Web CMS vendor SDL is introducing the Intelligent Marketing Suite, a new integration of existing core products -- SDL Customer Analytics, Campaign Manager and Email Manager.


Realizing the CXM Vision

By combining these three applications into a tightly integrated suite, SDL hopes marketers will obtain a cohesive, holistic view of customer behavior and demographic data from varied touchpoints -- such as website, social media and mobile device. With the ability to conduct cross-channel campaigns and analyze cross-channel customer data, marketers can then develop highly targeted, cross-channel engagement strategies. SDL also offers industry-specific versions of the modules within the Intelligent Marketing Suite.

SDL’s creation of the new Intelligent Marketing Suite brings the company one step closer to realizing a vision of Web CMS technology providing customer experience management (CXM) that SDL CMO of Web Content Management Solutions, Robert Carroll, articulated in a November 2011 interview with CMSWire. According to Carroll, we are seeing the conversion of marketing automation, web content management, multi-channel delivery and back end enterprise content management coming together to solve business challenges.

Learning Opportunities

SDL refers to it as pervasive engagement management, meaning 24/7, always on, wherever you are, whoever you are. While SDL is not directly addressing pervasive engagement management in its promotion of the Intelligent Marketing Suite, the idea of integrating customer analytics with cross-channel campaign management solutions clearly aligns with the notion of various WCM-related technologies converging in the back end to provide a better view of the customer, which in turn enables better management of the customer experience, and hence higher revenues.

SDL Spending Scares Investors

While SDL is proud to announce its latest technology release, which undoubtedly cost a good deal of money to develop, many of its investors are not quite so happy to see SDL embark on a path of new product suites. According to the Telegraph, on March 12, 2013 SDL shares significantly dropped upon the company disclosing it planned to spend the equivalent of roughly US$ 12-13 million on sales, marketing and research and development, in other words, at least twice the US$ 5-6 million it said it would spend in those areas in November 2012.

The planned spending increases are not coming in response to higher anticipated profits. While they may well produce higher profits in the future, the Telegraph quoted two British stock analysts as saying the “continual cost increases” are a “concerning signal” and that the increases left analysts “blind-sided.” As a public company, SDL must satisfy investors as well as its customers, so the industry should pay close attention to how much more new SDL technology activity occurs this year.