks and did away with its previous software, leaving no gaps in between.

A key step: streamlining planning

Based on his marketing experience, Eklund deems planning “probably the most difficult thing to do in marketing.”

Noting specifically the “nature of the complexity” of planning—especially at such a large organization—he says PwC’s “primary need” for marketing was streamlining its planning process, eliminating silos.

“Hive9 helped us a lot in doing so because we plan directly in the tool,” says Eklund, explaining that marketers have gained a “much better overview” of activities at a detailed level: plan, program, campaign and tactic.

With marketing budgets “pretty much differently structured for each team,” he explains, there could be six or seven marketing teams who all “plan a bit differently.” Previously, to make sense of these plans, PwC had to compile conversations marketing teams were having “with their respective product owners in the business,” proving to be a hassle to reconcile, he says.

marketing planning

Instead, with one single place to plan in Hive9, with data updated in real time, everyone stays up to speed on what’s happening, with marketers around the organization enabled to go into the tool, make plan changes and know they’re being seen across the board.

“You can see the marketing plans kind of growing over time and being updated continuously,” Eklund says, adding that marketers can also see if they’re staying within budget if they, for example, exchange one campaign for another.

Although marketers may have “different requirements between them,” he adds, Hive9 enables them to have “flexibility and the ability to work in quite an advanced way themselves with the tool.” For instance, with Hive9’s calendar view, they can filter and save calendars based on any combination of standard and custom attributes, enabling them to have “different views on the same data,” he says.

“Everyone can see what everyone is doing,” he adds. “We can see exactly when we are doing which email campaigns and search ads—and we had real difficulties before, on an aggregated level, with what we were doing.”

Streamlining the company’s various marketing plans and programs at such a large scale will always be a learning process, notes Eklund, but Hive9 has helped reduce a lot of headaches.

“Without a tool like this, [streamlining planning] would be incredibly difficult,” he says.

Further, to accommodate pandemic-related plan changes, Eklund says marketing teams were enabled to “restructure their programs very quickly within a given budget.” For example, if they needed to switch from live events to virtual events or accelerate or limit advertising, they were able to communicate these changes in one tool and ensure budget alignment.

“Hive9 was a very important tool in doing that,” says Eklund.

“Without a tool like this, [streamlining planning] would be very difficult.”

mattias eklund pwc
Mattias Eklund
head of digital marketing, PwC

The results: showing ROI

With Hive9’s financial management tool, marketers can integrate their plans with both purchasing and financial systems, creating a closed-loop actuals reporting environment that can be reconciled to finance while still being compared to marketing plans.

Establishing marketing as “more in the loop,” explains Eklund, enables PwC to clearly show marketing ROI.

“This is one of the key benefits of having a structured planning process and a tool like Hive9,” he says, “because then you can see the whole marketing program and the total cost overview.”

When financial data from other tools used by PwC is integrated with Hive9, marketers can then “put the cost in relation to the direct outcome,” such as the number of generated leads or the number of clicks and downloads in an email campaign, he explains.

Then, with access to this data, they can make marketing decisions—e.g., which campaigns to trigger— based on what they’ve learned.

“Having that data available in the same tool is really powerful,” says Eklund, adding that “from a financial point of view,” Hive9 has been “critical” for PwC.

Sample data of Uptempo’s financial management solution

The holistic value of a marketing management platform

Going back to the company’s overall marketing transformation, Eklund points out the holistic value of Hive9 for PwC’s marketing organization.

“The real gain here is not a direct cost- or time-savings,” he remarks. “It’s part of a wider journey that we as a marketing department are going down.”

Instead of untangling the value of Hive9 numerically, Eklund looks at “the whole spectra”: all the way from upstream, which is planning, and all the way downstream, which is collecting data and “feeding back into the loop again.”

“For anyone who is evolving their marketing and digitizing it,” he says, “this is an essential tool.”

hive9

Sample data of Uptempo’s marketing planning solution

Notably, Eklund also underscores the value of being a part of the Hive9 software development process, enabling PwC’s marketers to use features they’ve requested specifically for their needs.

“It’s a constantly evolving platform that keeps getting better,” he says, noting that Hive9 also has a “transparent road map” that facilitates ample opportunities for client input.

Indeed, on the support side, deeming Uptempo Customer Success “the best support we have for any of our platforms,” Eklund points out how truly invested the “five-star” success team is: from listening to feedback on features, from sharing best practices, to solving problems.

“There’s a deep understanding of how we use this tool and how we could use it [in the future],” he explains.

Accordingly, going forward, PwC plans to adopt the Hive9 performance module alongside its existing planning and financial management modules, enabling marketers to further visualize their insights.

Since switching to Hive9, PwC has certainly gotten more out of their marketing performance solution than just financial management—from closing the loop on marketing, to taking the hassle out of planning, to supporting their marketing organization’s overall digital evolution.

“It’s far more than just a financial and ROI tool,” says Eklund. “It’s also a really powerful planning tool that gives us full transparency of what we are actually doing.”

Interested in learning how 625k other marketers around the globe are transforming their marketing business?

We'd love to have a conversation with you today.

Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

Tim West
Senior manager, marketing operations, Box

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

The challenge:
spreadsheet nightmares

It wasn’t as if the marketing team wasn’t trying to evaluate the ROI of their programs. But tying investment data from thousands of programs to their results was a monumental task. They could see where they’d invested and where they were making an impact on pipeline but had no way to tie that information together.

spreadsheets marketing

“Marketing campaigns should not be evaluated exclusively based on total pipeline contribution. Without layering in some sort of financial data, the measurement exercise is ultimately meaningless,” Tim said.

The team had a full-time contractor to manage their investment spreadsheets and budget tracking, but they didn’t have actuals from finance, so spend data was three to four months old, making it useless for planning purposes. They were stuck in spreadsheets, and with such a large team, version control was a constant issue.

The solution: connecting “R” with “I” in ROI

Box’s CMO was still asking her team what the most efficient campaigns were, and West knew they needed a clear way to answer that question.

They started with the investment side of the equation. The Box marketing team knew that in order to begin measuring ROI, their budget data needed to be clean, detailed, and integrated with other systems. They knew they needed a new software solution.

West had learned about Allocadia at an industry conference and introduced it to his team. They appreciated that Allocadia had been designed specifically for marketers, not accountants, and that it was cloud-based from day one—just like Box.

Box implemented Uptempo’s Allocadia platform to help them move away from their spreadsheets and start managing their investments from end to end.

The next step was to connect that investment data to results so they could start tracking ROI to determine which campaigns were the most efficient.

Allocadia was just the solution they needed because of its ability to tie systems together. Allocadia assigns every marketing activity and budget item a unique Allocadia ID number, which is the underpinning that allows it to be tracked throughout its entire lifecyle. Box’s marketers create their plans in Allocadia, create purchase orders in Coupa, execute activities using Marketo and other systems, and record pipeline impact in Salesforce. Allocadia ties all this data together and then funnels it into Tableau for reporting and analysis so the team at Box can see exactly which campaigns have had the best ROI.

Measuring ROI is all about actually measuring efficiency, and with this solution, the Box team was finally able to track it at a granular level. They could now identify low-performing programs and either eliminate them, or adjust them to improve the ROI.

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The results: confidence in marketing spend

Prior to implementing Allocadia, the Box marketing team had a 4:1 return on their investments. After implementing Allocadia, it became 9:1.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio,” said West. “Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

marketing planning

Now the Box team has complete confidence in their programs. They have a granular view of their spend accuracy and have had a plan-to-spend variance of less than 1% for three straight quarters. In addition, they’ve gained the trust of the finance department, who now consider marketing an ally in hitting the company goal of $1 billion in revenue.

“The biggest benefit has definitely been the confidence. Because of Allocadia and our custom attribution model, we’re confident that marketing will now be a driver in creating a billion-dollar company in Box,” said West.

Interested in learning how 625k other marketers around the globe are transforming their marketing business?

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Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

Fast facts

Business type:
Global provider of water filtration systems

Employees: 
Over 2,000 worldwide

Tools BrandMaker replaced:
Spreadsheets, PowerPoints

Using Uptempo’s BrandMaker for:
Work & Resource Management
Digital Asset Management
Brand Management

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

Tim West
Senior manager, marketing operations, Box

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

Initial situation and special challenges

BRITA’s image archive, called BOA (Brita Online Assets), was reaching its limits with the global growth of the company, the emergence of new brands, and the increasing number of marketing assets worldwide. The company was therefore looking for a platform provider to manage the assets on its own. BRITA began working with its own platform in the mid-2000s, but over time, the software partner and the company moved in different directions. BRITA marketing went in search of an alternative service provider and, together with IT and Purchasing, developed an RFP. 

The partnership has existed since 2018. Today, BRITA uses the BrandMaker Digital Asset Management, Work & Resource Management—and most recently added the BrandMaker Brand Management.

Subsidiaries have access to all marketing assets, no matter where, no matter when. In the past, the required marketing materials had to be sent around the world by CD. Today, BRITA’s marketing colleagues in the country subsidiaries access the required material for the products directly via the Digital Asset Management. The Digital Asset Management contains product shots, pack shots, seals, icons, mood images, PDFs of product brochures and flyers, and much more. These can be freely downloaded and scaled down as required. The subsidiaries particularly appreciate the fact that they no longer have to download assets and distribute them to external agencies, and it provides them with the required material via a link to the BOA. In addition, many of the agencies also have their own log-in. As soon as they receive an order, they can search the inventoried material in the BOA. This saves a lot of time on all sides.

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Why BrandMaker?

From a shortlist of three candidates, BRITA decided on BrandMaker. The system already covered most of the BRITA’s requirements in the standard version, with the cost-performance portfolio having the best immediate fit. The corporate structures and cultures also meshed.

“We are a family business—we maintain a cooperative relationship with service providers. We like to tackle topics together and work out solutions as a team. With BrandMaker, we realized very quickly that we are on the same wave length,” says Andrea Baermann, senior manager, brand solutions, group communications at BRITA.

spreadsheets marketing

The solution:
Efficient marketing and
assets management system

Process control of packaging production

BRITA marketing uses Work & Resource Management to control its processes, from the final creative artwork for a package through to printing. As soon as a packaging design has been created and approved, the process starts. This is where the final artwork and the implementation of the packaging variants are controlled—a job that can be highly complex. After all, a single filter can come in up to 40 variants: All processes are controlled automatically via the Work & Resource Management, from approval by colleagues from product marketing to automated delivery of the print data to the print shop. The final print data is then transferred from the Work & Resource Management to the Digital Asset Management. Here, the print shops each have access to the folder containing their print data.

Management of business card production 

BRITA uses the brand templates contained in the Digital Asset Management to manage the production of business cards throughout the group, including the approval process by the respective departments. 

Brand Management as an important communication channel

The Brand Management recently began functioning as the BOA’s home page. It gives BRITA marketing the opportunity to also post editorial content and communicate both its CD guidelines and more detailed information on assets and their use. The goal is to optimize the user interface in the BOA and to make finding the appropriate asset as easy as possible. In this way, users are guided through the system in a targeted manner via questions.

marketing planning strategy uptempo allocadia hive9 brandmaker

Always the right logo with the Logo Selector

There are more than 150 variants of the BRITA logo in the Digital Asset Management. When a sales employee needs a logo, it is not easy to know which logo is the right one for the desired use. Logos are applied to house walls, street signs, baseball caps, trade fair flags, or mouth guards (to name just a few possible uses). This immediately raises the question of which file format and color variant are correct.

In the past, the marketing team at headquarters spent a lot of time answering these requests. Or they didn’t ask at all, and mistakes were made. Today, with many more employees, brands, countries, and communication needs, that has increased many times over. These requests could no longer be handled by the marketing team at all. To better manage the employees in the Digital Asset Management, BrandMaker developed the Logo Selector, which was launched together with the Brand Management. For which brand is the logo needed? For which purpose? Digital or print production? Does it have to be in black and white or color? By asking these and other questions, the employee is guided specifically to the right logo.

The results:
BRITA can efficiently master the increasing demands on marketing

As a growth-oriented company, BRITA can efficiently master the increasing demands on marketing with BrandMaker. Ten years ago, there were approximately 1,400 assets in the BOA. Today, almost 58,000 assets are managed in the Digital Asset Management. As a result, all digital marketing material can be made available globally, which not only ensures brand conformity, but also enables much more efficient work.

Outlook

There are also efficiency gains in the area of print data production. The diversification of BRITA products is enormous. In 2005, there were two major product types. Today, these are in the double-digit range. The volume of print data has multiplied as a result. However, the processes are still controlled by just two people via the Work & Resource Management. They coordinate all the jobs, from artwork approval, to print data delivery, to the print shop. Between 800 and 1,000 print data jobs are executed each year. Work & Resource Management helps gain efficiency via workflow automation, making it more powerful without having to acquire more resources. 

Next step: Upload access for the national companies

Next up is the rollout of the upload capability to the countries. If marketing colleagues from the country subsidiaries want to upload material to the Digital Asset Management, this is currently still entered centrally via the marketing team at headquarters. In the future, the countries will be able to perform the upload independently. In order to avoid errors from the outset, training courses are planned and initial talks are being held with BrandMaker on the development of an image rights management system.

Cooperation at eye level

The cooperation between BRITA and BrandMaker has been very close. In addition to the regularly scheduled meetings, team lists with technical topics are kept, which are successively discussed and worked through. While the teams have harmonized very well on a human level from the very beginning, they have also grown together on a technical level as well. Andrea Baermann particularly appreciates the attitude of the BrandMaker colleagues, which fits perfectly with BRITA: “hands-on, accessible, open communication, technically competent, and professional in all areas and levels”.

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Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

Fast Facts

Business type:
Global leading manufacturer of high-performance network infrastructure.

Key Stakeholders using Allocadia:
VP of Marketing Operations

Tools Allocadia replaced:
Spreadsheets, PowerPoints.

Using Allocadia for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, financial
management, performance management and attribution.

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

Tim West
Senior manager, marketing operations, Box

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

THE CHALLENGE:
A Top Business Pain

After conducting an employee survey, Juniper Networks identified that marketing budget management and reporting was a top business pain. Although each marketing team had clarity around their marketing spend via spreadsheets, the process of consolidating and reporting across the entire organization was extremely difficult and time consuming. These process inefficiencies prevented the marketing organization from identifying and acting quickly on important business challenges. It was virtually impossible to understand global investment by simple attributes such as country and objective, or how Juniper was funding various campaign initiatives holistically. With this challenge, Juniper set out to find solutions to answer some big questions:

  • How can we create visibility into our global marketing investments, teams and programs?
  • How can we streamline workflows to create better reporting processes and achieve more meaningful business insights?
  • How can we achieve better return on our marketing investments?

“It was very disconnected,” says Susan Vanin, former Juniper Director of Marketing Performance Management. “Each user had individual spreadsheets and it was very difficult to have a consolidated view, either by team or by theater.” The CMO gave the Global Marketing Operations (GMO) team 30 days to research and recommend a solution that would address the planning and budgeting challenge, with the ability to plan OPEX and Marketing MDF using one tool. After assessing several solutions, the GMO team selected Allocadia, a cloud-based enterprise marketing solution specializing in marketing budgeting, planning and marketing ROI. “We were fortunate that SiriusDecisions had highlighted Allocadia as an option for us to consider. When we went through the demonstration, we were very pleased Allocadia had all of the efficiencies and usability we were looking for, and the ability for us to deploy it quickly,” says Alyssa Weber, Juniper Director of Marketing Infrastructure.

ONBOARDING & IMPLEMENTATION

The GMO team worked closely with Allocadia’s Customer Success team to define requirements, and then implement and deploy the solution. Despite the broad scope of this deployment, the project went live less than 60 days after selecting a vendor. “As a solution designed for marketers, Allocadia offered a strong, intuitive user experience, making internal buy-in and the transition very easy,” says Vanin. As a result, the roll out and adoption has been seamless. “Within two weeks of launching Allocadia, we had already input a full year of marketing plans and budgets into the system,” says Weber.

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THE SOLUTION: Providing Visibility

With the program in place for two years, Juniper has seen strong adoption rates and utilization across the marketing organization. With more than 200 marketers spread across three geographic theaters, Juniper uses Allocadia’s global marketing solution to plan annual marketing investments and manage quarterly marketing budgets, with the ability to drill-down into specific programs.

marketing planning

Using Allocadia, Juniper’s Global Marketing Operations team is able to:

  • Provide visibility and accountability into marketing spend at all levels of the marketing organization
  • Report on strategy, budgeting and programming for global teams and share marketing’s impact on business development and growth
  • Plan, forecast and measure activities globally, and communicate progress to senior executives
  • Consolidate data across the organization while maintaining data integrity and classification
  • Plan OPEX and Marketing MDF using one tool

THE BENEFITS

Driven by a strategic focus on marketing investment planning and an operational focus on marketing budget management, Juniper’s GMO team has transformed the business into a data-driven marketing organization — achieving alignment in marketing spend across teams and providing the business with real-time insights into marketing programs. Allocadia has now become an integral part of the planning, execution and performance management process. Juniper has achieved rapid time to value and very high levels of adoption across the business, which has translated into a number of benefits:

  • 100% alignment of spend to meet strategic objectives
  • The ability to remain within 1% of budget every quarter since deployment
  • Hundreds of hours saved consolidating and manually manipulating numerous spreadsheets
  • Reduction in ineffective marketing investments based on immediate visibility into activities not aligned to company priorities
  • Flexibility to reallocate budget based on changes in the market and needs of the business

LOOKING AHEAD

Juniper Networks can now clearly identify how marketing is investing and how that investment aligns with Juniper’s strategy, their CFO and CMO are taking it to the next level and asking how marketing is contributing to Juniper’s bottom line. “I think that’s the next evolution for us. We want to be able to show how marketing contributes to the pipeline and how are we assisting in closing deals.” Juniper also continues to develop their marketing investments and budgeting solution with a plan to next integrate Allocadia’s return on investment solution into their platform.

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Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

Tim West
Senior manager, marketing operations, Box

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

Redefining the hierarchy

The first noticeable difference to GE Digital’s strategy was their investment and operations overview. At the investment level, the marketing budget is broken into three buckets: market analysis, enablement, and customer acquisition and nurture. Under the investments sits the strategy layer, which is the various high-level strategies that GE Digital is focused on for the fiscal year. In order to make each strategy a success, there are marketing activities that are dedicated to a specific high-level strategy—they refer to these as tactics.

spreadsheets marketing

In using this outline, GE Digital noticed that there were individual tactics that could be tied to multiple strategic initiatives that they were trying to drive. The idea of then ascribing the return from this investment to only one strategy didn’t sit right. For example, every marketer knows that a piece of content can be used multiple times, and the benefits are not solely connected to one campaign. A traditional investment model would be focused on funds flowing from finance to different geographic regions. In looking for a better way to show true ROI, GE Digital has flipped the matrix on its head, and instead, funds flow according to corporate strategy.

Adopting Uptempo’s Allocadia platform was one of the first foundational steps that GE Digital took during this radical change. GE Digital was developing a common language structure, as well as an activity and impact hierarchy. Once this was laid out, they determined they needed a better way to measure impact and began looking for a solution that would help them do just that. Allocadia provides the structure and backbone that GE Digital needed to build their new strategic hierarchy.

The idea behind the change

GE Digital had three reasons for wanting to make a change. First, there are never enough marketing dollars—something every marketer can empathize with—so this was a way to control cash flow. Secondly, they wanted to find a way to maximize the investments they were making. For example, if you’ve invested a certain amount of time and money creating a piece of content, you would want to see if you could use it again in another region or context. The third reason is that it gave them better visibility into spend. Previously, people were spread across companies, and double-spend was an increasingly large issue. With everything under one umbrella, GE Digital can now see how funds are being managed and reorganize as needed.

Measuring results across channels

Previously, ROI could only be applied to one program, which isn’t how most marketing programs actually function. Now, GE Digital can apply ROI from a tactic across multiple campaigns and have a more holistic view of the impact of their activities. Currently, they are measuring for two types of ROI: ROMO (Return on Marketing Objectives) and ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment). ROMI is the more traditional ROI to measure, based on the pipeline and opportunities metrics that most companies report on. ROMO is different, as it isn’t tied to closed-won deals, but it shows the company’s impact on broader goals through marketing—for example, getting qualified leads in a certain industry.

In order to apply attributed spend to multiple campaigns and see the ROI, GE Digital needed to build customized ROI options. Everything starts in Allocadia when they align budget to strategic priorities. Within the budgets, line items are created for specific tactics and can be connected to more than one campaign. Using SalesForce IDs, they split the spend across the campaigns. However, they needed to connect both totals across platforms. The solution marketing operations arrived on was to construct a customized data architecture within a data lake, allowing them to connect insights from multiple systems, with the goal of attributing more accurate spend to their marketing influence amounts on opportunities and closed won deals. To create this optimized data layer, the marketing operations team leaned into their IT partners for the dataset build.

GE Digital has also invested in benchmarking, enabling them to look at one section of marketing activities, like advertising, and see how it’s doing as a whole. It gives a level of granularity to where they are spending, and what the ROI is, and they are able to pivot more effectively based off that information. They are able to cut spend on certain activities, but the net result is better outcomes because their spend has become more strategic.

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The results: demonstrating marketing’s impact

This shift has given the marketing team much more confidence in the impact they are driving for GE Digital. Now that they are able to talk about what is going to net the best return for the company, the dialog and discussion are more constructive, and they are no longer fighting for budget. Their conversations with finance and other business leaders have become more strategic.

Framing the conversation around strategic objectives has not only improved conversations with other departments, but Neenu Sharma, VP of marketing operations and analytics, has noticed that it’s made it easier to accommodate requests from within the marketing team as well.

marketing planning

GE Digital has been working to solve efficiency in order to improve the way the marketing team runs their part of the business. By flipping the traditional structure of establishing hierarchy around budget coming from finance into a strategic hierarchy, GE Digital has also moved away from a geographic- or regional-based focus. This change to a strategic hierarchy has increased visibility into how the teams are spending and gives a cohesive overall picture. The increased visibility has led the team to be able to move faster on items that will support GE Digital’s strategic goals.

This year, their marketing organization was able to report a 2.55x ROMI. In solving spend efficiency with spend attribution, GE Digital is demonstrating marketing’s impact on the business, and showing how they can advance corporate goals and strategies.

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Improving collaboration and visibility around planning

Why a Fortune 500 energy company switched from spreadsheets to Uptempo’s Hive9

http://energy
Fast facts

Business type:
Global Fortune 500 energy provider

Contact:
Global marketing performance manager

What Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, marketing financial management, marketing performance management

Fast facts

Business type:
Florida-based provider of 3D measurement, realization, and imaging technology for industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, and natural resources

Key stakeholders using Uptempo:
Director of marketing ops, manager of marketing ops, program managers, integrated marketing directors

Tools Uptempo replaced:
Spreadsheets, PowerPoints

Using Uptempo for:
Marketing planning and calendaring, financial
management, performance management and attribution

Forrester Award Winner:
Winner of the Return on Integration Honors Award at the 2022 Forrester B2B Summit

http://global%20collaboration

Start with a very large energy provider, and add a significant marketing budget, multiple product lines, and marketing teams spread across 40 countries, and you’ll land on so many moving parts of which it’s difficult to keep track.

For this organization, spreadsheets just weren’t cutting it.

According to our subject, a global marketing performance manager for a major energy supplier, they were seeking to improve marketing planning and financial management: time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks when performed in Excel.

Now, having used Uptempo’s Hive9 platform on a global scale, their teams have improved collaboration and visibility around planning, as well as more effectively managed and reconciled budgets and expenses with finance. Along the way, according to our contact, they’ve been able to save substantial time, reduce red tape, and react more quickly to changes effected by the pandemic.

What’s more, thanks to the close collaboration between Hive9 and the energy provider, they’re even playing a role in increasing the value inside the future Hive9 solution.

“We’ve more than doubled our pipeline-to-spend ratio. Additionally, we’ve had record-setting quarters in terms of total pipeline contribution, despite budgets not going up. So we can truly say that we’ve done more with less because we were able to identify and address inefficiencies.”

Tim West
Senior manager, marketing operations, Box

Since switching from spreadsheets and into Uptempo’s Hive9, the energy company has been able to:

Easily understand how plans have changed

Better understand what’s planned for next year

Improve the business impact of their plans

Reduce red tape

How did FARO achieve this (and a whole lot more)? It took a combination of outstanding leadership, reorganized processes and systems, rationalized terminology, and a strong commitment to change.

What was the vehicle for achieving such a transformation? Hive9’s marketing operations and resource management system: the secret sauce to keeping all of these moving parts running smoothly, as well as clearly quantifying the value of marketing.

The challenge:
chaos, silos, and no proof of ROI

When Lisa joined FARO in fall 2019, she was given a small window of time to assess the company’s marketing maturity and see what changes needed to be made—soon discovering what she calls “full-on chaos” among 55 horizontal marketers across the globe.

“Plans were not laddered to any business strategy. There was no linking between planning and budgeting. There were zero established operating procedures and no consistency on terminology,” Lisa explains.

spreadsheets marketing

With teams supporting marketing efforts across 12 buying personas, 16 countries, nine languages, and four business segments, the highly complex marketing organization had been planning out of spreadsheets and PowerPoints, siloed across the business. This meant there was no single source of truth when it came to reviewing plans or reporting on performance.

“Nobody knew how our budget was used,” she says. “Nobody had any evidence of plans. Nobody had any data that could have indicated whether anything had an impact or not.”

Moreover, FARO also had a scattering of 18 PR agencies on retainer around the world, none of which were working from one cohesive marketing plan.

On the financial side, FARO didn’t have infrastructure in place to know how tactics were performing across spending. Rather, according to Lisa, it was “double-digit spreadsheets that didn’t all have the same formatting.”

At the beginning of each year, dollars were allocated to marketing as a function, distributed into buckets, and disseminated to regional marketing directors around the world.

Then, each regional marketing manager had their own method of planning, allocating dollars across tactics, and tracking and managing expenses. This made reconciliation impossible.

“Once the regional marketing directors gave out the dollars, they had no idea how they were used,” Lisa says.

Lisa had her work cut out for her, but with nearly two decades of experience as a successful marketing strategist and advisor, she was certainly the right person for the job.

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The solution: restructuring and getting aligned

Committing the marketing organization to a major transformation, Lisa established a four-step process—Review, Align, Mobilize, and Propel, known as RAMP—involving a series of 10 phases to keep teams aligned and motivated under clearly defined steps.

Over the next few months, the organization also restructured and downsized on the personnel side; carried out what Lisa calls “whack-a-mole” on events to which had been overcommitted; established alignment with product and sales on revenue expectations; and fleshed out plans according to region, market segment, and country.

marketing planning

After further organizing by creating Forrester’s Plans on a Page for each segment, she soon realized spreadsheets weren’t going to cut it anymore for managing these plans.

Enter Uptempo’s Hive9 platform: one place from which everyone across the globe would be able to access all marketing plans, budgets, and performance metrics.

But first, it was important for FARO to establish a structure for the mass amounts of data that were about to be managed in Hive9. However, it was the first quarter of 2020: The world had shut down, so nobody could come together in person to get aligned on the plans under the newly established structure.

The Hive9 team, in collaboration with FARO’s corporate marketing, product marketing, and sales teams, led a series of virtual workshops to define critical processes.

“Without a tool like this, [streamlining planning] would be very difficult.”

mattias eklund pwc
Mattias Eklund
head of digital marketing, PwC

First, FARO clearly defined a lead process workflow, which set in place a consistent language and process for demand generation.

“It got us aligned on each key term, the definition, and the source of truth where that data would come from,” says Lisa. Next, it was time to translate service-level agreements into a lead flow visualization.

“It was connecting the dots from that terminology to how demand gets managed and flows through the revenue pipeline,” she explains.

Lastly, the teams got aligned on decisions about setting up campaigns, programs, tactics, data attributes, and any other pieces of data that would be critical not just for effective planning, but also for reporting.

“This gave us the foundation we needed to then make decisions about the provisioning of the platform,” Lisa says, “and how data might need to flow between Hive9 and our SalesForce instance, for example.”

The results:
transparency and accountability

Now with an organized team of approximately 35 marketers—all aligned on language, operating principles, and ways of doing marketing—FARO uses Hive9’s system for all of its planning, budgeting, terminology, processes, waterfall performance, ROI, and attribution. This is all integrated with its re-engineered SalesForce instance and Jira project management software, connecting the dots on everything marketing is doing across the globe.

This complete marketing operations suite has brought forth brand new visibility into marketing activities, as well as newfound flexibility surrounding changing plans.

Sample data of Hive9’s marketing operations management solution

“Hive9 was excellent in helping us understand the difference between theory of what might have been kept in the PowerPoint and what reality is,” says Lisa.

Here’s how it works: The four newly established integrated marketing directors (IMDs) are in charge of building, funding, and reporting on the performance of a plan in Hive9, with one IMD per business segment. They allocate a certain number of dollars to a specific campaign, set the goals and objectives, determine a campaign theme at a high level, and go to the program managers to translate the campaign into executable tactics.

“The IMDs’ sole job is keeper of the global marketing plan and the dollars,” Lisa explains. “And they’re held personally accountable for whether those dollars deliver return on investment.”

Luckily, with waterfall and attribution reporting in Hive9, they’re clearly able to show what’s working across tactics, what’s delivering pipeline for sales and ultimately revenue for the company, and where things need to be shifted.

When each IMD has a set of metrics for their plans—e.g., sourced revenue, lead volume, conversion rate, velocity, or cost per lead—and those metrics are easily reportable from one place, that makes for one extraordinarily aligned sales and marketing function.

Now with an organized team of approximately 35 marketers—all aligned on language, operating principles, and ways of doing marketing—FARO uses Uptempo’s Hive9 system for all of its planning, budgeting, terminology, processes, waterfall performance, ROI, and attribution.

“We have improvement scenario plans based off lead-to-revenue projections,” Lisa says. “On a monthly basis, we receive a beautiful reporting package assembled by the marketing operations team.

“Between the IMDs, me, and the global campaign management leader, we’ll review marketing performance data from Hive9 and other specialist reports, like database health or social media performance and engagement to understand how effective we were at growing our audience, building trust and engagement, and then monetizing that audience to fuel the pipeline.

“From there, we’ll see where we’re at across metrics, including budget variants. If we find that we’re underspending in an area, for example, we look at why it happened. We’ll decide how to address what will likely be a gap in lead flow for the following month, or what else we might need to pivot on to meet our marketing goals. For each metric, we look at a scenario to see how things need to play out.”

“Hive9 was excellent in helping us understand the difference between theory of what might have been kept in the PowerPoint and what reality is.”

Lisa Cole

New relationship with finance: data-proven decisions

If marketing activities do, indeed, need to pivot, FARO turns to Hive9 to make data-proven decisions on their investments.

Last year, when an in-person event was in danger of shifting to virtual, for example, they were able to go into Hive9, signal to the CFO where a variance in spending could happen, and keep all parties apprised of changing plans and budget allocations in real time.

“We would never have been able to do that in a spreadsheet,” Lisa points out. “It just wouldn’t be able to happen.”

Moreover, this has led to a more harmonious relationship with finance.

“The conversations with the CFO are very data-driven. When I show up, I might bring forward a business case and say, ‘We diagnosed our funnel from lead to revenue; here are the dynamics I’m seeing. Here’s where marketing dollars are performing well, or not performing well, and here are some areas where we can address leveraging marketing resources. And here is the ask.’”

Pulling up Hive9’s marketing calendar and “drilling down into the details” of plans and costs, Lisa says, she’s able to clearly show how much is expected to be spent, as well as how much ROI is expected in return.

“This data-driven approach has proven very effective,” she adds. “I don’t spend all my time asking for more money. I can be very intentional about when I do come to the table to ask for more.”

hive9

Sample data of Hive9’s marketing operations management solution

The end of spreadsheets: fully in with Uptempo’s Hive9

If you’re wondering what happened to all of those spreadsheets, PowerPoints, and other disparate tools, they’ve officially become a thing of the past. And with the results the newly revamped marketing organization is getting with Hive9, why would anyone ever go back?

“How could we manage this complexity of being a global organization, with the number of messages we’re delivering across all of our channels, in a spreadsheet?” Lisa asks.

Luckily, they don’t have to anymore.

Although it can be hard to shift away from tools you’re familiar with, Lisa clearly laid down the law and broke the organization’s Excel dependency.

“We have moved out of spreadsheets officially,” says Lisa. “We put a stake in the ground. There are no more spreadsheets. We’re fully in with Hive9.”

“We would never have been able to do that in a spreadsheet. It just wouldn’t be able to happen.”

Lisa Cole

Forrester award winner: Return on Integration Honors

Thanks to all of these changes in just two years, marketing went from having zero integrity around financial management, no methodology on planning, and no single source of truth for reporting, to being seen as a relevant partner in driving FARO’s revenue engine.

And their successes certainly aren’t going unseen in the industry: For the 2022 Forrester B2B Summit, Lisa and her team have taken home a coveted Return on Integration Honors award.

Marketing doesn’t have to be like a recess playground. You just need the right tools to cut through the chaos.

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How Freshworks is Turning Digital Channels into Predictable Revenue Streams

Freshworks provides intelligent customer engagement software for businesses of all sizes, making it easy for teams to win customers for life. Freshworks SaaS products are ready to go, easy to use, and offer quick return on investment. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freshworks has a dedicated team operating from 13 global locations throughout the world. 

The Problem: Missing Measurements and Budget Management

In 2019 Freshworks’ marketing operations team began streamlining various marketing and operational activities. They were looking for a one-stop solution to address:

  1. Marketing budget management – they have hundreds of campaigns cutting across verticals in their global marketing organization going live each year.
  2. Measuring ROMI – with little visibility into spend, it was increasingly difficult to calculate the corresponding ROI to their campaigns. The biggest challenge to this was inability to track spend on Google advertising due to multiple cross-functional teams being involved. 
  3. Tracking the buyer journey – they wanted to measure which touchpoints were the most successful in converting prospects and where the spend could be cut or optimized. 

They discovered Allocadia and recognized the platform’s multi-faceted approach as the answer to their complex use case.

The Solution: Taking Control of Budgeting, Plans, and Measurements

Freshworks was in the early stages of implementing Coupa and decided to implement Allocadia at the same time. They rolled out Allocadia in Q1 of 2020 and within 6 months, Freshworks had automated the reconciliation of data from financial sources into Allocadia in real time, enabling dashboards to show accurate financial data that provided marketers with actionable insights. With these integrations, Allocadia became the new backbone of their tech stack. 

All of their planned campaigns are created as line items to generate the Allocadia ID. Through the Coupa integration, a purchase request (PR) is raised and the PO is generated. Then, the actuals are updated and a complete view of the quarter – plan, forecast, PR, PO, and actuals – is visible in the Allocadia dashboard. 

Freshworks used the Allocadia ID to connect all data points in different systems. Allocadia IDs are passed to Freshworks’s CRM, as an activity for each new contact created so marketers can see the entire history of the contact in terms of campaign touchpoints. Leads coming in from external third party content syndicators also were tagged through an integration between Freshworks CRM and their Demand Acceleration Platform (DAP), Integrate. Finally all of the marketing spend data tracked in Allocadia is fed into a BI platform to represent their returns on their marketing investments (ROMI).

Along with better marketing budget control and performance measurement, Allocadia also helped improve Freshworks’s marketing planning process. At the beginning of every quarter, all marketing teams formulate their activity plans and forecast their budgets in Allocadia. Then at the end of the quarter they can compare plans against actual execution and use that to better inform the next round of planning.  

Calculating the ROI of Digital Channels

Optimizing ad spend was a critical component for why Freshworks chose to partner with Allocadia. Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads make up a significant portion of their budget and they needed to make those channels as efficient as possible. 

Freshworks marketing operation team championed the first ever Allocadia and Google Ads integration in Q1 2020. With the shift to all-digital when the COVID-19 pandemic struck shortly thereafter, the integration was timely – and successful.

Their goal was to make spend information and performance metrics available at a Google Ads Campaign level within Allocadia. They were able to achieve this using the Allocadia IDs as a marker. 

The Allocadia IDs are passed on to Google Ads to track campaign performance and customer journey touchpoints. Since Coupa’s dataset was also connected, Allocadia now held real-time insights to Freshworks’ digital budgets and metrics.

The successof Allocadia and Google Ads integration encouraged Freshworks to also integrate LinkedIn Ads in order to view the ROI of that channel. At present, every dollar spent on LinkedIn campaigns is automatically written into Allocadia and the PR/PO is updated. 

The modelling is something Freshworks continues to review and optimize. But these integrations have allowed them to better track digital ad spend by platform channel as well as by various campaigns, which hasled to better business conversations about how much to invest where. 

Greater Transparency Leads to Revenue Predictability

Bringing all their financials into one platform has made budget transparency and visibility a reality.The quarterly reviews with their leadership and senior management team are so smooth now as the Freshworks team can generate reports on marketing investments and their outcomes through the Allocadia and BI platform connection. 

With Allocadia as the backbone of their tech stack, Freshworks marketers know where they can invest next to meet their long and short term revenue goals.

How Autodesk Drives Marketing Success – Even in a Pandemic – With Better Performance Management

Autodesk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. They make software for people who make things. If you’ve ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you’ve experienced what millions of customers are doing with Autodesk’s software.

The Problem: Hit With the Pain Point Trifecta

Marketers executing in siloes. Poor tracking of marketing spend. Poor spend tracking feeds an inability to relate spend to performance. 

Autodesk was suffering from a classic pain point trifecta that marketers struggle with. There was limited visibility into spend or performance, both of which are needed to truly drive and measure success.

Allocadia was pivotal – it was the focal point around which we could really initiate our marketing performance management program.

Zoe Marquardt, Marketing Planning & Operations Manager, Autodesk

The Solution: Marketing Performance Management is the Answer to All Problems

While the pain points Autodesk marketers suffered from weren’t unique, the organization was unique in their choice to tackle all those issues at once and head-on by launching a marketing performance management (MPM) program with Allocadia. 

It’s a sizable project for any company, and especially for one of Autodesk’s scale. Implementing an MPM program creates waves of change throughout the marketing organization:

  • Marketing Operations looks to automate previously manual processes
  • Budget owners are focused on translating their spreadsheets and finally seeing which areas they have more or less to spend
  • Marketing leaders gravitate to reporting and how they can actually make changes mid-plan based on their new insights

Allocadia has opened a lot of doors that were closed to Autodesk. There is more visibility into marketing tactics and they’ve instated a quarterly planning process across the organization. But what’s pivotal is the review of the quarterly plan at a steering level to show marketing’s alignment between high-level strategy and program tactics. As Zoe puts it “unless you’re confident in the overall plan, it’s difficult if not impossible to understand if your tactics happen to be performing well or if your strategy is driving the success.” Without being able to answer that question, it’s difficult to tweak your strategy because there is no feedback loop. 

Autodesk is planning and setting expectations for the future quarter almost entirely within Allocadia – it’s a central repository for all their tactics and ideas. All of the marketers set their expectations for execution and spend based on info from Allocadia about their current quarter. The goal is that after marketing plans have been executed, Autodesk can go back and validate if expectations are being met. They’re able to plan, and track how successful their marketing strategy is based on the concrete information Allocadia provides as a feedback loop. It’s a central source of information that unites and aligns the marketing organization at Autodesk. 

Autodesk also has a cross-functional group that meets regularly to oversee marketing plans as well as design and set requirements for their MPM dashboard – a central hub for marketers to look at campaign performance. They’re focused on aligning the marketing organization around these top-level insights. 

What Does Performance Management Mean to Autodesk?

Marketers can now go to the MPM dashboard for the bigger picture and then drill down and look deeper at other metrics that helped create the overall performance view. 

Allocadia is a critical piece of the reporting puzzle because the Allocadia ID connects all of the data in their data lake that is then fed into Power BI for the MPM dashboard. But the Allocadia ID also provides the flexibility for Autodesk to go into other platforms like their finance tool or Adobe Analytics and find a common denominator to pull tactical reports. It creates a consistent view, no matter which platform marketers are looking in. Making hierarchies and processes consistent was crucial to achieving that level of consistency, and is an ongoing process to maintain a holistic view. 

The consistency is helped by how Autodesk integrated Allocadia into the rest of their tech stack. Everything kicks off in Allocadia with marketers outlining their plans and when it’s time to put a plan in motion, they simply click the execution button in the Allocadia details panel and that kicks off the project in Salesforce using a custom marketing orchestration tool. A campaign is created in Salesforce with the Allocadia ID attached. From Salesforce, the Allocadia ID flows out to other platforms like Marketo or Adobe depending on the activity. The Allocadia ID acts as the umbrella for the entire operational orchestration and is used to tie all the various actions across platforms that go into executing a tactic together so Autodesk can confidently match investment and performance data. 

Measuring What Was Previously Intangible

With all of their ambitions and hard work of launching a MPM program and Allocadia at the same time, Autodesk expected results. 

Comparing themselves to where they were before those two major programs to now, Autodesk can see they’ve made significant gains across strategic realization alignment, better organized campaigns and tactics, and visibility into spend. Allocadia was instrumental in clarifying and getting visibility into spend management. What seems like one simple area unlocks the ability to measure spend against performance, evaluate the effectiveness of marketing’s strategy, and see the impact of marketing’s successful tactics. 

Prior to Allocadia, essentially no global spend was clearly attributed to campaigns. Now, Autodesk can attribute 86% of marketing spend to specific campaigns. Understanding this allows Autodesk to compare campaign metrics, their successes, and know where to invest further and which programs just aren’t working.

I can see multiple dimensions on a single dollar with Allocadia.

Zoe Marquardt, Marketing Planning & Operations Manager, Autodesk

Reacting with Agility in a Pandemic

When something unexpected happened, like COVID-19, Autodesk already had a solid foundation in place, so it was easy to quickly pivot investments and plans to support people that needed it such as small businesses. In Zoe’s experience, pipeline is the first and often default metric that marketers use to plan their activities. While day-to-day marketing does need to produce results, marketing can’t forget about things like lifetime value or brand perception. The problem is accounting for important programs that are separate from the pipeline conversation.

Using Allocadia, Autodesk was able to define and group the set of marketing activities they executed as part of their COVID support. It gave them a view into their whole efforts, rather than each group doing their own thing. It also allowed them to differentiate between COVID efforts and pipeline efforts, so when it’s time to compare campaign metrics, Autodesk knows exactly which spend to measure against which metrics. Ultimately it is important to know if both types of programs are successful, but their success is being measured against very different goals. 

How Talend is Measuring Performance During a Pandemic with Allocadia

Talend is a leading data integration and data integrity company, that enables every business to find clarity amidst the data chaos. In a single platform, Talend provides all the necessary capabilities that ensure enterprise data is complete, clean, compliant, and readily available to everyone who needs it throughout the organization. Businesses rely on Talend to make smarter decisions in the moment, drive innovation, improve operations, and thrive in a future they can’t yet see.

The Problem: Spreadsheets Can’t Get You to ROI

ROI means a thousand different things, and when Carol Hague, VP Global Demand Generation, joined Talend last September, it wasn’t always clear how the business measured things in the past or why. Marketing teams were managing budgets out of spreadsheets and there was so little visibility into investments that it was hard to measure performance with any kind of confidence. 

The Solution: Creating the Foundations for Better Performance

Talend’s marketing organization knew they wanted to focus on key elements in 2020: systems, processes, and technology. The goal was to lay a solid foundation that could be scaled up. Allocadia would provide the budget visibility and results data they needed to dig into performance metrics and ROI.

Before 2020 started, Carol re-adjusted Allocadia to make sure budgets were organized correctly, that everything was aligned to the business goals that CMO Lauren Vaccarello had established for their department. She and the team also aligned on how Talend would be measuring ROI for the year, and created a view into channel performance so marketers could see which areas were performing well and should be re-invested in.

To help paint the full picture of marketing investments and results, as well as increase team efficiency, Talend fully integrated Allocadia into their tech stack. Their PO data all comes from Netsuite, they have a connection to Salesforce to create an association between all line items and campaigns, and all of the data inputs get pushed into Tableau for

Allocadia gave us streamlined budget efficiency for running the marketing business. We now have one single source of truth for marketing investments and their results. I’m looking forward to going deeper with the ROI and performance metrics now that we have the right granularity of investment insights.

Carol Hague, VP Global Demand Generation, Talend

Talend spent Q1 of 2020 learning and encouraging all the budget managers to use Allocadia instead of regressing back to spreadsheets. Everyone went through training, and by the end of the first quarter had all their budgets in Allocadia and felt comfortable using it. 

In Q2 they progressed to tracking programs associated with budgets. Teams did weekly deep dives to make sure campaign programs were associated to budget spend, and that the spend data was up-to-date. Key stakeholders on Carol’s team helped monitor and manage forecasts to actuals and keep everyone aligned. People got into the habit of going to Allocadia first which created more efficiency, because they were able to organize POs and get campaign IDs ready before looking at the data in Tableau.

Marketing ROI is a Journey, Not a Destination

At the end of Q2 Talend had ROI data they truly felt confident in, and the marketing organization presented their initial ROI analysis to the CFO. With everyone using Allocadia, they could see what they were spending, how their investments were performing, and where they were trending. Their CFO loved it and asked for more.

Based on the benchmark they set in July, Carol and her team are continuing to refine their ROI measurements and are establishing processes to view the granularity of program ROI, as well as ROI by geography. Optimizing spend was a great benchmark for Q2, now they’re looking at ROI and monitoring campaign performance to spend performance. Talend is also working towards measuring program and acquisition channel to spend.

Carol and her team look at ROI from two perspectives:

  1. Pipeline creation to spend
  2. Influenced pipeline to spend
Influenced pipeline to spend

Historically, the business metric they’ve measured is influenced-pipeline-to spend, but Carol wants to balance both. All of Talend’s programs need to support one of those efforts, and they’re trying to be really clear on what ROI means for different kinds of programs. This means primarily looking at digital and demand programs when it comes to pipeline-creation-to-spend. Then programs coming from corporate marketing, customer marketing, and product marketing are mostly viewed as influenced-pipeline-to-spend. 

Shifting Paradigms and Shifting Worlds

Every marketer was thrown into a world of chaos when COVID-19 hit. At Talend it was all-hands on deck getting new campaigns set up. They had been working on a brand-new global campaign that needed to be re-built in 15 days. Events no longer existed, so Carol needed to reallocate all of those dollars to different campaigns and focus on other areas of demand generation. 

Allocadia gave Talend true visibility to re-adjust and they moved dollars around quickly. Now, they’re doing the same thing for the second half of the year. Every month the analytics team looks at all of the marketing programs and checks each line item to see if there’s a campaign attached to it, what the pipeline creation or influence is, and what the total ROI is. Like many, Talend’s marketers hoped that face-to-face could happen in Q4, but that’s not the case. Now that they have performance metrics, Carol and her team are looking at Q4 and reinvesting those dollars in impactful digital programs. 

Better Data Leads to Better Conversations and Decisions

With all of the new performance metrics and increased visibility into spend, Carol noticed a definite increase in the types of conversations and communication. Everyone is asking more about benchmarks and what models should be used. After getting all budget owners managing their plans and budgets in Allocadia, now they can look at doing more with executive summary reports. It’s an opportunity to educate people on what ROI means so that each geographic leader can have a single view. 

Carol and the marketing team are sharing their best practices with finance and helping them understand the right kinds of questions to ask about marketing’s impact on business. This has created high-level alignment on all business metrics between both organizations and driven more confidence for the marketing organization.

The next step for Carol and her team is digging into the difference between how Talend’s marketing organization is spending dollars this year vs last year. When they ask finance for more funds for a specific region or program, it’s because now they can see performance metrics. As she plans for 2021 she’s focused on modelling and assessing how Talend can further optimize their budget to drive bigger business impacts.