IBM Launches Data Exchange for Marketers

IBM launched its new Universal Behavior Exchange (UBX), which enables marketers to connect data across systems and better engage customers.

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IBM announced a new data exchange to help marketers engage customers in a more personalized manner.

The new IBM Universal Behavior Exchange (UBX) enables marketers to deliver personalized experiences based on customers' behaviors and preferences. The exchange is a key component of the IBM Marketing Cloud and it helps marketers easily connect data across their solutions so they can better understand and engage with their customers in the moment.

"On a daily basis, our marketing systems process countless customer data points, including visitor preferences on exhibits and special events," said Rosie Judd, director of digital media for Georgia Aquarium, which uses the IBM Marketing Cloud. "With this launch, we see how IBM is addressing the industry pain point of collecting and analyzing this customer data, and ultimately helping small marketing teams such as Georgia Aquarium's, be more efficient and stay focused on customer-entric campaigns that deliver memorable experiences."

As customer expectations have increased so has the complexity of the marketing environment—more channels, more devices, more solutions and more data. In some companies, marketers are working with more than 30 different systems. The ability to easily connect the data stored in these solutions is key to delivering successful customer experiences across the buyer journey. Insights generated from the exchange will help marketers drive more effective campaigns on Facebook and across the Web.

UBX is supported by an open ecosystem of certified partners that include social, mobile, CRM and paid advertising solutions. At launch, this ecosystem includes companies, such as MediaMath, Spredfast, MutualMind, SugarCRM and Exchange Solutions.

"IBM is making it simpler for brands to better understand how their customers prefer to engage," said Mike Lamb, president of the commercial side of the house at MediaMath. "We see the opportunity in connecting advertiser data to other channels to create more timely and relevant interactions. It's this level of collaboration with IBM that demonstrates a major step toward true customer-centric marketing."

The Universal Behavior Exchange increases marketing agility by providing click-to-connect integration that makes it easier for marketers to access and leverage customer data across all of their solutions. It also features a pre-integrated partner network which enables quick integration with a wide range of customer behavior, event and audience data across paid, owned and earned channels.

"The challenge marketers face today is the ability to deliver, at scale, customer experiences that are timely and relevant," said Deepak Advani, general manager of IBM Commerce, in a statement. "Today's launch is addressing this by removing a key pain point for marketers around data integration to free them up to deliver the more innovative and meaningful experiences that consumers demand."

Vibes, a mobile marketing solutions provider, announced it is providing mobile marketing and mobile wallet solutions to IBM's Universal Behavior Exchange ecosystem. By joining IBM's UBX, Vibes enables marketers to gain greater visibility into key data for mobile marketing campaigns. As a result, marketing teams can significantly increase conversion and improve the customer journey—whether through mobile wallet (Apple Wallet for iPhone, Android Pay for Android phones), push notifications or text messaging (SMS/MMS).

For example, if a customer abandons their shopping cart on a retailer's Website, an alert is automatically sent to UBX where Vibes is "listening" to these events. If the customer is a member of the retailer's SMS text database, Vibes then sends a tailored text message encouraging the customer to complete the transaction that includes a unique link to a mobile coupon that can be saved to Apple Wallet or Android Pay. Thanks to this timely response, the team is able to re-engage the customer and give them the incentive to go back and complete the purchase. Vibes also works with other IBM Marketing Cloud systems to trigger transactional and service-oriented mobile messages, like appointment reminders and service updates.

"We're working with IBM to bring our text message marketing, mobile wallet marketing and push notification capabilities to the UBX platform," said Jack Philbin, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. "With UBX, marketers can drive revenue using innovative mobile marketing channels while also connecting mobile to all other digital marketing events. UBX is cracking the code on big data applied to the marketing cloud."