Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘smarter commerce’ Category

(Not) Home For The Holidays

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I’m pretty happy I don’t have to travel today.  I’m going to wait until tomorrow, when all the turkeys have gotten off the road.

Of course, watch out for Wal-Mart and other big retail parking lots.  The consternation about having to work on Thanksgiving is pervasive, and I wouldn’t want to see any customers attempt to play Frogger in those big parking lots.  It’s dangerous enough just trying to get through the doors and into the store!

As always, my wise counsel is to shop from the comfort of your couch.

Walt Mossberg, the ever-dependable tech journalist with The Wall Street Journal, has written an article about “Making Sense of All the New Laptop Flavors.”

He goes on about the various flavors of Windows 8 PCs and tablets, before concluding that the “least costly Mac laptop” is the 11-inch MacBook Air, for $999.

I bought one just about a year ago, and I maintain it’s still the best, fastest, lightest, most dependable computer I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned plenty.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have splurged for more SSD, but that’s it.

If you want to make sure your personal shopping engine is fully revved before Black Friday, Gizmodo’s providing its Ultimate Black Friday guide for geeks, grouping deals by category, and offering a list of when every retailer is slated to be open on Black Friday, just in case you prefer shopping in a mosh pit.

As for an update on my new Apple Mini-me “mini,” otherwise known as the 5th generation iPod touch, I can only say I have no buyer’s remorse, even now after having seen the iPad mini in the flesh.

The retina screen and the small form factor on the newest touch are working perfectly for me thus far. I bought a new “Need for Speed” racing game just to be able to check out the graphics in full force, and the retina screen is simply stunning (as are movies and Netflix streams). I’ve always read what a great gaming platform the touch is, but playing that racing game has cemented it.

Over the next several days, if you want to keep pace with IBM’s annual holiday campaign “Digital Analytics” benchmark, just follow IBM’s e-shopping analytics guru, @jay_henderson (a fellow Texan!).

Jay and his team will be working and posting reports throughout the weekend and into next week to keep us all informed how the holiday e-retail season is going. Jay’s already indicated we can expect to see growing numbers on the mobile and tablet shopping footprint this year.  You can read Jay’s holiday set up piece here.

That said, don’t ignore those retail emails piling up in your in-box — email continues to be the e-retail Trojan Horse, with lots of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals already being distributed. From Amazon to Golfsmith, I’ve received a number of holiday email deals, and it’s all I can do to keep my credit card filed away in my anti-scanning wallet!

If you’re looking for gainful employment this pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday, you might want to try somewhere other than LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Website had a “service unavailable” message this morning, and TechCrunch has been reporting a LinkedIn site outage.

As for me, I’ll be (mostly) disappearing from the cyber maze over the course of the next week. It’s my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, and I’m taking them on a cruise in the Caribbean to celebrate. I may send a post or two via email if I’m so inspired, but mostly I’ll be spending some quality time with my parents and some extended family, and gazing out at the Gulf of Mexico in a pina colada-induced haze (virgin pina coladas, of course).

For all of my readers here in the United States, I wish you a very happy and restful holiday weekend. For those of you outside the U.S., enjoy the email and conference call silence from your U.S. colleagues…it won’t last long!

Showrooming With Santa

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ON the topic of Smarter Commerce, I’ve seen two stories today….count ‘em, TWO…about the intent for numerous retailers promising to match online retail prices at brick-n-mortar stores during the coming holiday season.

Found that Tickle Me Elmo for ten whole cents cheaper at Amazon???…just step right on up the Target cash register, because the Price is Right!

One of the stories was in The Wall Street Journal, and claimed that over the past few days, Best Buy and Target both had said they would match the prices offered by the online sites of some rivals, including Wal-Mart and Amazon.

This in an effort to combat “showrooming” (bet you didn’t even know there was such a word!), whereby shoppers checking products in stores then buy them on competitor’s websites, presumably for lower prices.

But, as the story goes on to observe, there soon could be trouble at the register, as these new policies require shoppers to both ask for and PROVE the existence of lowered prices.

“Mommy, Mommy, I just found the latest Furby on Amazon.com for a whole fifty cents less!”

Now, excuse Mommy while she fumbles around in her purse for her smartphone!  Oh, never mind that line of people waiting around the store to pay full price for their Furbys!

You get the picture.

According to the Journal story, Best Buy’s going to go them one better, and provide their sales reps some discretion — if the SKU’s price is too low, you don’t get to go!…out the store with your Furby, that is.

All the more reason, I say, to stay in this holiday season, tablet or laptop in hand, with a nice warm cup of Egg Nog, and do ALL your holiday shopping from the comfort of your own home!

Written by turbotodd

October 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: A Q&A With IBM’s Alisa Maclin On The IBM Marketing Center

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lisa Maclin is Vice President of Marketing for IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. IBM’s Smarter Commerce portfolio consists of software solutions, including over $2.5B in recent acquisitions, as well as consulting and implementation services and workload optimized systems.

Alisa Maclin is Vice President of Marketing for IBM’s Smarter Commerce Initiative. Smarter Commerce is a unique approach designed to help companies better integrate and more effectively manage their value chain — including buy, market, sell, and service processes — to put the customer at the center of decisions and actions.

IBM’s Smarter Commerce portfolio consists of software solutions, including over $2.5B in recent acquisitions, as well as consulting and implementation services and workload optimized systems.

Previously, Ms. Maclin was Vice President of Market Strategy and Planning for IBM Global Business Services, with responsibility for developing and executing marketing strategy for IBM’s consulting and application management business worldwide.

Ms. Maclin has more than 20 years of global marketing and sales leadership experience at IBM, including executive roles in IBM’s Software, Global Services, and Sales and Distribution divisions.

We sat down with Ms. Maclin recently at the IBM InterConnect event in Singapore to better understand the evolution of the Smarter Commerce story over the past few months, including the announcement of the new IBM Marketing Center, which has been described as a “multipurpose cloud-based suite aimed at organizations that want to take advantage of the Smarter Commerce capabilities without having to invest in their own IT infrastructure.”

We discussed this, and much more, during our few minutes together in Singapore.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Outdoor Products Maker Husqvarna On “The Partnership Of Equals” Between Marketing And IT

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One of the highlights of attending any of IBM’s events like the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Florida, last week is the opportunity to meet with and speak with IBM customers.

John Marchiodona, VP of marketing, and Simon Howard, head of IT for the Americas, at Husqvarna, are two prime examples.

John and Simon are the poster children for marketing and IT coming together to create new capabilities and opportunities for their customers, in their case for a 300+ year-old commercial concern that now focuses on outdoor products, including chainsaws, lawnmowers, and the like.

John and Simon explained in the interview Scott and I conducted with them how new digital opportunities, particularly in the social space, have required them to come together earlier and more often to map out new requirements and capabilities for better serving their clients.

As they explained, “Technology is becoming more and more a requirement for everybody,” and a good example of the fruits of their labor was a new social media section of the Husqvarna site that contained videos demonstrating the safe and productive use of their products.

As they explained in our discussion, theirs’ (marketing and IT) is a “partnership of equals,” and that to fulfill on the new digital demands of their consumers, “they have to have the necessary platforms in place to do what they want to do.”

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: IBM’s Jay Henderson On The IBM Holiday Benchmark Online Shopping Analysis

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Jay leads product strategy within IBM’s Cross-Channel Marketing team. His team is responsible for market analysis, customer insight, and industry marketing functions. He came to IBM through its acquisition of Unica, and has over fifteen years’experience in multi-channel marketing and customer analytics. Previously, he served in various marketing roles at predictive analytics leader SPSS (also part of IBM), web analytics pioneer NetGenesis, and management consulting firm Cambridge Technology Group. Jay holds degrees from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the Sorbonne (Paris IV).

Jay Henderson has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt when it comes to marketing analytics…one he probably bought online.

Currently the strategy program director at IBM Cross-Channel Marketing, Jay’s team is responsible for market analysis, customer insight, and industry marketing functions, and I had the privilege of sitting down with Jay last week at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit to talk many things analytics.

Jay’s heritage pre-dates his tenure at IBM, joining Big Blue through its acquisition of Unica.

Jay has over fifteen years’ experience in multi-channel marketing and customer analytics, and prior to joining Unica, he ran marketing for text mining pioneer ClearForest, the technology from which was later acquired by Thomson Reuters.

Jay’s most recent claim to fame has been the preparation of the IBM “Holiday Benchmark,” a near real-time analysis of the e-commerce retail activity during the annual holiday shopping season.

If you want the inside skinny on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other key shopping inflection points, the IBM Holiday Benchmark provides some excellent benchmark statistics. During our chat, Jay also made some news when he revealed that IBM is also going to be issuing soon some new reports, including a “back to school” retail analysis.

So, wanna know about major trends in the e-commerce realm? Watch the interview with Jay and find out!

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: IBM GBS Exec Paul Pappas On IBM’s Smarter Commerce Consulting Capabilities

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Paul Papas is an executive with over 22 years of experience in consulting and over 15 years of specialization in customer relationship management and business analytics. He leads a global practice that helps clients use digital technologies to increase the value they provide to their customers and business partners. He is a frequent public speaker and blogger on the subject of digital transformation.

If you’ve ever wondered just what part of IBM it is that helps bring IBM Smarter Commerce solutions to life on behalf of our clients, you need look no further.

Paul Pappas, the Smarter Commerce Global Leader for IBM’s Global Business Services unit, is an executive with over 22 years of experience in consulting and over 15 years of specialization in customer relationship management and business analytics.

Paul now leads a global practice that helps clients use digital technologies to increase the value they provide to their customers and business partners.

Paul was formerly a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has held several practice leadership roles throughout his career.

Prior to assuming his role as the Global Smarter Commerce leader, Paul led IBM’s Life Sciences practice and is a recognized industry subject matter expert.

During our 11 minute discussion at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this past week in Orlando, Paul outlined the vision behind IBM’s approach to smarter commerce, the so-called “systems of engagement,” which focuses on customer touchpoints (and not just transactions).

He also explained the four “I’s” — Interact, Inform, Integrate, and Innovate — that drive his discussions with clients.

The IBM Smarter Commerce GBS practice began 18 months ago with just over 1,000 consultants, and in that short time has already doubled to keep pace with market demand.

As Paul explains in the interview, “Every IBM client has a different set of objectives or needs,” and it’s that customer-centricity that has helped IBM rapidly become a market leader in servicing this burgeoning growth area.

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