Kimberley Collins over at Gartner recently wrote a piece on Enterprise Marketing Management: Moving from Suites to Composite Applications. I found this interesting as the interaction of marketing decision management and marketing management software is a regular topic of conversation among marketing-focused enterprise decision management thinkers.
Kimberley's piece was interesting as it made it clear that the future of Enterprise Marketing Management was in composite applications and that business rules and predictive analytics are both going to show up in this future state. Not only are business rules and predictive analytics components common to many processes within marketing, they are also commonly used to improve CRM, customer experience and service also. She also identified the value of having business people take control of the rules, and processes, involved something for which business rules management systems are ideal.
Regular readers will know that I believe strongly that combining business rules (potentially expert-driven, potentially data mined) with predictive analytics into decision services is the way to go. In Kimberley's stack she links predictive analytics to reporting and business rules to workflow. Linking workflow and rules like this could lead to over-synchronization. Kimberley's layer of analytical tools seemed mostly focused on helping marketing knowledge workers do a better job. While this is necessary step, I believe driving analytic insight into automation will further leverage the knowledge, experience and data being captured. In the model she proposes I might have put "decisions" or at least "operational decisions" into the knowledge management layer and considered both analytics and rules as ways to automate these decisions. Automation allows the website, the IVR system, the call center, the branch and more to deliver the next best marketing decision without manual intervention. I also believe that making these decisions available as atomic services will enable them to be reused outside of marketing processes for maximum value.
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