Satisfaction ratings soar to 9.88 as SAP reinvents the marketer experience

It’s simple, really. Modern marketing organizations need modern marketing tools to thrive. For years, though, SAP lacked a sophisticated system that its marketers could use to easily request services and execute essential tasks—from segmenting lists to triggering email sends.

As part of an ambitious nine-month digital transformation project, Yesler helped SAP usher in the future of marketing. We collaborated on the implementation of the Marketing Services Request Center (MSRC), a state-of-the-art platform intended to equip marketers with cutting-edge capabilities and simplify their lives.

Since going live in April 2020, the MSRC has enabled SAP to slash standard marketing service level agreements (SLAs) from five business days to just two. And the added ability to speed up request delivery times by 80% has generated a record-high 9.88 satisfaction rating from marketers.

Background

To say SAP needed to modernize its internal marketing service request platform is an understatement. For far too long, the company’s marketers were forced to use an extremely frustrating system. They suffered operational inefficiencies. They dealt with complex technical issues. They lacked visibility into requests. And that’s hardly all.

Fortunately, help was on the way. The Digital Marketing Transformation & Services Team at SAP, led by Kathy Lopez, had embarked on a mission to support the organization’s move from a cumbersome, antiquated system to an innovative automation platform that would reshape marketers’ lives.

“Every day, we aim to improve the marketer experience within SAP,” says Lopez. “Our goal is to give our people the best tools and resources to more easily execute and get their campaigns into market faster.”

Citing Yesler’s wealth of knowledge and valuable outside perspective, SAP asked the agency to accelerate its digital transformation journey. We helped SAP identify a new technology platform, reimagine operational processes, and increase the services available in the new tool—giving the organization all the modern marketing capabilities it truly deserves.

“Every day, we aim to improve the marketer experience within SAP. Our goal is to give our people the best tools and resources to more easily execute and get their campaigns into market faster.”

Kathy Lopez

VP, Digital Marketing Transformation & Services, SAP

Strategy

Before SAP could plot its path forward, it needed a sound strategy. Yesler played an instrumental role in not only devising that strategy, but in clearly articulating the company’s vision for a new marketing services request platform. The story we wanted to tell focused on the promise of change. With a more innovative tool, marketers could achieve a new, simpler way of doing business—one defined by streamlined workflows and increased productivity.

At a series of workshops featuring key SAP stakeholders and select members of the company’s operations teams, Yesler subject matter experts communicated how a new cutting-edge system could have a major impact on the marketer experience.

“Anytime there’s change afoot, there’s going to be skepticism,” says Lopez. Even though the team wanted to be hopeful, they were realistic about the work needed to transform and doubtful it could be done. “But Yesler quickly gained the confidence of the people in the room. Soon, everyone was onboard. In fact, one internal employee was so inspired, he started writing his own ideas out on a whiteboard.”

Yesler didn’t just provide an overarching strategy for the digital transformation project. We developed a change management strategy, too. This involved informing SAP’s fulfilment team about future changes, inviting staff to participate in the process, and creating various materials to educate users, including a promo video, platform demos, trainings, and walk-throughs.

“Yesler was such a great partner for our team,” says Ryan Glanville, Change Management Lead within the Digital Marketing Transformation & Services Team at SAP. “We respected their thought leadership, vision, and know-how. And we knew we could trust them to really drive change in the most efficient and optimal way possible.”

“Yesler was such a great partner for our team. We respected their thought leadership, vision, and know-how. And we knew we could trust them to really drive change in the most efficient and optimal way possible.”

Ryan Glanville

Lead, Change Management, Digital Marketing Transformation & Services, SAP

How we did it

Creative & Content Development

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Marketing Automation & Operations

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MarTech

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Marketing Analytics

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Solution

Together, SAP and Yesler laid the groundwork for the Marketing Services Request Center (MSRC), the powerful new system that would replace SAP’s previous Campaign Services Desk (CSD) tool and help reinvent the marketer experience in virtually every way imaginable. But there was still plenty of work to do.

First, the team had to evaluate and select the specific technology to use. Yesler led this effort by gathering technical requirements, qualifying vendors, supervising the RFP process, and providing vendor and technology onboarding support.

Another critical component revolved around design or redesign. Yesler was tasked with ensuring the system provided an optimal UX/UI experience. We achieved this by collecting stakeholder input, designing wireframes, and documenting design requirements—placing particular emphasis on accessibility.

Our redesign services involved reimagining what SAP’s marketing services and operational processes would look like going forward. To do that, we examined the company’s current services and workflows and provided recommendations on how to improve them.

A huge step in finally making the MSRC a reality included assisting in the technology implementation. For this, we documented user stories for the development effort, defined business rules and logic, designed system workflows, developed in-platform custom apps, conducted testing, and managed the push to production.

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Throughout the project, interviews proved invaluable.

Yesler took every opportunity to sit down and speak with the marketers and fulfillment specialists who would use the new system on a day-to-day basis. This helped ensure we were building a platform that would address pain points, meet needs, and exceed expectations.

With many of the details around technology, UX/UI, services, and processes ironed out, Yesler played a key role in the training and readiness effort. Whether supporting the marketer training or leading the fulfillment team training, we created user guides, cheat sheets, FAQs, and more to make sure everyone understood how to use the platform once it was up and running.

Finally, the time came to launch a pilot program. We first rolled out the new system to a handful of high-volume users. Shortly after, we introduced the tool to 20 additional members of the marketing community. This allowed us to solicit feedback and make incremental improvements before the wider launch.

“With Yesler’s guidance, we were very methodical about how we staggered the delivery of the new platform,” says Glanville. “By taking a phased approach, we could make sure we hit all the necessary milestones and experienced no business disruption during the big transition.”

“With Yesler’s guidance, we were very methodical about how we staggered the delivery of the new platform. By taking a phased approach, we could make sure we hit all the necessary milestones and experienced no business disruption during the big transition.”

Ryan Glanville

Lead, Change Management, Digital Marketing Transformation & Services, SAP

Results

By April 2020, the MSRC was in the hands of SAP marketers all around the globe. And it wasn’t long before employees started seeing the tool as the difference-maker it truly is.

In the first three months after going live, 155 unique users submitted 4,870 total requests through the new system. Each request was completed in 3.14 hours—a sharp decline from 1.93 business days in 2019. Delivery times for standard requests have dropped by 80%, while advanced request delivery times are down 30%.

The MSRC has helped decrease SLA times, too—from five business days in 2019 to two business days in 2020. Before the new system was implemented, it took an average of 28 business days to execute an email service. Now, with simpler workflows and fewer forms to fill out, it can take as little as two.

SAP has also benefited in another key area: cost savings. Retiring its legacy CSD tool has helped the company save up to $200,000 a year in redundant platform licensing and maintenance spend.

All in all, the organization achieved exactly what it set out to. It transformed the marketer experience by equipping employees with a sophisticated platform that makes their jobs and lives easier. And recent surveys back that up. SAP saw its user satisfaction ratings soar to 9.88, up from just 6.31 the year before. This increase in satisfied staff has gone hand in hand with a 90% decrease in employee turnover.

“I don’t think we’d be where we are today without Yesler,” says Lopez. “Their willingness to jump in, dedicate themselves, and champion our cause was crucial in helping us move this project forward. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”

“I don’t think we’d be where we are today without Yesler. Their willingness to jump in, dedicate themselves, and champion our cause was crucial in helping us move this project forward. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”

Kathy Lopez

VP, Digital Marketing Transformation & Services, SAP

<41 hrs

to complete a request

$200K

in cost savings

9.88

out of 10 user SAT rating

The Drum Awards for B2B

All our hard work? Totally worth it. Not only did SAP praise us for the role we played in bringing its new Marketing Services Request Center to life. Our work was certified “Highly Commended” by The Drum Awards for B2B.

FINALIST

DRUM AWARD

"Highly Commended" for Digital Transformation Initiative of the Year 2020