So, you’re ready to join the ranks of the digitally empowered.
You’ve done your due diligence, researching all of the speeds, feeds and features of the plethora of digital marketing platforms available. You feel as if you have the answer. Hold on a second – before you sign on the dotted line – do you really know what you’re getting? As Aristotle said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – and, in this case, a marketing platform is only as good as the company behind it. It’s called synergy – and success is often defined by it. According to Melissa Saner, COO for Primero Systems, the keys to marketing success in today’s digital world lie beyond the technical and reside in the synergies created between parties. We spoke with Saner about what else to look for when evaluating a marketing platform. A hint? It’s about more than software.
While a software-powered marketing platform is a must for any franchise looking to join the digital revolution, looking beyond feature sets is critical, according to Saner. Areas of importance that should also be evaluated include relationships, infrastructures, agreements/contracts, and warranties. Ask yourself: do you trust the people selling this to you? That’s where company values – one of the biggest intangibles of all – come into play. The human element can’t be downplayed when your business is on the line.
Primero, an international software development company with a strong franchising background, has established an impeccable track record, designing mission-critical software to help businesses achieve their goals. The company’s flagship product, Webtreepro, is a robust, highly-flexible marketing platform that includes a powerful content management solution. Beyond the software itself, Primero offers a full suite of professional services including design, project management, implementation, training and customer service that allows Webtreepro to be fully customized and configurable.
Customer service has played an integral role in building Primero’s strong reputation, with the company’s client base giving the support teams a very high rating.
“We value our relationships with each and every one of our client partners. We’re crisp, professional, friendly and quick to respond,” Saner notes. “I would go so far as to say that customer relationships and proven performance are our greatest assets. We’re committed to developing and supporting their products and services with the highest degree of expertise, integrity and quality.”
Add the scalability of a world-class hosting environment that employs the latest monitoring, connectivity and controls, and the combination of Webtreepro and Primero gives franchisors the tools they need to achieve success.
So, what are some of the less obvious things to look for when sizing up a marketing platform? According to Saner, you would be remiss to not ask the following questions:
- What kind of post-installation support is included?
- Is there a limit on number of support hours used per month?
- Is there an additional charge for support?
- Is there a guaranteed uptime?
- When does scheduled maintenance occur?
- Is there a maintenance window notification?
- Who owns the code?
- Who owns the data?
- Are self-help resources available (i.e., FAQs, tutorials)?
- How easy (or difficult) is it to get a live person on the line?
- When is customer service available – what are the Help Desk’s hours of operation?
- How are problems reported?
- What is the average response time to reported problems?
- Has a dedicated customer service rep been assigned to you?
Answers not forthcoming? That should be a red flag, according to Saner. Primero prides itself on spelling out expectations in advance and far exceeding even what is promised in their customer engagements – and they promise a lot. According to Saner, the behind-the-scenes advantages that Primero brings to the table serve to add value and underscore the company’s commitment to its customers. Can your marketing platform provider say the same?
Melissa Saner is the chief operating officer of Primero Systems, a software developer that specializes in solutions that address the needs of growing franchises. As COO, Melissa guides the direction of the company – overseeing critical operations such as customer support and account management. As a long-time member of the Primero family, Melissa is passionate about helping customers achieve their goals. She is active with the San Diego Better Business Bureau.