IBM Launches Cloud-Based Analytics Suite in Smarter Commerce Play
IBM has announced a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite aimed at helping its business customers automate online marketing campaigns across digital channels, such as Websites, social media networks and mobile phones.
The new IBM offering combines software IBM got in its acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine-tune marketing campaigns and create personalized offers in real-time across all online channels, IBM officials said.
The technology comes as part of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking and mobile computing. With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it is more critical than ever that marketers understand this online behavior and refine their marketing activities accordingly, IBM said.
The combined Coremetrics and Unica software enables companies to better understand their customers' buying preferences and patterns across all digital media, including Websites, social media networks, mobile phones and tablets. This intelligence is used to quickly develop and deliver the most relevant customer experience, transforming marketing from an uninvited intrusion to an intuitive client service.
For example, businesses would be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly. IBM's suite also enables businesses to deliver and fine-tune digital marketing programs based on what customers are doing offline. For instance, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories. The benefit to the customer is a consistent, relevant brand experience that reflects all their online preferences, not just what they did, read or saw on one specific site, IBM said.
"The convergence of social networking and mobile computing has given rise to empowered consumers who demand a tailored, compelling online experience," Robert Gilbreath, e-commerce director at Calendars.com, said in a statement. "IBM is the company we trust to help us continue to evolve our approach to customer-centric online marketing, and identify new opportunities as they arise."
The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite automates and simplifies a company's ability to design and deliver a tailored online experience and marketing promotions through real-time personalized recommendations, email ad targeting and more. The new suite also enables marketers to perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including offline data sources. And it delivers real-time product recommendations for all online channels-including social, mobile, email and display ads.
Moreover, the suite provides A/B testing capabilities to help search-engine marketers compare pairs of search terms to determine the most cost-effective terms and associated ads. In addition, IBM's new analytics suite supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is the most effective, IBM officials said.
"We're seeing increasing client demand for a single source of truth in understanding customer online behavior and buying trends as businesses strive to identify and seize new revenue streams," Yuchun Lee, vice president and general manager of IBM Enterprise Marketing Management, said in a statement. "We are defining a powerful, integrated and data-driven approach to marketing, one that drives higher-margin sales while using analytics to place the customer's needs squarely at the center of all campaigns and promotions."
The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the newest addition to the company's family of Smarter Commerce solutions. With its Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is forging ahead into a new market that it estimates will grow to $20 billion in software opportunity alone by 2015, driven by the demands from organizations that are increasingly looking for ways to bring new levels of automation to marketing, sales and fulfillment to secure greater customer loyalty.
"Smarter Commerce" transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions, IBM said.