APEX Award Winner Q&A – Citizens Bank

Every year, we recognize Customer and Alliance Partners who use our solutions to drive marketing excellence at their respective companies and in the Aprimo community with the Aprimo Excellence (APEX) award. This blog series highlights past APEX award winners and where they are now.

Banking on Standard Workflows

Citizens Bank, the 13th largest retail bank in the U.S., has been an avid user of Aprimo solutions for several years, and, last year, they took home the APEX award for Operations Excellence. The Citizens Bank team, led by Kathy Greene, the bank’s Assistant Vice President, is getting the absolute most out of their MRM and Plan & Spend solutions, making all of their review and approval processes more efficient, and mitigating legal risk in their advertising projects with standardized workflows that keep every project visible.

Aprimo sat down with Kathy to see how her team has been thriving since they won their APEX award.

Who: Kathy D. Greene, Assistant Vice President at Citizens Bank
Aprimo Solutions: MRM; Plan & Spend

What challenges did Citizens Bank face before using Aprimo solutions?

Our challenge wasn’t unique: processes were inconsistent. There was no way for us to know in what stage our projects were because people were manually tracking them with their own tools. So if a person tracking a certain project was out or wasn’t available, then no one else could find out where that project was. Just no consistency at all.

For audits, which are a huge part of our industry, it was a nightmare to keep track of all the reviews and approvals that were on paper. It was a nightmare, to be honest.

Which Aprimo solutions did you implement?

The MRM solution including Productivity Management and Plan & Spend modules. The result of that is that we could slowly standardize our processes. We started reviewing everything in tiny baby steps. Compliance was reviewed first, so everything had to be reviewed and approved by putting requests into Aprimo. No exceptions. So we introduced new processes, new steps to the team as we standardized everything. Today, we have a very consistent process. Even when it changes, though, our workflows in Aprimo keep everyone on the same page.

With Plan & Spend, again, we were able to standardize everyone’s record keeping, so we no longer had to rely on all these differently formatted spreadsheets and records that people were keeping. We’ve got line of sight on what’s forecasted to spend, how much we’ve committed to the vendor to spend, and how much we’ve actually spent with that vendor. It’s been huge for us.

We definitely can’t go back to the time before using Aprimo.

How has winning the APEX award affected your company?

We’re so lucky on our team, because our CMO and executive leadership stands by us and enforces the idea that everyone has to use Aprimo. We’ve got support using Aprimo already. But winning the APEX award helps us show any Aprimo sceptics or holdouts at our company that we’re doing it right, that we’re on the leading edge of using this innovative technology and getting the most out of using Aprimo.

Have you identified other strong business cases for Aprimo since winning the APEX award?

We are always looking for other uses for Aprimo. Right now, I’m looking at what could be possible for us if we used a DAM solution to help centralize our produced content. I think a DAM could really help our organization, but we’re still in the information gathering and business case development stage. But our APEX award goes a long way toward demonstrating that we know what we’re doing with Aprimo and gives us credibility and helps us build a business case for other uses.

How has Aprimo helped reduce your review cycle times?

We’re constantly looking to shorten our review cycles. Before we had Aprimo, we reviewed and approved mostly on paper, which meant tasks would be forgotten or even lost. But with Aprimo, everyone who needs to approve or review something is automatically reminded if they don’t complete their task within a certain time frame. And that reminder really holds people accountable, which means they’re more likely to do things in a timely manner.

How has the automation tool reduced risk?

Our business is heavily regulated, so one of our constant battles is continually fine-tuning our processes to eliminate risk and, maybe more importantly, not take on new risk. As an example, we’ve built a decision tree that our advertising colleagues complete that helps them plainly see the regulations they need to consider and be aware of. Based on how they fill out the questionnaire, the project is automatically routed to legal or risk. The workflow automates this process for everyone, mitigating a huge amount of risk and ensuring every project gets reviewed by the right people every time. And the auditors love that decision tree! It helps our advertising risk folks show their work, so to speak.

The Annual APEX Awards

Aprimo presents the Aprimo Excellence award every year to customers who use Aprimo solutions to drive marketing excellence. Want to learn more about how to win an APEX award yourself? Contact your Aprimo CSD to get started.

And if you know a company in the Aprimo community who deserves an APEX award, please nominate them for one!


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