• July 15, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

IBM Debuts Cloud-Based Marketing and Analytics Suite

IBM today released a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite designed to help organizations automate online marketing campaigns across channels, including the Web, email, chat, social media, and mobile phones.

"Everyone wants to be more targeted in their marketing, but you need analytics to do that,&" says Akin Arikan, multichannel marketing evangelist with IBM's Enterprise Marketing Management Group. It takes tight integration to make that happen."

The new offering, called the IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite, does just that. It combines technologies IBM gained in its 2010 acquisitions of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides sophisticated analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine-tune marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real time.

The 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. It does the following:

  • enables marketers to perform advanced segmentation and automate marketing execution based on multichannel data, including off-line data sources; 
  • delivers real-time product recommendations for all online channels, including social, mobile, email, and display ads;
  • 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;
  • incorporates best-practice key performance indicators and corresponding industry-specific benchmarks; and
  • supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing programs is the most effective.

This product will also allow businesses to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly. It also enables businesses to deliver and fine-tune digital marketing programs based on what customers are doing offline. For example, a consumer who purchased a new tablet in a brick-and-mortar store could receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories.

"The idea of such customer-centric and relevant marketing, listening, and understanding customer interactions is an old idea," Arikan says. "But that idea has been easier said than done, and it's gotten even harder with all the channels available now."

The promise of the IBM suite, according to Arikan, is that everything is on one platform with one user interface.

"You used to have to connect different technologies for online and offline, and everything was in siloed apps in different places," he says. "This all comes together now in one user interface and is stored in the cloud."

The suite is also part of IBM's larger Smarter Commerce initiative, which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell, and secure greater customer loyalty. With this initiative, IBM is defining 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.

"It removes all the hurdles of achieving true CRM," Arikan says.

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