Crystal Decisions (acquired by Business Objects in 2003) was a leading global provider of business intelligence software and services, and is most well known for its Crystal Reports software. But high growth rates bring their own challenges, among them the need to continually check and adjust the marketing mix, and to rescope and maximize channel activities.
The popularity of Crystal Decisions' business intelligence software had created huge possibilities for partnerships. However, it presented significant partnership marketing challenges that Crystal Decisions needed to solve in order to maximize this key source of revenue. Similarly, ever-increasing opportunities around the globe created the need for an over-arching rationalization of marketing resources and programs.
Hale! Marketing was engaged to perform a series of strategic planning activities to address these problems. Working closely with Crystal Decisions, we developed and lead the marketing planning process for several strategic marketing plans. This four part engagement comprised of a worldwide marketing plan, definition of a partner program aimed at attracting new partners as well as managing existing ones, a partner-specific plan to heighten awareness of the SAP/Crystal Decisions partnership, and a technology partner marketing plan to leverage established partnerships. All outputs needed to be synthesized and simplified for rapid review and understanding.
Worldwide Marketing Plan:
Hale! Marketing developed the marketing planning process for Crystal Decisions and created their first worldwide marketing plan. We worked closely with Crystal Decisions to develop marketing objectives, umbrella strategy scenarios, supporting strategies to drive tactical programs, regional implementation scenarios, and marketing budgets. The project involved many interviews and fact-finding sessions, research, and review of current marketing and sales activities. The project was completed in little more than six weeks. The worldwide marketing plan was prepared in detail, complete with all reference sources, and also presented graphically as a large format book.
Worldwide Partner Program:
The Crystal Decisions partner network was highly complex, and provided a considerable challenge. Partners included more than 300 independent software vendors, including Microsoft, SAP, Baan, and PeopleSoft. The objective was to create a best-of-breed partner program to attract desired partners and more effectively manage current partners. Hale! Marketing created the process for developing the worldwide partner plan, created a new framework for the partner program including partner categories, achievement levels, and detailed benefits and requirements, and created an implementation process and schedule for implementing the program. The project came in on time and under budget.
Crystal Decisions/SAP Marketing Plan:
Hale! Marketing developed an annual joint marketing plan for the Crystal Decisions and SAP partnership, including integrated marketing programs and market development fund spending. The strategy formed by Hale! Marketing was to develop targeted and integrated marketing programs with multiple touchpoints that would create awareness of the Crystal Decisions and SAP partnership, awareness of Crystal Decisions within the SAP customer base, and maximize the joint marketing budget.
Technology Marketing Plan:
This annual marketing plan was developed for Crystal Decisions' technology partners. The plan included strategy and marketing tactics to leverage the established partnerships Crystal Decisions had with its independent software vendors.
Crystal Decisions was acquired by Business Objects in 2003, which was acquired by SAP in 2007.