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Day 1 of the SAP hybris customer event provided an overview of the challenges facing customers and the solutions SAP hybris is proposing. The main theme was consistent with the SAP customer event held in New York on September 24th; the customer is now in control of how they want to be approached and marketed to. As such, the traditional approach to direct marketing, is broken and, in many ways technology has not yet help to fix it. Technology has made it faster and more expansive, but not more effective. Physical catalogue and other direct mailings have been replaced with email blasts and other forms of impersonal communications based on a traditional sales funnel. It is this problem that hybris is addressing.

The main issue that marketing communications faces is a lack of context. Mass email, twitter, or Facebook advertisements are highly impersonal. Since they lack context, these communications often arrive at the wrong person or at the right person but at the wrong time. This problem was well understood throughout the industry and has led to the conventional wisdom of “I know I am wasting half of my marketing budget, I just don’t know which half”. Eliminating this problem will require enterprises to have a better understanding of their customers. Currently, customers understanding in largely limited to financial metrics like “share of wallet”, account growth, and renewal rate. Expanding beyond this will require that enterprises gain understand who their customers are, what they are buying and when, how they search for products, who they listen to when evaluating products, and why they are interested in the product. There are many use cases for any product. Someone might be buying a minivan because the recently had children a family car, or the recently opened a craft brewery and need a delivery vehicle. Understanding that, can help enterprises be far more effective in their marketing and sales efforts.

Fortunately for enterprises, most of the data they need is available. All that is required is a better approach to collecting and analyzing it. This collection and analysis is a key for hybris, specifically hybris profile. So, as is often the case, the technology problem is being addressed. This is not, however, the only challenge. The other significant challenge is a cultural challenge. The ability to capture and categorize data will only be successful if it results in behavior changes. If hybris becomes another way for mid-level marketing managers to build bigger lists of targets to send email blasts to, it will fail to achieve the goals set out by SAP. SAP can and must help customers avoid this fate. Neuralytix believes the easiest way to change organizational behavior is to change the metrics used to evaluate employees. For SAP hybris, this means working with customers to understand how to best implement hybris to achieve the overall corporate objectives. In many cases, this will require conversations with the executive team about aspects of the implementation that are not simply focused on the technology. In many cases, these conversations will be held in conjunction with the GSI’s or management consultants who are advising the organization.

Finally, throughout the general session, hybris had woven a few back to the future skits, complete with a Delorean on the back of the stage. In the final skit they referenced the prediction that in 2015 the Cubs will win the World Series. My only response is, as a Mets fan, there is no chance that the Cubs can win a 7 game series against Harvey, Syndergaard, and DeGrom. Especially with Murphy playing as well as he has in the playoffs*.

 

[*] This Insight was written prior to the Mets claiming the NLCS pennant.