ATG, Blue Martini Update Commerce Platforms

ATG offerings measure the pull of online marketing programs and provide self-service for online customers, while Blue Martini 6 focuses on improving in-store sales for retailers.

Art Technology Group Inc. and Blue Martini Software Inc. both announced updates to their respective commerce platforms Monday that add new customer relationship management capabilities for enterprises.

ATG, of Cambridge, Mass., announced two new products: Campaign Organizer, for measuring the effectiveness of online marketing programs and adjusting accordingly; and Adaptive Customer Assistance, an online customer self-service application.

Blue Martini meanwhile announced Blue Martini 6, introducing a number of new marketing, sales and commerce features, including new, guided selling capabilities for direct sales and channel sales teams.

ATGs Campaign Organizer allows marketing managers and other business users to model changes made to various elements of a Web site — such as layout, content, promotions, images or product pricing — to see what effect they have on customer behavior. The process, known in the industry as A/B testing, allows users to model more than two changes at once and compare the results.

Users also can test site functionality, such as search and recommendation engines and merchandising capabilities.

Raffaele Pisacane, vice president of Internet development at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., said he plans to use Campaign Organizer to test online marketing efforts using both ATGs software and E.piphany Inc.s.

"The fact that you can make changes and see what works in a rapid way is appealing," Pisacane said. "Usually, such a process could take one to two weeks. But well be able to get results in a short period of time and roll out changes to all of our Web properties."

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, currently on ATGs version 5.1.1 platform, is planning to upgrade to version 6.2 to take advantage of the new applications, Pisacane said.

ATGs Adaptive Customer Assistance product combines natural language search, personalization and a structured knowledge base to help Web site visitors resolve their customer-service inquiries without involving a companys customer contact center.

The customer receives personalized answers that are monitored for effectiveness. Answers also can be generated from third-party applications, such as billing and CRM systems.

"Self-service is a powerful concept, but its tough to find a tool that does everything you need to do to provide that," Pisacane said, adding that the new ATG applications back-end integration was a key selling point.

"If the softwares powerful enough, it allows a B-to-C site to provide the holy grail of self-service," he said.

Blue Martini 6 includes updates to the San Francisco-based companys marketing, sales and commerce applications. Most of the updates focus on improving in-store sales for retailers.

New capabilities in Blue Martini Marketing include a clustering segmentation tool for identifying high-value customer segments; expanded event monitoring to track events such as orders, loyalty point thresholds and Web site visits; a reporting wizard; new campaign budgeting and planning tools; and saturation controls to limit and manage the number of messages sent to each customer.

Sales improvements include mobile sync capabilities to connect direct sales teams and channel partners with Blue Martini selling applications when theyre offline; support for extended in-store selling services such as store transfer, store pickup and replenishment services; model integration extensions that enable the import of existing product configuration models; and format extensions for generating sales proposals.

This version also provides templates for sales associates to design e-mail or direct-mail communications to customers.

Commerce enhancements include improved content management and publishing capabilities that give business users more control over the process; weighted search capabilities; and contact center support from quote to order plus a single, unified contact center platform for commercial and consumer accounts.

Blue Martini 6 will be delivered in two releases. Blue Martini 6 for selling, commerce and the business intelligence component of marketing will become available this month. The relationship component of marketing will become available in the third quarter.

The new ATG applications will be available this month.

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