IBM Delivers New Cloud-Based Design, Analytics Tools to Marketers

Big Blue enhanced its IBM Marketing Cloud with new design and analytics capabilities to help marketers better engage with customers.

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SAN DIEGO -- IBM announced new design and analytics capabilities as part of IBM marketing cloud to enable brands to address the rising complexity marketers face engaging with customers as individuals.

Announced at the IBM Amplify 2015 conference here, these new capabilities from IBM enable marketers to collaborate, design and deliver customer experiences with a focus on personalization.

With the new capabilities, brands of all sizes can take advantage of IBM analytic insights generated from every single interaction regardless of where the brand engages with the customer -- from the first moment a customer interacts with a brand in a store, to researching comparable items and pricing online, or sharing feedback on their experience with the brand on a social channel, IBM said.

"Marketers are the gatekeepers to the customer and have the opportunity to understand each individual and guide them on the path through a mix of campaigns designed to nurture brand loyalists,” said Deepak Advani, general manager of IBM Commerce, in a statement. “To succeed, however, marketers must embrace technologies that offer them the opportunity to build two way engagements with each customer and deliver a meaningful and relevant experience. IBM is providing innovations such as journey analytics to allow marketers to gain insights into customers at depths they could never have imagined just a few years ago. Teams can then turn these insights into campaigns to deliver powerful experiences that engage customers in-context and ultimately build advocacy."

Moreover, the job of being a marketer in 2015 is more complex due to the proliferation of devices, channels and emerging markets around the world, which makes delivering personalized experiences to the customer a growing challenge and an opportunity at the same time. In fact, according to an IBM/eConsultancy study, only 35 percent of consumers say the communications they receive from their favorite brands are relevant and 4 out of 5 consumers believe that brands fail to understand them as individuals.

To help cut through the complexity, IBM launched several new design and analytics capabilities, including the new IBM Journey Designer, which is a virtual whiteboard where practitioners on multiple teams within an organization can collaborate with a single view of a customer's journey to make more informed decisions. The design point of this capability is a simple drag and drop mechanism where users can effectively plan, design, create and execute multichannel campaigns based on insights learned over time to deliver more meaningful and relevant experiences to engage with the customer, IBM said.

“If there’s something I’m even more excited about than analytics -- which is where I have worked for years – it’s design,” Advani said.

Bryan Brown, vice president of product strategy at IBM’s Silverpop unit, said “Journey Designer was a great example of collaboration between IBM people and Silverpop people.” Brown noted that the Silverpop team has had unlimited access to IBM resources to beef up its technology portfolio, including tapping IBM Research. IBM acquired Silverpop last year.

“Journey Designer came out of the desire to help the marketing department to digitize more of the work they’re doing outside of technology – particularly at the front end of new projects,” Brown told eWEEK.

Meanwhile, IBM also introduced IBM Journey Analytics, which enables marketers to examine insights about customers. IBM said marketers are challenged with vast amounts of data generated on each customer every single second. For example, a customer who goes into a store to look at an item, then checks comparable products and prices via mobile device, gets feedback from family and friends on a social channel --- to ultimately make a purchase via an iPad. In the growing omni channel phenomena, this new analytics capability allows marketers to sift through valuable insights about the customer, making it easier for marketers to visualize the journey of the customer, map and design a campaign to that -- to help deliver more relevant experiences with greater precision at the right time.

Also new is IBM Customer Experience Analytics, which is a single platform that unifies IBM's Journey Analytics, Digital Analytics, and customer behavior analytics capabilities. This provides marketers with a broad view of how brands engage with their customers. For example, what content they are looking at, whether they are buying, registering, and/or downloading. Brands can understand why things are happening such as why the customer didn't complete a registration or abandoned a shopping cart, and take the corrective action to re-engage the customer to nurture brand loyalty.