What’s in your wallet?

Montreal-based Keystone Industries, maker of the French Dressing Jeans clothing line, says that new software which measures

Montreal-based Keystone Industries, maker of the French Dressing Jeans clothing line, says that new software which measures marketing ROI has completely changed the way it does business.

The C-Trak ‘marketing dashboard’ is technology developed by Unisys, of Blue Bell, Penn., and Calgary-based marketing firm Venture Communications and works by taking user-defined performance indicators and then crunching those numbers to perform root-cause analysis.

For Keystone, which started using the software in January, subsequent findings have already led the company to make one significant change in its business – for the first time in its history it’s going to start advertising to consumers. ‘[The software] is showing us that we need to put more emphasis on growing our consumer accounts,’ says Mary Maraj, VP operations and marketing.

Keystone, which has $50 million in annual sales, is using Venture for a modest ($180,000) test-run consumer campaign in the B.C. market set to launch in October.

Maraj says the software works by having the user set goals and then measure quantitative objectives. In Keystone’s case, the company wanted to acquire 400 new accounts, grow current accounts, grow the brand and make sure support was available for internal communications with employees and sales agents. To acquire the new accounts, Keystone’s marketing strategy centred on using prospect lists and making trade show appearances. C-Trak then allowed Keystone to directly attribute new acquisitions to a particular activity. The software has also been tied into the company’s existing mainframe, which Maraj says didn’t previously yield information in a user-friendly manner. Now they get specific reports (like volume of new accounts in a six-month period) generated in easy-to-understand grids and pictorials.

‘We’ve never had that kind of visibility before,’ says Maraj, who adds that this has also resulted in a shifting of financial and human resources. ‘We’re now able to track in what area the business is falling [short] of our goals. When this is analyzed at our Monday morning meetings, we know exactly where we have to focus.’

The software is currently in use by Toyota and Unilever in Canada, and by Unisys and American Management Systems (AMS) in the U.S. Initial design costs range between $50,000 to $200,000 with a monthly software licensing fee of $3,000 to $10,000 per month.