The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the true redwoods here at First Coffee, a sturdy stalwart standard, an old favorite, an ideal work album, what you put on when you don't know what to put on, Aimee Mann's Live at St. Ann's Warehouse:
Cary, N.C.-based SAS
has announced Marketing Mix Advisor, billed as a tool helping "marketers faced with countless choices among media and marketing channels to determine the right investment mix" by "analyzing, predicting and optimizing" the mix of advertising and promotions.
The product offers data "from marketing mix models in a dynamic form that generates dashboards and Web reports as data updates occur," helping marketers "calculate the effects of specific tactics across business units, product lines, geographies, channels and time horizons."
The hosted product is pitched as a planning and forecasting tool to help "calculate the effects of marketing tactics across business units, brands, geographies and channels." SAS officials say it consolidates all media and promotions analysis in one location, offering prebuilt reports "for performance assessment across an organization's media mix."
Kimberly Collins, Managing Vice President, CRM, at Gartner Research, noted that understanding how to best allocate marketing resources is "one of the biggest challenges for organizations today. Companies that can figure out the optimal allocation of their marketing mix - and how to do it more frequently and accurately - will be a step ahead."
Saying they're "simplifying interactions with marketing mix data and models," SAS officials say Marketing Mix Advisor identifies opportunities to increase profit through improved ROI on existing investments in marketing and research projects and improves collaboration and consistency of analysis across business units, brands, categories and geographies.
File this one under GUG -- Genuinely Useful Gizmo: Tripware
, a new travel service, provides a plug-in for Microsoft
Outlook 2007 that lets travelers to handle all their business trip needs directly in Microsoft Outlook.
It may not give the economy much of a boost, though: "I no longer pay an assistant to book my trips," says the CEO and President of Tripware, Clark C. Rines.
The plug-in, OutBook, connects to a traveler's online travel portfolio storing flight, hotel, car, and scheduling preferences. Using the time, date and location information already entered into a business meeting, Tripware OutBook can book a trip and embed the itinerary in Microsoft Outlook within three minutes or less.
If you're not on Microsoft Outlook 2007, no problem: Tripware offers a desktop application called Tripware Travel Center with many of the same features as Tripware OutBook.
Rines claims he can "book a complete itinerary in under three minutes, know that I am getting what I want because the system knows me personally and when the payment is made, all of my corresponding frequent flyer, rental and stay numbers are sent to the appropriate vendors automatically." He says he doesn't even have to worry about typing in a credit card to pay: "This same system automatically puts my itinerary into my Outlook calendar along with maps and weather, keeps me apprised of trip events prior to and during my travels and even helps me do my expense report when I get back."
Travel writer Jay Hammond says "based on an unscientific comparison with other online travel services, Tripware holds up well.