How SELISE Helped a World-Class Retailer Achieve Marketing Automation with a Customized Solution

You are looking to digitally transform your department – to make sure everyone in your team works efficiently and has access to the information they need; when they need it. You have identified the opportunities – now it is time to take a call. Should you buy a piece of standardized software? Or would it be strategically beneficial to build a solution to suit your team’s exact needs in the long run?

The question can be challenging to answer – as you would need to discern the return on investment question along with the exact use case of the solution. We at SELISE have worked with our clients for years and have always approached this question with the one thing that matters the most in requirement engineering – collaboration! Today we look into one such project –  and how we came to a conclusion to this question, together.


Effective marketing to increase brand awareness

Our client, one of the largest retail chains in Switzerland, employing almost 100,000 employees, has nearly two dozen physical stores in the country to ensure they meet the everyday needs of their millions of customers. Our client also offers their customers easy online delivery of all available items. 

In an effort to constantly grow the reach of the client’s business, their marketing team works tirelessly in planning and executing campaigns all year round. They play a crucial role in bringing in more customers and ensuring the existing customers remain satisfied. 


Marketing team plans campaigns, allocates resources, and manages the creative team

The marketing team has a wide range of tasks, including planning marketing campaigns and managing all required resources. As a part of planning campaigns, the team initially works on allocating the yearly budgets required for proper execution. It further manages designers in the creative team to ensure that the campaigns have top-quality physical and online content. Procuring materials for executing the campaign, such as printing banners, placards, and fliers, also falls under their management.

In the process, the team aims to increase brand awareness while positively impacting yearly sales through promotions and providing offers to customers throughout the year. 


Manually inputting data and assigning tasks led to increased costs, time, and effort

While conducting an initial assessment of the client’s current situation,  SELISE tried to find any potential areas of improvement that could contribute to increasing the team’s efficiency. We found that the marketing team used several standardized software for tasks such as managing campaigns and allocating budgets and resources. A significant part of completing these tasks required manual labor, leading to increased costs and effort.

For budget planning, our client used spreadsheets, which required manual inputs and editing. At the same time, they were managing and tracking their printing resources through a standardized software that lacked adequate support for managing their creative team. Campaign planning, debriefing, and cost overview were all done using another standardized tool, but this too lacked the required automation features as well,


An initial assessment of the situation led to a discovery of potential areas of improvement in the marketing team’s workflow

After using multiple standardized tools for some time, the marketing team realized that their needs were not being fulfilled with these tools. This is where SELISE stepped in and helped the company choose a solution that would be an ideal fit and improve operational efficiency. 

Throughout the initial assessment, we not only looked into how the team operated but further analyzed their tools and data to find areas of potential improvement. We collected campaign data to understand possible redundancies and waste, and from the tools analysis and interviews with their users, we found that the resource management or tracking tool lacked a friendly interface; it was difficult to read exported data, and there was an absence of templates for task allocation. 

Later on, we went deeper into their previous campaign data for better analysis and found that only 28.3% of their articles were frequently used. 63% of the PRS were never used, and inputting data manually resulted in a 28.07% error rate in the span of the last 3 years.

Upon the end of the assessment, SELISE concluded that despite having standardized solutions to take care of the marketing team’s needs, it would be advisable to use a customized tool that catered to specific management activities.  This would make the entire process much more efficient and limit costs and usage of resources. 


A customized enterprise solution to meet an enterprise’s needs

With this recommendation in mind, SELISE undertook the task of creating a customized enterprise solution for managing marketing activities. SELISE created a simplified solution where all the required processes for the marketing team could be managed using a single interface. The goal was to reduce or eliminate any inefficiencies from using multiple tools. SELISE’s solution offered a single platform where the entire team could plan their campaigns, create designs, manage resources, track deliveries, and debrief on campaign results. 

After implementing the solution, our client observed that their team required minimal manual work using the solution, thus saving invaluable time, costs, and effort in the process.


SELISE’s discovery of the benefits and downsides of a market solution vs a customized solution 

While helping its client in choosing the right solution, SELISE looked into the benefits and downsides of opting for a customized solution vs sticking to a white-label product. Hence, it found out that when buying a market solution, the benefits would mostly be:

  • Less wait time before implementation
  • Cheaper acquisition and upkeep costs
  • Tried and tested software


However, the downsides to market solutions were:

  • Lack of certain required features
  • Less likely to be scalable with growing business
  • Has to use multiple software for different purposes 

In other words, buying software is a great option to explore if the business is on a budget and it is not expecting to see growth or scalability in the future.

This is when SELISE showcased the advantages of developing a customized solution, which comes with superior benefits such as: 

  • Personalized solution catering to unique needs
  • Ability to be scaled with business needs in case of growth
  • Ability to meet new market needs that are unavailable in standardized tools

Developing a solution could also come with potential disadvantages, such as a greater level of customer engagement as well as an increase in costs. 

SELISE tried to prioritize the client’s needs by analyzing the operations and functionalities of the marketing team. We saw our client’s future potential for growth and scope to remove redundancy and time and resource waste. Weighing the pros and cons of using a standard solution vs developing its own, SELISE understood that a standardized software was not enough to tackle the complexities in our client’s business, and they needed to develop a customized enterprise marketing management platform.


End-to-end involvement of SELISE to drive operational efficiency and introduce automation

Not only did SELISE develop a solution for its client, but it was also closely involved during the requirement engineering phase – to find out the exact complications and the best ways to tackle them. It was only after an intense period of discovery, which entailed the analysis of their current tools and data capturing processes, interviews with management and staff, and extensive research of market solutions, that SELISE arrived at the decision to build a product rather than buy one. In this way, SELISE guaranteed smooth workflow management and increased operational efficiency.