Today's release marks the first since Alterian regained its independence from SDL last year PHOTO: chuttersnap

It's go time for Denver, Colo.-based Alterian. 

The campaign management platform was acquired by global content management company SDL in 2012. Last year it became an independent entity once more following a management buyout.

So with today's debut of its first release since the buyout — Campaign Manager 6.0 — all eyes are on the company.   

Sign of Things to Come

"This will be the first of many releases around a better user experience," Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Hassemer told CMSWire. Campaign Manager 6.0 — the 6.0 is a nod to Alterian's heritage from before its acquisition — is a foundational release based around a new user interface for the digital marketer, Hassemer said.

"In mid-year we will come out with a dynamic decision engine, which allows users to interact with their customers in real time across any channel. We will follow that up with a late fall release that offers deep customer and campaign analytics and 'train of thought' analytics, among other features."

A Rebirth of the Alterian Brand? Not Quite

The analytics release sounds very much like the Alterian of the pre-SDL acquisition days, but Hassemer urged the market not to think of Alterian as that company anymore. 

"I wouldn't describe what we are doing as a rebirth of Alterian," he said. "We are a new company coming forth. We are focusing on helping marketers create an adaptive customer experience across the entire ecosystem, making decisions, if need be, in milliseconds."

Of course, the company is keeping some of its secret sauce, such as its focus on customers. “Our customer channel made us great and we lost some of that under SDL,” Hassemer said.

Indeed it appears as though SDL and Alterian were not a good fit for the long run, something that its one-time parent has also said. When the management buyout was announced in November 2016, SDL CEO Adolfo Hernandez noted the company had already announced plans earlier in the year to focus on its technology-enabled language business. 

"This led to our decision to divest those parts of our business which were not central to this focus, namely Campaigns, Social Intelligence and Fredhopper," he said.

The senior executive team from Campaigns — the Alterian shop — partnered with Allomer Capital Group to buy out the business, along with the Alterian brand. Its goal going forward, the company said at the time, would be to refocus on its strengths in cross-channel campaign and real-time interaction management.

"We want to help marketers bridge the gap between direct and digital marketing needs,” Alterian CEO Robert Hale said. To do this, he continued, the company would focus on linking the rich history of consumer transactional data together with the real-time context of how the consumer is interacting with the brand.

Campaign Manager 6.0: Simplified UX, Stronger CX

And so Alterian has rolled out Campaign Manager 6.0, a product that links marketing channels to one database, allowing marketers to simultaneously share the latest state of each customer relationship across multiple campaigns. Campaign Manager 6.0 consists of three major pieces, Hassemer said: Campaign Designer, Segment Builder and a full integration with Alterian's email service provider environment.

The Campaign Designer includes a new digital marketing interface that works with both batch and trigger-based campaigns, he said. Segment Builder gives customers access to a full marketing database that holds transactional information and demographics, allowing them to quickly create advanced segments. 

The integration with Alterian's email service provider environment can create and execute a campaign in any channel in the market ecosystem, not just email.

"Campaign Manager 6.0 will simplify our clients' user experience while giving them new levels of power for not only email marketing, but to visualize, identify and connect with customers for more valuable — and valued — customer relationships," Hale said.

"When you're able to make informed decisions about messaging by combining historical behavioral (slow) data with in-the-moment contextual and touchpoint (fast) data, you can truly Market to the Opportunity with each and every customer," he said.

Welcome to the 8-Second Era

The concept Hale is describing in that statement is reminiscent of an e-book the company released last month called "Welcome to the 8-Second Era." In it, Alterian outlined how marketers can capture consumers' brief attention span in the face of an overwhelming quantity of content and offers available on every channel. 

"We wrote that because the fundamental fact about digital marketing today is that there is only about eight seconds in which you can capture your customers’ attention today," Hassemer said, citing an industry statistic Forrester Research sourced from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

"Campaign Manager 6.0 allows you to hone in on what drives a customer response as quickly as possible — as fast as eight seconds if need be."

And indeed, eight seconds goes by very fast. As Hassemer noted, even a goldfish has a longer attention span than eight seconds.