A&N Media, part of the Daily Mail & General Trust of the United Kingdom, wanted to revive advertisement sales and transform its business by deploying a cost-effective customer relationship management (CRM) system. Its existing advertisement booking system didn’t hold comprehensive sales history and customer information. The company is deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM to 1,300 users—the largest such roll out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the media and entertainment industry to date. A&N Media estimates that it has already resulted in more than £500,000 in advertisement bookings in just 10 months by its regional media business Northcliffe Media. The CRM project is on course for payback within 12 months. Sales agents spend more time in customer-facing work and less time on administration. The solution will be rolled out to A&N Media’s subscription sales, customer service, and marketing departments. Situation
A&N Media encompasses some of the United Kingdom’s best known brands in the media and entertainment industry. It is part of the Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT), which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and owns the Daily Mail and about 100 regional titles. A&N Media is the parent of DMGT’s national and regional UK newspaper business including Northcliffe Media.
The company was keen to meet the needs of local trade advertisers and customers placing private classified advertisements, but saw them shifting their advertising spend away from traditional print towards digital media. Between 2004 and 2008, local trade advertisement customers had declined by 25 per cent.
A&N Media concluded that the best way to reverse this trend was to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It wanted to gain a 360-degree view of existing and potential clients, and avoid “lapses” in sales engagements by better supporting the sales process. But the organisation faced a couple of challenges—it had three sets of advertisement customer data kept in different systems, and advertisement booking systems did not support lead generation and the early stages of the sales process.
David Henderson, Chief Information Officer at A&N Media, says: “The company was relying on an in-house developed advertisement booking system which interfaced with core accounting systems, but held little in the way of sales history for a particular advertiser or past customer. And sales agents couldn’t get electronic access to customer profiles in the Dun & Bradstreet directories of businesses in the U.K. when planning a marketing or sales campaign in a particular city or region.”
|With a user-friendly CRM tool, our advertisement sales agents would get a more comprehensive view of their clients, and would get better support throughout the sales cycle.|
| David Henderson|
Chief Information Officer
As a result of relying on largely manual systems and paper-based solutions for administration, A&N Media advertisement sales agents were spending a lot of time in the office at the expense of customer-facing initiatives. Henderson adds: “For a business steeped in tradition, achieving a business transformation was our biggest challenge. With a user-friendly CRM tool, our advertisement sales agents would get a more comprehensive view of their clients, and would get better support throughout the sales cycle.” Solution
In making its choice of CRM technology, A&N Media wanted to transform its business by ensuring rapid user adoption through a familiar interface with little need for training of sales agents. A&N required the flexibility to integrate the solution with other business systems and the ability to adapt it to changing business needs. The company considered CRM software from Salesforce.com, but had concerns about user adoption and integration. It was also unhappy with the financial model from Salesforce.com.
Among the key reasons the company chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM was its superior usability, greater flexibility, and better integration with other systems. Henderson says: “Microsoft Dynamics CRM is integrated with Microsoft Office Outlook, which makes it easy to use and also allows data to be taken offline. This helps save time and improves the user experience.”
Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook gives access to the same data through Outlook as the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web application. Going forward, it will also provide access to advertisement booking data through integration with A&N Media’s advertisement booking systems. “This integration avoids users having to switch in and out of two applications as they would have done with Salesforce.com,” says Henderson.
The solution includes other Microsoft server products such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 communication and collaboration technology, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software, and the Windows Server 2008 operating system. The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at A&N Media is the largest in the media and entertainment industry to date.
The system captures the identity, financial information, contact preferences, past transactions, and relationships of both business and private advertisement customers. It will integrate with A&N Media’s existing advertisement booking systems, which were developed in-house, once Microsoft Dynamics CRM is fully deployed.
Customisation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM was handled by Microsoft Services in the U.K. It brought the three sets of customer data together in a single view. This allowed teams of sales agents to access account and opportunity information, rather than having accounts and opportunities owned by a single user. Henderson says: “The work Microsoft Services did in adapting the solution to our needs made it easier for our sales agents to collaborate on accounts and opportunities.”
Microsoft Services worked with A&N Media in the first quarter of 2009 on the complex design and architecture which needed to take into account regional variations in the existing processes. A six person design and development team managed the work from Microsoft in Reading, with one member drawn from A&N Media to ensure knowledge share. Microsoft Certified Partner Seelogic worked on the data migration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Once the first-phase development and testing was complete Microsoft Services handed over the project in the last quarter of 2009 to Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Tectura.
Tim Leach, Engagement Manager, Microsoft Services, says: “Microsoft Services worked closely with our partners to deliver this project and it is always important to have deep customer involvement from the start.”
The rollout of the CRM system began in the U.K. in early 2010. Henderson aims to have 1,000 users connected by the beginning of 2011, with another 200 in the organisation’s subsidiaries, including sales teams for online and private advertisements. In future, the solution will also be rolled out to subscription sales, customer service, and marketing departments of A&N Media. The original target was a total of 1,300 users but that figure might increase. Benefits
A&N Media has recorded more than £500,000 in advertisement bookings since the CRM system deployment began. In addition, the CRM project is on course for a return on investment (ROI) within just 12 months. Sales agents and sales managers report that they are highly satisfied with the new CRM tools—they have reduced the time they spend on administration and research. Since the launch of CRM more than 6,000 new or lapsed accounts are doing business with the company.
A&N Media Expects Return on CRM Toolset Within 12 Months
Although A&N Media has rolled out the CRM system incrementally across the U.K. regions in which it operates, the business is confident of an ROI within the first year. Against a background of declining advertisement revenue, due to the current slowdown in the economy, the company is well placed for growth in advertisement bookings.
|We’ve captured more than £500,000 in advertisement bookings through CRM, which we’d otherwise have failed to achieve.|
| David Roddick|
David Roddick, Commercial Director, Northcliffe Media, says: “We’ve captured more than £500,000 in advertisement bookings through CRM, which we’d otherwise have failed to achieve.”
Sales Agents Gain Single View of Customers
With three separate customer databases consolidated into one, sales agents have easy access to complete customer records, including account history, financial information, details of previous interactions with sales teams across the country, and the relationships between the accounts. Executing direct marketing campaigns and creating prospects lists—for example, all the hairdressers in a regional city—has become much easier with the ability to access business listings from Dun & Bradstreet.
Henderson says: “Since the launch of CRM more than 6,000 new or lapsed accounts are now doing business with us in what is a pretty tough advertisement market. With the previous system, it was difficult to get a comprehensive view of lapsed customers and to generate automated lists of potential clients and hot leads. Microsoft Dynamics CRM does all that and much more.”
User-Friendly Toolset Ensures Rapid Adoption by Advertisement Staff
Business transformation was the biggest challenge that managers wanted to solve by introducing CRM to a business steeped in tradition and in need of modernisation. Henderson says the user experience so far has exceeded all expectations, with feedback from sales agents such as: “The CRM system has changed my working life.”
Henderson adds: “What our sales staff across the country are saying is they now have cleaner data, which is better structured and more logical than before. It is easier for our customer-facing employees to see their targets, and for managers to monitor performance of their teams. As a result, we’ll find it easier to remain competitive in a digital world, where organisations such as eBay are changing the way people advertise.”
CRM Toolset Creates New Opportunities for Collaboration and Cross-Selling
Part of the business transformation process at A&N Media will be the new opportunities for coordinated sales and marketing campaigns and cross selling. Instead of an account and an opportunity being owned by a single sales agent, the CRM tool allows other agents to view the account and opportunity information, creating the potential for cross-selling and up-selling.
Henderson says: “Although the CRM system is not fully rolled out, we can see the potential for future development and exciting new ways to increase sales and satisfy our customer base. As our customers want to use multiple channels for their advertising—print, online, and mobile—we need to evolve our advertisement sales solutions to best serve them.” Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:
www.microsoft.com/dynamics Microsoft Services
Microsoft Services helps customers and partners discover and implement high-value Microsoft solutions that generate rapid, meaningful, and measurable results. As the consulting, technical support, and customer service arm of the world’s leading software company, Microsoft Services enables the successful adoption, deployment, and use of Microsoft solutions and technologies for all customers, from the individual to the enterprise.
For more information about Microsoft Services, go to:
www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices For More Information
For further information about Microsoft products and services, please visit
www.microsoft.com/uk or call 0870 60 10 100*
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For more information about Seelogic products and services, call or visit the Web site at: www.seelogic.co.uk
For more information about Tectura products and services, call or visit the Web site at:www.tectura.co.uk
For more information about A&N Media products and services, call or visit the Web site at: www.anmedia.co.uk This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.