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.
IBM Delivers New Cloud-Based Design, Analytics Tools to Marketers
In addition, IBM introduced IBM Commerce Insights, a new capability that provides business executives insight into the performance, operation and growth of their digital commerce business. With this insight, brands will be informed of opportunities to drive more sales and ways to improve key business metrics such as, conversion rate and average order value; or, when customers are struggling with various aspects of the customer experience, such as check-out.
“As a manufacturer of intimate apparel basics, it’s critical to differentiate ourselves in order to win brand loyalty with consumers,” said Tom Blaisdell, search marketing manager at Hanesbrand. “Customers interact with us in many ways — across different sites and devices– and to ensure the most relevant experience, we want to be able to connect those dots. Understanding customer journeys is key to our marketing strategy, and the work IBM is doing in this space is going to help us further efforts to create an emotional connection between our brand and customers.”
Last week, IBM and Facebook announced they will collaborate to provide brands with tailored marketing capabilities that reach the right people at the right time with the right message. To build on this, IBM has also expanded its business partner ecosystem to help brands access these design and analytic capabilities with an easy click-to-connect integration for marketers.
IBM acknowledges that today, brands use a vast number of applications and data sources to understand and engage their customers. This open ecosystem will allow marketers to integrate IBM and partners’ marketing applications including social, ad network and the insights they provide. This simplifies the way marketers gain immediate access to the most relevant data across a variety of applications across a brand’s infrastructure – putting these insights in the hands of marketers when they need it – to create timely and relevant experiences for their customers.
In March at the Adobe Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City, IBM and Adobe announced that IBM’s digital agency, IBM Interactive Experience, would build specialized enterprise consulting capabilities for Adobe Marketing Cloud.
Combining the capabilities of Adobe Marketing Cloud with the design, digital and technology expertise of IBM Interactive Experience, enterprises can integrate all the touch points of a consumer’s journey. That experience spans idea generation, transactions, loyalty programs, special promotions or offers, consumer relationship history and the totality of the individual experience.
“We continue to partner with the world’s largest and most innovative agencies and systems integrators such as IBM Interactive Experience,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Marketing at Adobe, in a statement at the Adobe Marketing Summit. “Mutual clients will benefit greatly from solutions that Adobe and IBM jointly develop to help them create differentiated customer experiences, whether those experiences are in a mobile app, an integrated shopping cart or on a digital screen in a retail store.”
“A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study indicates that there is a disconnect between what consumers say they want from digital experiences and how they actually behave.” said Paul Papas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experience. IBM’s partnership with Adobe “will help marketers close the gap between expectations and experience using a combination of Adobe Marketing Cloud and the services of IBM Interactive Experience, a unique digital agency that brings together experience design, systems integration and strategy consulting.”
IBM said its expertise with designing and developing unique customer experiences backed by insights from big data and analytics will improve the integrated, personalized content and offers companies provide to individuals. For example, when a consumer visits a company’s website or digital app, the site could tap an integrated view of the consumer to determine where they are in their buying journey and decide how to best interact with them in that moment to close the sale. The partnership will include training and certification of IBM consultants on Adobe Marketing Cloud as well as creation of joint IBM and Adobe client teams in key regions.