Platform Integration Improves UL’s Marketing Focus

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

UL had 15 different platforms from over 45 acquisitions.

Integrating numerous legacy platforms helped UL boost marketing performance and raise the profile of the department as a revenue generator.

The 123-year-old safety company is in 143 markets around the world, working with product manufacturers on services such as compliance, sustainability, testing, training, marketing claim verification, auditing and analytics.

In 2015, UL’s marketing team had over two million records on 15 disconnected platforms, many of which had been acquired in the process of over 45 different acquisitions the company had made. Opt-in/opt-out processes for marketing were disjointed and manual, as was often the case with lead handoffs to sales, notes Lisa Grams, global marketing director, UL, who spoke at the recent MarTech conference in Boston.

The marketing team wanted to change the perception that their department was merely a cost center that created brochures, and not a revenue generator capable of helping sales really move the needle.

The first step was setting goals, which included account growth, improving brand perception and, naturally, growing revenue. To enable proper adoption of all the tools, UL created “centers of excellence” to support users, with things like monthly open forum conference calls to answer questions and share tips.

Platform integration was key, says Miles Baltrusaitis, digital manager, UL.   “Sometimes you inherit tools through acquisitions, and there’s a need to inventory legacy platforms and augment as needed. Identify a single source of truth for each function.”

There are challenges inherent in working with legacy systems, says Brian Glover, director, product marketing, Marketo, which is one of UL’s technology partners.

Through the creation of effective dashboards, UL was able to use business intelligence to see what metrics really mattered, including the number of leads (and how many were getting rejected or converted), and the number of overall opportunities won and lost.

A focus was put on prioritizing data integrity over volume, and to consider business intelligence when combining multiple data sources for the best view of results, says Baltrusaitis. Campaign management was also scrutinized to track spending, with an emphasis on confirming hard costs on campaign spending and standardizing costs for non-advertising spending.

The process is still a work in progress, says Grams. “We’re midway through our journey to get to best in class status.”


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