October 23, 2012|Kim's Blog|

As a consultant, I try to keep up with developments in marketing related systems that are used by lawyers, accountants, surveyors, agents and others in the professions. I have recommended Concep to a number of firms in the past to manage their central email campaigns, but last week I went along to learn about some new products (labelled “empowerment marketing”) that are coming out in January 2013. But let’s start with the basics in case you’re unfamiliar with Concep.

Existing clients

Concep provides e-mail marketing solutions to over 200 professional firms and financial services organisations from offices in London, New York and Sydney. Amongst their clients are:

Law firms – Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie, Hogan Lovells and Jones Day at the top end and Lee & Priestley (Leeds), Field Fisher Waterhouse and MacFarlanes.

Accountants – KPMG, BDO, Moore Stephens and Hazelwoods (Cheltenham).

Property – Cushman Wakefield, DTZ, E C Harris, E A Shaw, GVA and BNP Paribas.

95% of the users are on some kind of subscription basis which is determined by how many emails are sent out each year. The minimum entry level would be about 5,000 emails a year with £2,000 set up costs and £1,250 annual subscription. Some PSF have over 700 users and send out 2 million emails a year.

Campaigner – Email management with CRM integration

Some firms use a white label version of the software so it looks like it’s their own. There’s an administration portal from which the marketing team can co-ordinate all activity. Essentially, you import your contacts from your CRM (and you can write activities back) and set up templates using your branded materials.

There’s an amazing level of detail to manage your inbox, the replies and how campaigns look in different browsers. Many people underestimate the challenges of data protection, preference management and opt-in and the Concep system takes care of all that.

We took a look at a typical campaign – a summer party – we could can see how many emails were sent, received (as well as soft and hard bounces), clicked and replied. You can even extract “not viewed” lists to send to people to chase. There are facilities to set up forms for replies (for example, an RSVP) and also to manage surveys (which is like the second tier of Survey Monkey enterprise version). And you can develop a campaign with different elements to ensure you properly segment your message.

It was interesting to hear how some firms are segmenting their clients on the basis of how often they read or respond to different types of mailings.

Touch Personalisation – decentralising email campaigns to fee-earners

In January 2013, a new version will be released for relationship owners. In essence, this puts the power of emailing into the hands of the fee-earners who own the relationships. The central marketing team set up the templates and main content of the mailing item indicating where the fee-earner can personalise the information (usually at the start and the end, but additional images and content can also be provided).

The fee-earner then reviews his or her list to select who is to be mailed, modifies the item to be mailed and sends it out. Meanwhile, the marketing team can see which fee-earners have issued the mailing and when and review a centralised list – seeing which fee-earners are sending emails and which are receiving the best response rates. Furthermore, if a fee-earner tries to email someone who has already received it, they are warned by the system and a further email is not sent.

Fee-earners can also set up watch lists and receive information about particular organisations or individuals that they are interested in. There’s good integration with a variety of CRM systems (LexisNexis Interaction, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, SalesLogix, etc) so that opportunity and relationship management can be managed.

Attend – Mobile app

The app is out now and the full CMS is also  due out inJanuary. This enables firms to get much more from their events – particularly delegate engagement. For example, you can easily develop an app for a particular event. The delegate then has easy access to venue information and maps, the programme and speaker information, all of the documentation and presentations (whose release time can be controlled centrally), feeds to social media streams such as with Twitter hash tags, notifications in advance and during the event, the ability to send questions to the organisers and/or speakers and facilities to participate in polls during sessions (eliminating the need to hire expensive voting equipment).

With visibility options, there’s also the ability to add speaker and delegate information to your own contact management systems. Concep has just completed a major project for the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) so you know that the very latest technology and rules will be incorporated.

Further information from: http://www.concep.com/