Job Function: In his role as marketing production manager for Itron, a technology provider and source of knowledge for nearly 3,000 global energy and water utilities, Chris Ballard operates behind the scenes supporting the worldwide marketing and sales teams. He has focused much of his efforts on creating Web-based tools to enable about 800 sales, marketing, and service employees at Itron to get anything they need at anytime. "I maintain an online collateral site that is hooked up worldwide," Ballard says. "So anyone around the world can access a database of collateral, promotional items, and logo-wear." The marketing team fulfills requests for collateral in both electronic and hard copy. "For example, automation tools for salespeople and marketing professionals to deliver what they need for tradeshows, direct marketing programs, Web campaigns, and advertising," he says. "Using an application from interlinkONE to manage our online fulfillment, we can deliver information within 48 hours of the request."
Ballard is now at work on implementing a Stellent CMS/DAM system. "The system will better enable Itron to reuse and also to find and manage digital assets across the Web. It will not only allow our communications to be more timely, but will also help us to interface between our external vendors such as PR agencies, marketing and creative agencies, fulfillment vendors, and print vendors."
In A Day's Work: Ballard's day is spent running multiple projects with multiple deadlines. "I'm working to help internal customers and I spend time administering the different databases that I manage," he says. "I also measure our vendors to make certain that we get a positive ROI and I look for how our implementations are helping us to be more efficient and save costs." Ballard is a believer in low-quantity print-on-demand with management through his online tools. "I only keep three month's worth of inventory of each collateral. It has saved us $100,000 in printing in 2005 vs. 2004."
Oddest Member Encounter: "A marketing piece I had mailed to an address only 20 miles away was returned to me four years later unopened and marked ‘undeliverable'!"
View From The Desk: "We live in a cube-centric environment."
Outside Interest: "I'm happiest when I am cycling. I'm no Lance Armstrong, but I enjoy it."
If Not Econtent, Then What?: "I would be a forest ranger at Point Reyes National Seashore Park in northern California."