You May Need a General Contractor for That

It’s 11 p.m., and Mary is still in the office, initiating a GoToMeeting session at a time that will least inconvenience team members in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America. As the brand manager of a new statin, she must get accurate, timely information about the drug’s superiority over its predecessors into the hands of sales reps, doctors, and consumers around the world. Because she has to execute a campaign in all the old marketing channels: print collateral, print ads, TV ads, and PR – plus all the new ones – the corporate web site, email, online ads, mobile, and social media, she has a specialist agency for each channel.

She’s also trying to do a simultaneous introduction in 57 countries, so she needs local agencies to help tailor the message and language to each market, and help her comply with each geography’s regulations about what claims a brand can make.

This session, she hopes, will get 114 employees, agencies and freelancers on message, and ready to execute.

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening” she says, starting the call. “In three months, we launch Innostatin, and I know you are as excited as we are. All the files you need for your campaigns are available for download when you log in to the DMP.

And with that, Mary has unleashed an international team of brand managers and agencies to begin deploying digital campaigns across multiple channels, from email promotions in Spain to Facebook ads in Israel. And she will watch it all happen, and manage the campaign’s success, from San Francisco.

This is the life of the modern-day marketer, and what makes it all possible is a Digital Marketing Platform (DMP).

A DMP capitalizes on economies of scale, offshore labor resources, process standardization, and technology automation in order to deliver speed, efficiency, and cost savings. With a digital marketing platform in place, companies can glean insights about what content customers are looking for, how they are accessing it, and how to produce the most engagement. With analytics like these, brands can tailor personalized digital experiences, the holy grail of inspiring loyalty.


A digital marketing platform may start with a piece of technology through which an organization can monitor, manage, and create custom-tailored digital campaigns. Or it may be several off-the-shelf technologies stitched together to monitor and report on campaigns.

If you’ve ever deployed enterprise software, you know it will be useless without repeatable business processes and trained resources.

That’s why we recommend a digital marketing ecosystem that is more than just a piece of software, but also a set of offshore resources and standardized processes. This army of resources can be systematically managed by your DMP vendor to create and launch global digital campaigns quickly and efficiently – the same way a general contractor handles all the processes and subcontractors (through a single point of contact) when building a house.

Digital Marketing Platform

While it looks like a simple online dashboard, behind the scenes a DMP:

  1. Gathers and stores all creative assets from the company’s agencies and internal departments in one place;
  2. Monitors and manages all brand interactions, including email, social media, direct mail, and web sites;
  3. 3. Allows central marketing staff / agencies to create content once and push it to regional brand managers and agencies instantly, so they can translate, ensure compliance with regulations, and disseminate locally;
  4. Adds a “factory” of global arms and legs, thereby accelerating time to market for campaigns; and
  5. Generates easy-to-read, multi-channel reports about the value of all activities and success of various campaigns.

The DMP is also equipped with preconfigured web services for registration pages, contact us pages, user profile pages, FAQs, and landing pages. These web services, because they are common and white-labeled across all branded sites within an organization, allow marketers to make fast updates to any site or page.

Moreover, once you have built digital collateral on the DMP, it’s stored there as long as you need it, and labeled so you can find it to use again. Thus, brand teams can reuse or share assets across campaigns, reducing marketing collateral redundancies, time, and, in turn, costs.

By creating standard and repeatable steps, a delivery team of trusted resources can successfully deliver digital content on the DMP, leaving you and your agencies to handle the creative. Once the digital campaign has been developed, the DMP team carries it out in a standard way across the marketing organization, meeting all policies and standards, enabling assets to be shared across brands as well as vehicles, and maintaining a central pool of skilled resources, just like a general contractor.

And the DMP is not only a tool for outgoing communication. It is also a place to collect valuable input from customers and the salesforce that would otherwise get lost in the distribution process.


To the marketing organization in the enterprise, a digital marketing platform brings many benefits. First of all, it integrates separate databases that may have been used for mobile, social, and email campaign data collection. But even more than that, it brings:

1. Improved communication between agencies and business units

Companies that enlist a 3rd party vendor to design, build, and operate a digital marketing platform also often use that vendor as a Brand/Agency Liaison – a conduit between the client and all of its agencies and third party vendors, giving the Marketing Manager one point of contact for setup, execution and tracking for any campaign while the vendor takes the heat and manages the tiny details.

2. Consistency of data collection and analysis

Companies that have separate agencies to handle their online, mobile, social and email campaigns separately often struggle with data integration issues.

With a DMP, campaigns are easily tracked, measured and analyzed across all devices and customer demographics using a common set of metrics and a single profile. Website, social media, email, and mobile data from disparate campaigns can be brought together in one database. You outsource the monitoring; you can also outsource the analytics.

3. Expedited campaign cycle times

With dashboard views into financial and performance metrics as well as reusable, process-based templates, a DMP can significantly reduce time to market for each campaign.

Most digital marketing platforms also offer a Digital Asset Management system that creates an efficient process for storing, tagging, accessing and searching every type of company-owned marketing file from sales presentations to legal documents, JPEGs and iPad videos. The result is reduction in costs associated with improperly stored files and repeat content purchases.

The DMP is not just a tool for outgoing communication. It is also a place to collect the input from customers and the salesforce that so often gets lost in the marketing shuffle.

4. Simplification of the budgeting process

Without a Platform, Marketers must resort to using their agencies for both creative and development work. With a Platform, the creative work is left to the agencies while all of the development work is brought onto the DMP, where standardized templates are used to design and build digital assets. Over time, these standardizations create less variation and more predictable development costs for marketers.

5. Automation and standardization of development processes

Most large marketing organizations and their agencies launch digital campaigns using a “one-off” process. Every time they begin a new initiative they are starting from scratch, despite the fact that many of the elements from their previous campaigns can be easily replicated and repeated. When organizations deploy a digital marketing platform, they eliminate cost redundancies associated with the “one-off” model by creating a repository of reusable campaign templates and other digital assets.

As the figure below represents, the more campaigns an organization runs, the more the cost per campaign decreases. The pool of re-usable assets expands and less individual work is required to meet the desired outcome. By standardizing design and development processes from start to finish, marketing organizations can ensure all campaigns comply with geographic, technical and brand specific regulations. This mitigates exposure to undue regulatory or compliance risk and the legal fees or penalties associated with violating them.

Development Processes


If you were building a home, you would be wise to have a general contractor manage all the subs. Likewise, a good DMP vendor is the “general” for a global marketing plan.

The marketers, with their agencies, are the architects – but choose your DMP vendor wisely, because they are the contractor who will oversee the execution.

It takes a certain kind of company to “get” the value of a digital marketing platform. Any DMP is going to be a multi-million dollar investment from design to steady state, so there is a minimum threshold where investment does not make sense. Your threshold will depend on your organization’s current digital marketing spend, hurdle rate and payback period.

A digital marketing platform investment carries a one-time, up front capital expenditure, followed by an annual ongoing maintenance fee.

So let’s assume your organization spends $20 million per year on digital marketing initiatives, and you calculate a DMP can decrease your campaign development costs by 20%. The table below shows a sample business case for implementing a DMP. As you can see, the business case is compelling in this scenario – generating an Net Present Value of over $7 million based on a discount rate of 10%, and hitting break-even in year 2. The important takeaway is that, like all investment decisions, a DMP only makes sense if the business case shows the investment yielding a positive NPV.

NPV Scenario

In order to determine whether or not a DMP is right for you, speak to several vendors to get an idea of overall costs to your organization, and request real life cost savings and case studies. Once you have that data, you can build a simple NPV model using your company’s current digital marketing spend, hurdle rate and payback period.

But don’t forget to crank in the qualitative factors. What type of corporate culture do you operate in? Are you an early adopter of new technologies, or does it pay to let your competitors make mistakes first and then adopt the best practice?

Like any change initiative, implementing a digital marketing platform brings anxiety as people learn new systems and processes. Even if your company is highly adaptive to change, and you’ve gotten financial approval, failure to get key management in your corner will make implementation an uphill battle. All the key influencers within your organization must understand the business case and commit to championing the project throughout the organization.

Knowing that you have a strong financial story to tell, a long-term plan that ensures adoption, and key management in your corner will set you up for success. And before you know it, you’ll be holding that 11 p.m. launch conference call with 57 countries, just like Mary.

About the authors
Brian Famigletti

Brian Famigletti
Brian Famigletti is a Senior Associate in the Digital Transformation practice of Infosys.

Nicole Spitalieri

Nicole Spitalieri
Nicole Spitalieri is a Senior Associate in the Digital Transformation practice of Infosys.

Avijit Dutta

Avijit Dutta
Avijit is a Principal in the Life Sciences practice of Infosys. He has over 14 years of global consulting experience.

Roma Sharma

Roma Sharma
Roma Sharma is a Senior Associate in the Retail practice of Infosys.

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