Yesterday was a banner day for me in my young career as a Forrester analyst – my first research piece was published. It’s a marketing technology brief titled "Understanding Contact Optimization technology." So what is contact optimization? We define it as a mathematical approach to determining the best mix of messages for each customer in order to maximize marketing objectives while satisfying business constraints. Put simply – this technology is for high volume direct marketers intent on transforming themselves from a product centric organization to one that emphasizes customer need.

Here is the executive summary –

Marketers place contact optimization technology near the top of their wish lists. But we think there’s a disconnect. Contact optimization is suited for high-volume direct marketing organizations that face the unenviable task of reconciling millions of combinations of customers, offers, and channels with customer analytics, business rules, and contact policies to deliver the optimal message to each customer. Firms considering contact optimization must recognize the far-reaching impact of the technology, and manage the business process and cultural change needed to support widespread adoption.

My next piece is focused on defining marketing optimization and I will follow that up with research focusing on the future of enterprise marketing applications. The market has long talked about an integrated marketing platform. We call it the marketing technology backbone. I would love to hear your thoughts about innovative marketing technologies that belong on the backbone as well as requirements that, in your opinion, remain unfulfilled.

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