ebocube: A structure for CRM that demystifies sales and marketing?

Lara Fawzy
Digital Marketing Consultant
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Lara Fawzy outlines a revolutionary new internet B2B model for global business growth.

Emerging markets are experiencing relatively recent industrial, political and technological change resulting in rapid economic growth. They cover more than the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), although these are amongst the buoyant markets.
As business becomes more competitive in saturated, developed markets, expansion into emerging markets is a popular means for reaching new growth targets. The endeavour involves some uncertainty and risk but Internet marketing can mitigate this.
Bringing the next billion people online
Developed countries have long defined the internet but now at least 500 million new internet users are expected to come from emerging markets from 2012 to 2015, according to Google.
The cyber-landscape is set to drastically change.
The internet and social media were instrumental in facilitating the Arab Spring bringing a new wave of Internet entrepreneurs and active users to the region.
China’s current online retail market size is second only to the United States and is predicted to explode over the next five years.
How the global digital era and emerging market growth is transforming the marketing agenda
Senior executives in developed economies, working in organisations, small and large, are asking the following questions:
  • How can we get ahead of competitors in emerging markets?
  • How can our business mitigate risks when entering risky, high-growth emerging markets?
  • How can we measure marketing activities and sales-related results in these markets?
The ebocube model demystifies sales and marketing as relationships crisscross digital, business, and national borders.
Foreseeing the need for advice on marketing in emerging markets, I applied my knowledge as an International B2B Digital Marketing Manager to create an end-to-end B2B Internet marketing model. It’s explained in my book Emerging Business Online: Global Markets and the Power of B2B Internet Marketing (FT Press, ISBN 13: 9780137064410, 291).
The framework’s based on tested processes and results from Cisco, and other multinational experience. It’s designed to provide a structure for developing B2B electronic customer relationship management (CRM) for global professionals.
It shows marketers how to plan, execute, track, measure and learn from global digital marketing. It demonstrates key marketing metrics in relation to the sales cycle; for the purpose of B2b lead generation, and how to measure them.
The model is called ‘ebocube’. ebocube stands for emerging business online, with cube referring to the visual framework of the three-phase model (below).

Implementing ebocube model in three phases

Phase one: the dashboard and the datacube

This phase focuses on reviewing real-time and historical reports for marketing, sales, and company or contact data for the businesses being targeted in emerging markets. It measures what’s working (or not working) and which market is generating the highest return on marketing investment (ROMI).
The datacube also represents the quality of contact data to leverage an eCRM strategy. These reports mean decisions are not based on instinct or assumption, but on numbers and business intelligence.
Firstly, you’ll want to review a dashboard of campaign results for previous digital and integrated campaigns, looking at what’s worked and what hasn’t to decide your media mix, target countries and industries. Results will include leads, sales, conversions – High Level Results and Operational Results as a breakdown e.g click through rates, open rates, retweet. The former results are more relevant to senior executives focused on the money.
Secondly to decide your segmentation strategy and targeting, you’ll need an extract of your campaign data “DataCube”, to determine how many people in your target audience can be reached with your campaign.

Phase two: campaign and data planning

SMART Campaign and Data planning
Based on the number of contacts and opt in for your audience, you can determine whether you have the data to proceed or sufficient social media “followers” and plan the campaign using SMART objectives which set the basis for results and metrics feeding the dashboard.
Buying cycle + data cycle  ebocube =  commercial cycle
Your campaign and objectives should be intended to move contacts around the buying cycle.
There are various metrics that should be captured in the dashboard to inform you about whether or not you’re achieving these objectives andt every stage of the buying cycle you will use a specific set of data or capture data.
The traditional buying cycle and data cycle have been combined in this book to create the “ebocube commercial cycle” as data objectives and targeting should be aligned closely when planning and creating campaign objectives (see below)

At this stage you should have a set budget for your campaigns. This may be based on what’s been allocated and your business priorities, historical cost data that can be stored in marketing operational tools, or marketing resource management tools (MRM) or based on the expected return on marketing investment (ROMI).
Budgeting can be carried out in an online budgeting application; budget data should feed your Dashboard with return on investment metrics broken down by campaign.
Localisation, content, creative, messages and media mix
After these considerations, you will plan localised campaigns and your media mix. Localisation is not translation, it involves ensuring the messaging, proposition, media channels, language, and artwork are all relevant to the local market.
At this stage you’ll create marketing assets with your agency.
Phase three: marketing operations or mops
After planning the above and creating your assets, you’ll reach phase three, the final stage of setting up communications for tracking to feed the Dashboard and DataCube. This will involve extracting contacts into a campaign management/ email deployment tool, using code for tracking, friendly urls, and unique contact numbers to measure marketing communications, this is the most technical part and may involve IT.
This should all be done in marketing operational tools which should feed the overall marketing Dashboard with operational results i.e click through rates, open rates, impressions and high level results i.e. leads generated, conversions and sales- suitable for senior executives/non-marketing, e.g. finance.
At the end of the campaign you will also have captured or refreshed your database, represented in the DataCube closing the loop on your campaign.
For more information on applying this model, including a list of comprehensive campaign metrics for the ebocube commercial cycle, see Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing.
Lara Fawzy is co-author of Emerging Business Online: Global Markets and the Power of B2B Internet Marketing (NY FT Press). Lara has worked for Cisco Systems in various roles, including in online customer relationship marketing for emerging markets (based in the UK) and also at O2, Telefónica, as a Campaign Manager, launching the high-profile Apple iPhone 3G in the UK business market and helping to redesign the UK company website. Lara is currently a free-lance marketing consultant and internet marketing trainer. You can find her on Twitter@LaraFawzy and her blog


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02nd Apr 2013 00:58

This stuff is great for big business and it does apply to small business...we teach this cycle and we do it well and we use SendOutCards for customer followup and retention.

Our campaigns with SOC create an 8% to 340 % return on our mailings so far...that is extreme in the return of Direct Mail Marketing and is creating high rates of referrals.

I am curious how your system helps with email marketing retention numbers and what those percentages are? Email marketing has reached a high rate of Clutter Factor and click and delete syndrome.


Brian Kaplan - Small Business Marketing Consultant servicing business that needs to brand and market on a local level - not a global level.

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By lfawzy
02nd Apr 2013 21:49

Hi Brian,

thanks for your feedback. With regards to email open rates we discuss TALR in phase three, which stands for test, analyse, learn and refine. It's important to test variables of your emails like subject lines, optimum time and dates to send emails for best open rates based on benchmarks. Also, it's important that marketers send email format that render well on smartphones to improve the experience of people who access there emails on the go.

Before all of that it begins with reviewing the DataCube, and having a clear picture of what contacts you have. Based on previous campaign results (which should be stored against contacts in your CRM database) you can determine who to contact, if you have a segment that are particularly responsive you can continue to target them with timely, relevant content and look at either demarketing or changing your message for less responsive contacts i.e people who have not opened mails.

As people are searching for information more and more via inbound marketing, it's important that email marketing is less disruptive. Email should be relevant based on contact response data, we should send them what they respond to, for example if they download a whitepaper we should follow up with relevant info about that.  It's fundamental that marketing response data is stored against contacts in your crm database.

You should also use a subscription centre which allows contacts to manage what they are subscribed to i.e newsletter, product updates, service emails.

I cover all of these techniques in my book, email is not dead, however, we must test and send relevant emails to get cut through in the mail box. Also, there are tool which ensure emails are ending up in inbox not spam and design techniques to ensure this.

There are also best practice guidelines to ensure emails are read, for example using above the fold for key messages/offers, using text where relevant and images where relevant, contacts should be able to see the email message before downloading the images.

A huge percent of success is down to your database, next it's timing of message and relevancy/content.

Hope this helps! With regards to metrics are you looking at a particular industry? 



Thanks (0)
By lfawzy
02nd Apr 2013 21:53

Also, before sending a mailer to all your contacts you should test response by targeting a small percentage of data. Marketers should personalise emails, and take less of the spray and pray approach and move towards highly targettd, relevant timely mails.

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