Turbotodd

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Archive for the ‘enterprise marketing management’ Category

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 From IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit: The Magic Of This Kingdom

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When I arrived in Orlando yesterday for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, which kicked off here earlier this morning, I started having flashbacks.

No, not those kind of flashbacks, the hallucinatory kind!

No, these were childhood flashbacks. To when I must have been 6 or 7, and I experienced my first firsthand brand impressions of Disneyworld.

My mom and dad were some patient people, carrying my sister and I all the way to one end of the country from Texas to experience all the magic that Walt Disney had imagined.

And magic it was.

I don’t remember much in detail, but in emotional impression, I remembered a lot. I remembered cruising along on “It’s a Small World” ride, when, in fact, the world still seemed quite big and grandiose to me.

I also remember the haunted house ride, the one where the ghost sits next to you, even if for a brief spell.  I was frickin’ mortified, terrified…and exhilirated, all at the same time.

And Space Mountain…well, don’t get me started. I might as well have been on another planet.

I haven’t even gotten to seeing the Disney characters come to life walking around the Animal Kingdom, or Snow White in that beautiful castle.

Mind you, these experiences transpired roughly forty years ago (I’m trying not to be TOO precise), and yet the fondness and remembrance they created for me were…well, simply magic.

I’m sure that’s not why we bring all our customers here to Orlando, to experience Disney’s magic.  I’m sure we’ve gotten some good economies of scale for holding our events here, and certainly we (and our own customers) get great service while staying at the Disney properties.

Then again, that kind of IS the point.

As we come together to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Smarter Commerce over the next few days, we’d be wise to remember that not everything that creates business magic is something you can sell or even mimic.

The integrity and honesty of a real and positive brand experience should have and be just that, integral and honest.

If your company genuinely desires to create a positive and integral experience, then it will be so.

But to try and put it on and wear it as an after-the–fact costume…well, Mickey Mouse will have never been outed so fast!

When IBM launched its Smarter Commerce initiative last year, we tried to make sure we were wearing an appropriate costume. IBM has invested some $3 billion in acquisitions in this space, and created an IBM Global Business Services team of 1,000 focusing exclusively on Smarter Commerce.

Our Websphere Commerce technology, which was already a leading, organic product in the marketplace, was evolved, with both client and general market feedback, to expand and cover the entire B2B2C commerce lifecycle end to end.

But probably most importantly, and not unlike Walt Disney, we recognized that our own customers’ customers were going to be the ultimate measure of our success.

We live in an amazing age of the empowered customer, one who has unlimited to access to information and who can instantly share his or her experience with the entire planet…and does!

Because technology has empowered those customers with greater access to transparency to information and raised their own expectations for relevant communications, superior price, delivery, and service, so, too, must our customers raise their game, and we at IBM, our own.

Hence the discussions you’ll be tuning into and participating in over these next three days.

Soak it up. Take notes. Talk to everybody you can. Don’t waste a moment. Some of the best minds within IBM, and the broader industry, are here just for all of you to help you on your journey.

As for me, I’ll be here, and on the Solutions Center floor interviewing some of those great minds for our YouTube channel. 

And if I can, I’m going to try and break away just for a few moments so I can go say hi, and make peace, with some old ghost friends of mine.

I have a distinct feeling Walt Disney wouldn’t have had it any other way.

IBM Furthers Focus On Marketers

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The Wall Street Journal just posted this article in advance of IBM’s 2Q earnings announcement tomorrow, leading with this sentence: “Technology companies have found a new customer—the marketing department.”

The story goes on to highlight the fact that marketing organizations are increasingly taking the lead in technology acquisition, and that “Companies are deemphasizing traditional productivity tools like PCs and standard business software in favor of advanced programs that help them boost revenue, for example by tracking customers across channels and better targeting offers and advertising.”

The article reminded me of a post I wrote back in May leading up to IBM’s Smarter Commerce Summit in Madrid, Spain – entitled “No More Business As Usual” — which I’ll quote freely from again below:

Today, circa 2012, we find ourselves at another inflection point in the history of commerce, one which begins and ends with the customer. Today’s commerce environment features a customer who is dictating a new set of terms in the dynamic between buyers and sellers, and these are very smart consumers, ones empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information.

Just simply walk through your closest local retailer or your nearest airport, and you’ll see signs of this new and smarter consumer. Via smartphones and other mobile devices, they are connected real-time to an absurd amount of information that empowers them as buyers, and, in turn, requires an accelerated sophistication on the part of sellers, no matter the product or service.

These consumers expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital, and mobile means, and they want a consistent experience across all channels.

Because they are empowered and connected, they can compare notes, quickly, and they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse or the stroke of their tablet computer.

In the Journal article, author Spencer Ante points out that Gartner recently predicted by 2017, the chief marketing officer will control more technology spending than the company CIO.  Gartner estimates that around a third of marketing department expense budgets is devoted to purchases such as systems to manage customer relationships, predict customer behavior, and run online storefronts, and that the global spend on marketing software already rose from $20 billion to $25 billion over the past year.

Yuchun Lee, an IBM vice president who is one of the “Smarter Commerce” strategy’s architects and who was quoted in the article, says that “IBM is making investments in technology that could help clients manage online customer interactions, analyze social media data and craft targeted pitches.”

Specifically, IBM has spent some $3 billion making acquisitions in this growing market over the past several years, including the acquisitions of Coremetrics, DemandTec, TeaLeaf, and Unica.

Following is an interview my compadre, Scott Laningham, conducted with Yuchun in Madrid on the topic of smarter commerce.

Smarter Customers Require Smarter Commerce

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Guy Kawasaki will present a keynote at IBM’s Smarter Commerce Global Summit, being held Sept 5-7 in Orlando, Florida. Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital fund. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web—the success of which is attributed to social networking tools such as Twitter. He is considered one of the top 50 most popular bloggers worldwide. Previously, Guy Kawasaki was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy Kawasaki has a BA in psychology from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

I mentioned in previous posts the upcoming IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit that will be held in Orlando, Florida September 5-7.

As the overview for the event explains, there’s no question that your customers are in charge. They now have more information, more access, and more influence than ever, and it takes a smarter marketing organization to keep up with these ever smarter customers.

The Smarter Commerce Summit 2012 provides a great venue for business execs and practitioners to come together and gain insight and access to resources that enable them to more effectively connect with those customers.

The event combines over 150 business and practitioner breakout sessions comprised of new technology, best practices, industry perspectives and visionary thinking, all to help you potimize your own business.

It is the single largest gathering of experts and peers for discovering new solutions to today’s most complex digital challenges.

We’ve recently announced our keynote speakers, including Guy Kawasaki, founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures and a one-time Apple executive. I saw Guy speak at the IBM Smart Camp Global Finals earlier this year in San Francisco, and have enjoyed his keynote discussions at SXSW Interactive for a number of years. There’s only a handful of speakers around who can get you re-energized about the opportunity technology presents for innovation, while entertaining you in the process, and Guy is definitely one of them.

At the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Guy will discuss “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions,” a talk based on his tenth book that explains how you can not only get your own way, but also bring about voluntary, enduring and delightful change in your organization.

The Session Preview Tool is now available to give you a glimpse of some of the sessions you’ll find on the ground in Orlando, and remember, you can also follow #ibmscgs via Twitter to keep up with key announcements and information leading up to the event.

As of press time, my associate Scott Laningham and I will be in attendance as we were in Madrid, providing on-the-ground blogging and Webcasting coverage so you can better understand how IBM is helping companies around the globe practice smarter commerce.

If you’re already sold on the idea and just want to know where to go register, visit this link for all the details and the registration form.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM’s Yuchun Lee Doubles Down On Social Marketing

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Remember that team of blackjack-playing cohorts from MIT in the book (and, later, movie) “Bringing Down The House,” who fleeced a number of Vegas casinos before they were invited never to grace their gambling doors again?

IBM’s Yuchun Lee explains to the IBM Smarter Commerce audience in Madrid how the company is doubling down on its investments in enterprise and social marketing management.

Well, IBM executive and Unica co-founder Yuchung Lee was one of those who was asked not to come back. Permanently.

Which is okay by those of us at IBM, as we’re keeping him way too busy to bother with card counting.

Instead, Lee’s mathematical prowess is being applied to help companies improve their marketing capabilities, a key ingredient in the IBM Smarter Commerce soup.

Doubling Down On Enterprise Marketing Management

As Lee explained in his keynote session this afternoon here in Madrid, “this is the first time we’re bringing together Coremetrics and Unica.” He also highlighted the fact that out of the 1,700 participants here at the Summit, over 1,000 are marketeers!

Lee provided a broad overview of the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio at IBM, explaining that “we’ve shared progress as a group within IBM over the past year,” sharing that also incorporates lessons learned from both the market and IBM customers.

“The pieces of our portfolio are better connected,” Lee explained, but also highlighted the fact that “We now have a more comprehensive suite for relevant and personalized offers across all channels, and social media,” a capability recently introduced in Unica 8.6

The social buildout also incorporates enterprise analytics, tag management, and full mobile and social market capabilities that tie more closely together the marketing automation experience with the social realm.

Acquisitions That Count

Lee also debriefed quickly on two recent acquisitions, DemandTec, which expands IBM’s EMM offerings with pricing, promotion, and product mix optimization, and Tealeaf, which rounds out IBM EMM solutions with customer experience management and analytics.

As Lee explained, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” and that’s precisely what TeaLeaf provides, the ability to look at snapshots of individual user sessions to help determine where, exactly, it is that you’re driving them crazy with your convoluted web experience!

But where Lee really “hooked” the audience was in his observations about the Generation C customer, who is more connected and in control than ever! Did you know that 4 in 10 smartphone users search for an item in a store? Or that 77 percent of B2B buyers check with their peers before buying?

If you didn’t know that, then this is your reality check and maybe it’s time you get more focused in your own customer centricity.  Marketing, Lee suggested, must “move beyond its silo and focus on business value.”

Which, he expanded, means that it must work more closely with other disciplines and functions, including merchandising, on- and offline sales, customer service, and even with IT.

Marketing must move that customer centricity beyond marketing as well, so that they understand and influence the entire customer experience, as well as “own the operational process to influence social conversations.”

But, Lee indicated, they can’t stop there.  Marketing must also share customer insights with other parts of the business so that all functions can benefit from these insights.

Finally, they must extend that sharing of customer insights with other key stakeholders who can benefit: Partners, agencies, customer communities, and so forth.

Lee also explained that many organizations must adjust their marketing cultures to fully capitalize on the “Generation C” (“C” for “connected”) culture.  They must build organizations that balance analytics and creative talents (easier said than done!), work with IT rather than around IT, and break down marketing siloes — digital and traditional marketing must consolidate and collaborate.

Finally, accept mistakes and learn from them, and be agile enough to iterate and improve upon them. As even Lee can explain, there are only so many opportunities to double down in blackjack, and in business.

The enterprise marketing management opportunity vis-a-vis IBM’s Smarter Commerce strategy is one of those rare opportunities.

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