Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘web metrics’ Category

Gladly Pay You Tuesday…

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We’re finally getting some rain in central Texas.  We’ll see how long it lasts!

And on the topic of rainmaking, this just in from our friends at Nucleus Research.

Nucleus conducted an analysis of 21 of IBM Smarter Commerce case studies and their ROI, and discovered that for every dollar spent, companies realized an average of U.S. $12.05 in returns.

According to the research, this payback occurred in an average of 9 months (with a high of 23 months, and a low of two).

The cases Nucleus analyzed included U.S. and European companies and government agencies which had deployed IBM Smarter Commerce technologies.

All the case studies were developed independently by Nucleus, following their standard ROI methodology, and IBM was privy to the results only after the research was completed.

In their analysis, Nucleus also observed some summary conclusions, finding that Smarter Commerce projects delivered both top-line and bottom-line benefits, with roughly 60 percent of returns coming from indirect benefits such as productivity, and the rest from direct savings such as reduced operational costs or hires avoided.

Specific key benefits included the following:

  • Increased productivity. In many cases companies were able to accomplish more work with fewer staff or avoid additional hires as they grew by automating previously manual processes and increasing employee productivity.
  • Reduced costs. Smarter Commerce customers experienced cost reductions in areas such as customer call handling costs, technology costs, and other costs associated with supply chain transactions.
  • Improved inventory management. Greater visibility into customer demand and inventory levels enabled Smarter Commerce customers to gain better control over their inventory, reducing inventory carrying costs and increasing inventory turns.
  • Improved decision making. Greater agility and rapid insight into data for decision making enabled companies using Smarter Commerce to more quickly make decisions and act on them with confidence.
  • Reduced customer churn and increased customer satisfaction. Companies using IBM Business Analytics were able to more rapidly understand customer satisfaction and retain more profitable customers by proactively addressing customers’ propensity to churn. For example, one telecommunications customer was able to reduce customer churn by 8 percent in the first year and 18 percent in the second year by further refining its churn analysis.

Customers Leverage Prepackaged Functionality

Nucleus indicated that the $12.05 average return from Smarter Commerce was at the high end of the range of returns Nucleus had seen from other assessments of deployments such as analytics and CRM, and many IBM Smarter Commerce clients indicated they had achieved high returns by taking advantage of the investments IBM has made in providing integrated solutions, more intuitive user interfaces, and prepackaged industry functionality.

By way of example:

  • Integrated solutions and prepackaged industry functionality accelerate time to deployment and time to value while reducing overall project risk.
  • Usability improvements drive more rapid adoption and make it easier for companies to drive adoption of technologies such as business analytics to casual and business users beyond the data expert specialists that have historically been the primary users of analytics.

Industry-specific functionality and expertise were particularly important in the success of customers adopting Smarter Commerce technologies in the government sector, such as social services agencies and police departments, where IT often has limited resources.

You can go here to download the full report.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy

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Mark Frigon is a senior product manager with IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization, a key group involved in leading IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. Mark’s specialties are in Web analytics (he joined IBM as part of its acquisition of Coremetrics) and Internet privacy, an issue that has come to the forefront in recent years for digital marketers around the globe.

Effective Web metrics are critical to the success of businesses looking to succeed in e-commerce and digital marketing these days, and IBM has a number of experts who spend a lot of their time in this area.

One of those here in Madrid at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Mark Frigon, is a senior product manager for Web analytics in IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization.

Mark sat down with me to discuss the changing nature of Web analytics, and how dramatically it has evolved as a discipline over the past few years, including the increased focus by marketers on “attribution,” the ability to directly correlate a Web marketing action and the desired result.

Mark also spoke at the event about the importance for digital marketers around the globe to be more privacy-aware, a topic we also discussed in our time together, calling out in particular the “Do-Not-Track” industry self-regulatory effort that intends to put privacy controls in the hands of consumers.

If you spend any time thinking about Internet privacy or Web analytics, or both, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: OgilvyOne Chairman & CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh Speaks About The CMO Hotseat

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Brian Fetherstonhaugh, as the chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, has a unique vantage point on how brands are built, how corporate cultures are created, and what happens as the world goes digital. In the course of the past 25 years, Brian has worked hands-on with many of the world’s leading brands including, IBM, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kodak, and Yahoo! Today, Brian leads OgilvyOne Worldwide, the interactive marketing and consulting arm of the Ogilvy Group. With more than 4,000 staff in 50 countries, OgilvyOne is at the forefront of the digital revolution. In 2007 and 2009, the Forrester Report ranked Ogilvy as a leading U.S. interactive agency.

OgilvyOne Worldwide Chairman and CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh started our Q&A today here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid by revealing who his favorite character on the 1960s-era AMC show about advertising, “Mad Men,” was.  Drum roll, please….It’s…JOAN.

Mainly, Brian explained, because Joan “gets things done.”

We then turned our discussion to the vast evolution IBM’s own marketing culture has endured the past two decades, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the changing marketing landscape for CMOs, whose tenures these days last an average 27 months.

Brian also discussed other key issues facing chief marketing officers during this time of great change, including the need for CMOs to focus on new talents and skills development. Before he jetted off to another city somewhere in the world, Brian left the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, and you, with some valuable marketing advice.

And when you watch the video, never mind the Spanish waiter who entered the frame for just a moment: He was simply doing what we wish to see companies everywhere do best, servicing their customers!

IBM ImpactTV 2012 Instant Replay: IBM’s Mike Rhodin On Big Data, Smarter Commerce, And The Emerging LOB Tech Buyer

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Our first interview at IBM Impact 2012 this year was with IBM senior vice president, IBM Software Solutions Group, Mike Rhodin.  This was also our first ever opportunity to interview Mike, so we were especially excited about this particular interview.

Mike leads an organization which focuses on delivering integrated offerings that target high-growth opportunities, including business analytics, collaboration, and industry solutions.  As a senior vice president, Mike is responsible for a $5 billion business portfolio which represents one of the fastest growing and most acquisitive.

In our interview, Mike explained that his business is reaching more of a non-traditional technology buyer, the senior “line of business” executives who have played a much more dominant role in tech acquisition through the economic downturn, and who are looking for solutions that can help their organizations differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and and even more readily empower front-line executives and decision makers.

He also brought us up to date on what IBM’s Watson has been up to over the past year, explaining that Watson finally got a “real” job — actually, a couple of them!

In his former IBM lives, Mike has served as the general manager of IBM’s Northeast Europe organization, as well as the GM of IBM’s Lotus Software division, a stint in which he led a team to create the “human side” of IBM’s software strategy by developing IBM’s collaborative technology and solutions which integrate people, data, and business processes.

Santa’s E-Commerce Play

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Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!

IBM Benchmark data revealed that online shopping jumped 16.4 percent on Christmas Day, compared to last year, and the dollar amount of those purchases that were made using mobile devices leaped 172.9 percent!

And apparently, it was.

I didn’t try to track Santa via Santa Norad, but apparently Santa didn’t need nearly the help he might have.

According to some more IBM Benchmark e-commerce tracking numbers from the holiday shopping season, lots of folks were ready for more virtual commerce even on Christmas Day.

I count myself among the guilty.

The IBM data discovered that online shopping jumped 16.4 percent on Christmas Day, compared to last year, and the dollar amount of those purchases that were made using mobile devices leaped 172.9 percent.

IBM tracks shopping at more than 500 websites (other than Amazon.com, which is where *I* was shopping!).

It also found a huge increase in the number of shoppers making their purchases via iPhones, iPads and Android-powered mobile devices. In fact, nearly 7 percent of all online purchases were made using iPads, just 18 months after the tablet computers were released by Apple Inc..

The online shopping increase continued on Monday. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time, shopping was up 10 percent over Dec. 26, 2010, and the expectation was that the pace of buying would increase as the day wore on and consumers clicked on sales at various retailers.

The data did not show what portion of purchases was made using gift cards, which typically see a big bump just after holidays as folks start cashing those gift cards in and make purchases (online and off).

Speaking of online gifts, IBM has been making some pretty heavy duty investments in Santa’s e-commerce play, what we’re calling “smarter commerce.”  Between the numerous acquisitions and continued organic investment, IBM’s smarter commerce effort recognizes that the final sale is just one aspect of the overall commerce experience.

Last year, IBM researchers surveyed more than 500 economists worldwide and estimated that our planet’s system of systems carries inefficiencies totaling nearly $15 trillion, or 28 percent of worldwide GDP.

Much of this waste is found in our systems of commerce — in inventory backlogs, failed product launches, wasted materials and ineffective marketing campaigns.

Today’s customers have no patience for this kind of waste. They will not remain loyal to products or brands while the cost of inefficiency is passed along to the buyer. And it will not take them long to find the same product or service from a competitor.

These customers are empowered by technology, transparency, and an abundance of information. They expect to engage with companies when and how they want, through physical, digital and mobile means.

They want a consistent experience across all channels. They compare notes. And they can champion a brand or sully a reputation with the click of a mouse.

Nowhere is this shift more visible than in the retail industry, where companies are rapidly adapting to this new reality, integrating their  marketing efforts and using analytics to better understand their new, more fickle customers.

But retail is only the beginning. It is merely the front line of a customer revolution that will eventually reshape the entire value chain, from the way raw materials are sourced to the way they are manufactured, distributed and serviced.

Keeping up with today’s customer will take more than an email marketing campaign and a Facebook page.

It’s going to take a better system of doing business. It’s going to take smarter commerce.

Just as with traditional commerce, the customer is at the center of all operations, and smarter commerce turns customer insight into action, enabling new business processes that help companies buy, market, sell and service their products and services and, in the process, make for happier customers.

Smarter commerce reaches deep within the businessto-business supply chain, integrating business partners, suppliers, and vendors, enabling the entire value chain to anticipate customer needs, not react to them.

And it identifies and addresses the unsustainable inefficiencies of our global systems of commerce.

Visit here if you’d like to learn more about IBM’s smarter commerce strategy.

In the meantime, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on Santa’s post Christmas holiday sales!

Written by turbotodd

December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

From Black Friday To Cyber Monday: It’s All In The Clicks

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Well, that day of the year has finally arrived.

That day where we all slink into our offices after four nice, long, official holidays where (mostly, we hope) people stay away from their computers and mobile phones and tablets and God knows whatever other else connected devices just long enough to make it feel like you got some real rest (even though many of you were probably dealing with unrelated, but similarly frustrating, realities —you know, like screaming kids and antagonizing in-laws).

And all you could do was think about how nice it would be to come back into the nice peaceful and quiet office on Monday so you could get back to…shopping.

Yes, boys and girls, cyber Monday has arrived.

But judging from the results of the IBM Coremetrics Benchmark Black Friday e-retailing analysis, you really need not worry about coming into the office anymore just so you can get yourself an extra slurp of broadband.

This is 2011, yo, all you gotta do is break out that iPad and you’ll be standing in front of Macys women’s wear or Best Buy’s electronics section in seconds!

But while you’re out there figuring out your Cyber Monday strategy, I’m going to hit the highlights reel for the weekend in e-shopping.

E-Retail Shopping: Hit ‘Em Early and Often

U.S shoppers apparently took great advantage of early sales this holiday, driving a 39.3 percent year-over-year increase in online Thanksgiving day spending while setting the stage for 24.3 percent online growth on Black Friday compared to the same period last year.

Here’s a quick snapshop of the other key trends:

  • Consumer spending increases. The aggressive shopping we witnessed on Thanksgiving Day this year carried over into Black Friday, with online sales increasing 24.3 percent annually.
  • Mobile Bargain Hunting. Black Friday also saw the arrival of the mobile deal seeker who embraced their devices as a research tool for both in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent (compared to 5.6 percent last year).
  • Mobile Sales On the Getgo. Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent (a tripling from last year’s 3.2 percent).
  • Apple’s One Stop Shop. Mobile shopping was led by Apple, with the iPhone and iPad ranking one and two for consumers shopping on mobile devices (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent respectively). Together, the iPhone and iPad accounted for 10.2 percent of all online retail. Apparently, it ain’t easy bein’ an Android on Black Friday.
  • The iPad Factor. Shoppers using the iPad led to more retail purchases more often per visit than other mobile devices, leading one to wonder about the real estate to deal closing ratio. The bigger the device, the larger the average order value?  Possibly, but this number can’t lie: Conversion rates for the iPad were 4.6 percent, compared to 2.8 for all other mobile devices. The iPad was this weekend’s e-shopping mobile king.
  • Social Influence. Shoppers referred from Social Networks generated 0.53 percent of all online sales on Black Friday, with Facebook leading the pack and accounting for a full 75 percent of all social network traffic.
  • Social Media Chit Chat. Boosted by a 110 percent increase in discussion volume compared to 2010, top discussion topics on social media sites immediately before Friday showed a focus on the part of consumers to share tips on how to avoid the rush. Topics included out-of-stock concerns, waiting times and parking, and a spike in positive sentiment around Cyber Monday sales.
  • Surgical Shopping Goes Mobile: Mobile shoppers demonstrated a laser focus that surpassed that of other online shoppers with a 41.3 percent bounce rate on mobile devices versus online shopping rates of 33.1 percent.

This data came from findings of the IBM Coremetrics fourth annual Black Friday Benchmark, which tracks more than a million transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide.

With this data, IBM helps retailers better understand and respond to their customers — across the organization — improving sourcing, inventory management, marketing, sales, and services programs.

You can get more background on the study here.

IBM Leads New Forrester Wave For Web Analytics

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Yesterday I wrote a detailed post about the recent IBM 2011 Global CMO study, which offered a variety of interesting findings.

The first of the four key challenges mentioned that CMOs believe they will be facing moving forward was the massive explosion of data, and how they as CMOs reckon with that.

As the study mentioned, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day — so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.

Put your head around that piece of data.

Hence, the increasing volume, variety and velocity of data available from new digital sources like social networks, in addition to traditional sources such as data and market research, tops the list of CMO challenges.

The challenge, of course, is how to analyze these vast quantities of data to extract meaningful insights and then use them to improve products, services or the customer experience.

Web Analytics Leads To Market Intelligence

One way to help with corporate Web sites is through Web analytics.  IBM has invested in this space through its acquisitions of both Coremetrics and Unica (which had an enterprise Web metrics solution entitled “NetInsights”).

Forrester Research recently placed IBM at the head of the Web Analytics pack in its most recent Wave report on the subject.

Forrester Research recently published their Wave report for Web Analytics, and in so doing named IBM has one of the Leaders and, in fact, putting IBM in the lead position on its Wave chart.

Not to say that IBM didn’t have some solid competition. Forrester noted four vendors lead the market, including Adobe, comScore and Webtrends.

Yet while the other three vendors had their own unique attributes, it was IBM which “viewed web analytics as a key component of its enterprise marketing management portfolio.”

In the Wave, IBM had perfect scores in corporate strategy and a top rating on current offering. This validation comes at less than 12 months following the acquisition of Coremetrics and Unica (forming the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio), and provides further market recognition of IBM’s  Smarter Commerce initiative.

The Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is a key solution supporting this initiative.  While this Wave focused specifically on web analytics, IBM’s real strategic commitment is in helping organizations respond to shifting consumer and business trends.

In this way, IBM’s web analytics offerings are considered a critical component of the Smarter Commerce initiative, designed to transform how companies manage and adapt to customer and industry trends such as online, social and mobile shopping.

Leadership ratings for IBM’s Digital Marketing Optimization Suite come as a tribute to the powerful combination of capabilities from Coremetrics and Unica NetInsight, now a single on-demand offering that fuses customer profiles, web analytics, and digital marketing execution to enable marketers to turn site visitors into repeat customers and loyal advocates by orchestrating a compelling experience throughout each customer’s digital lifecycle.

Here’s what Forrester had to say about IBM’s enterprise marketing management capability:

IBM. Since our previous evaluation, IBM acquired both Coremetrics and Unica in 2010. IBM has consolidated these companies into its Enterprise Marketing Management software division, and product portfolio integration is under way. IBM is incorporating the complementary and notable features of Unica NetInsight into a merged web analytics solution based on the Coremetrics platform. To stay ahead, IBM must execute on its vision for enterprise marketing by completing the product integrations in progress, gaining market traction for major initiatives such as Smarter Commerce, and creating synergies between web analytics and other IBM assets such as eCommerce, business intelligence, and predictive modeling.

Go here if you’d like to learn more about this report and to learn more about IBM’s enterprise marketing management strategy.

IBM Survey Results: The State of Marketing 2011

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The IBM Unica Marketing Innovation Summit is currently underway in Boston, Massachusetts (and for those of you in Berlin, will be in your fair city June 6-8).

At the event earlier today, IBM released its recent study, “The State of Marketing 2011,” which provided some very interesting and telling findings about that very topic.

As a marketer myself, I find myself eating up this kind of research, particularly in the kind of ever-volatile marketing environment we find ourselves operating in.

This study represents a comprehensive survey of almost 300 online and direct marketers from a mix of companies, revenues, and industries, and all responding companies reported more than $100M in revenue, with the largest block (54%) having over $1B revenue per annum.  All assume responsibilties across the complete spectrum of marketing roles, and over one third (35%) were marketing executives.

Without further adieu, let me provide a few headlines:

  • Marketers Seem Ready to Bridge the Gap Between Analysis and Action. This year, “measurement, analysis and learning” overtook “IT support of marketing needs” as the #1 marketing bottleneck.  After years of analysis paralysis, respondents identified “turning data-into-action” as their #1 org issue.  Can you relate?
  • Marketers Believe Technology Can Ease Their Pain. Over half also cited technology as the key to productivity. Marketers absolutely see technology helping resolve the challenge of meaningful measurement and analysis, and then choosing the next course of action — moreso, gasp, than additional staff or agency support.
  • Demand for An Integrated Marketing Suite Continues to Grow. As marketing’s need for technology grows and adoption matures, there’s a corresponding concern with integration — 87% of marketers express interest in a marketing suite that is better integrated. (And yes, we sell one.)
  • Marketers Believe in Interactive Marketing, But Have More Progress to Make Toward This Vision. While responses suggest that interest in achieving truly integrated cross-channel dialogs with customers is high, nearly half of survey participants report that they are only partially achieving that goal. The key barrier? Organizational structure and internal processes. Yet, 57% report the adoption of inbound marketing methods (personalized targeting/messaging) in their Web channels.
  • Social Media Marketing Experiencing Some Growing Pains. Once again, social media remains the reigning champion among emerging marketing channels, leading the way with 53% current usage. But, marketers’ enthusiasm is burning less brightly than last year, suggesting we have passed the peak of inflated expectations and are focused on finding the value that social channels can yield. (Big sigh of relief!)
  • Web Data is Highly Prized, But Putting it to Work in Campaign Decisioning Still Lags. Here’s a paradox for you: 92% of marketers appreciate the value and importance of Web data, yet half or less apply that data to customer analyses and campaigns. Of those that do, less than a third believe their efforts are very effective.
  • Mobile Marketing Continues to Rise. Consumers are rapidly adopting connected mobile devices and smart marketers are aggressively following their audience. 43$ of respondents say they currently use the tactic, with another 23% planning to do so within a year. Yet, there’s still plenty of room for integration with other marketing efforts.

So, for you marketers in the virtual room, do these all sound familiar? We as marketers are faced with an extraordinary pace of change and new capability, but the rapidity of these changes is outpacing our ability to maximize our embrace of all the new data and opportunity these capabilities create.

Yet, we can’t simply throw people at the problem (internal or agency partners).  We need to find more intelligent ways of utilizing technology to help breakdown barriers in the organization, integrate the view and responses to the consumer, and probably most pointedly, find a way to take all this new data and be able to quickly “action” it to the benefit of our marketing efforts (and, in turn, to our customers).

Those are just the highlights.  Click here to get the full report (in PDF format) to see the full sampling and analysis.

But, as the report itself summarizes, the good news in all this is that the proliferation of electronic channels has opened up many more possibilities for meaningful communications with customers.

The bad news, of course, is that with rapid channel proliferation we get mass confusion. In an environment already suffering from info overload, each new channel, tactic, and tool generates a flood of data that demands attention.

If you are interested in learning more about how intelligence, integration, and interactivity can drive your business results, visit our Interactive Marketing Resource Center.

There, you can get access to a video about the power of integrated marketing solutions and download the Unica Interactive Marketing eBook.

Or, you can continue floundering amidst all that endless trail of new marketing data and endure more analysis paralysis.

Closed Coremetrics Deal To Provide IBM Customers Smarter Web Metrics

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IBM announced today it had closed its acquisition of San Mateo, CA-based Coremetrics, a leader in Web analytics.

This acquisition will extend IBM’s business analytics capabilities by enabling organizations to gain real-time insight into consumer interactions.

It will also enhance IBM’s ability to help businesses rapidly gain intelligence into social networks and online media sources through a cloud-based delivery model, and to use this insight to create smarter, more effective marketing campaigns.

Smart marketers inside IBM are already looking at ways we can leverage this exciting new capability on IBM’s own behalf, and Coremetrics already has over 2,100 customers already leveraging their unique Web analytics capabilities across a wide range of industries.

These industries run the gamut, ranging from retail to financial services to media and publishing to travel and hospitality to education.  Current Coremetrics customers include companies like Holiday Inn, PETCO, 1-800 Flowers, Office Depot, Victoria’s Secret, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

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Coremetrics: Providing Real-Time Social Media Intelligence

Coremetrics offerings can provide real time intelligence on what consumers are saying about the products and services being offered to them and allow clients to make fact-based, accurate decisions on marketing expenditures. As a result, marketing teams can gain deeper insight about their consumers and present personalized recommendations, promotions and other sales incentives across a variety of channels where consumers interact with their brands. These channels span traditional outlets such as storefronts and catalogs and newer outlets including all forms of eCommerce and social media.

Coremetrics offerings are a new addition to IBM’s business analytics portfolio, with the web analytics capabilities clients need to help understand the shopping habits, likes and dislikes of their customers.

In addition, Coremetrics’ software complements IBM’s existing software and services portfolio of offerings from WebSphere, information management and business analytics and optimization.

Coremetrics’ capabilities will help businesses empower their marketing professionals to automate and optimize their marketing processes and create the greatest possible return on their marketing expenditures.

Consistent with IBM’s software strategy, IBM will continue to support and enhance Coremetrics’ technologies and clients while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

Joe Davis, CEO of Coremetrics, had this to say about the closing of the deal: "IBM and Coremetrics can help businesses rapidly gain intelligence into social networks and online media sources through a software as a service (SaaS) delivery model and incorporate this insight into their business processes to create smarter, more effective marketing campaigns.”

"Together, we can develop powerful new business analytics solutions, delivering a single source of information about every aspect of your online business — every customer, transaction, product, channel and supplier — to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and drive measurable business results. Further, we deliver on-the-go access to real-time analytics and performance data on all major smart mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android."

Coremetrics: Smarter, Faster Web Marketing Via The Cloud

Since 2006, IBM and Coremetrics have partnered to deliver a leading cross-channel business analytics solution specifically for use with IBM WebSphere Commerce software. 

Coremetrics for IBM WebSphere Commerce was designed to provide business managers with a clear view of their web sites, and to automatically create targeted marketing campaigns based on visitor behavior directly within the WebSphere Commerce solution.

Today’s announcement builds on this shared history and positions IBM to expand its analytics strategy, which includes a range of offerings available throughout IBM’s Software Group as well as the IBM Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization — a team of 5,000 consultants and a network of analytics solution centers, backed by an overall investment of more than $11 billion in acquisitions in the last five years.

The acquisition builds on a successful collaboration between Coremetrics and IBM around WebSphere Portal products.  Coremetrics will deliver integrated analytics within WebSphere Portal while also incorporating offline information. This will enable clients to take advantage of Coremetrics’ complete suite of analytics and marketing applications and services.

This acquisition also expands IBM’s portfolio of cloud computing services that offer a wide range of security-rich, cost-efficient technology resources over the Web, which can be integrated with clients’ on-premise systems.

Consistent with IBM’s software strategy, IBM will continue to support and enhance Coremetrics’ technologies and clients while allowing them to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio. 

Coremetrics’ approximately 230 employees will join the IBM Software Group which has acquired more than 55 companies since 2003.

Written by turbotodd

August 2, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Adomniture?

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There I was, minding my own business, trying to get a little work done, when out of nowhere the headline comes screaming across my screen: Adobe to Buy Omniture for $1.8B.

Whaaa?

Mind you, in the spirt of full disclosure, IBM employs the services of a variety of analytics partners (including Omniture), but watching an Adobe come in and purchase a Web analytics vendor seemed, on its face, downright nonsensical and disruptive.

That’s because it is.

A PriceWaterhouse Coopers, an Andersen, a Nielsen…all of those, I wouldn’t have winced, because they would seem like nice, objective, measurement-oriented companies for which an Omniture would be a nice fit.

But to see a deal between one of the leading Web development technology providers and a leading metrics vendor….well, I didn’t get it at first, but I think I’m starting to embrace the Shockwave.

Build the measurement capability as far upstream in the Web experience as possible, and you get the opportunity to measure its impact in the marketplace as far downstream as possible…and do so without the nasty intermediation of some third-party analysis partner, because now, you own the measurement tool!

Let’s deconstruct for a moment the announcement spin:  Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture furthers its mission to revolutionize the way the world engages with ideas and information. By combining Adobe’s content creation tools and ubiquitous clients with Omniture’s Web analytics, measurement and optimization technologies, Adobe will be well positioned to deliver solutions that can transform the future of engaging experiences and e-commerce across all digital content, platforms and devices

…For designers, developers and online marketers, an integrated workflow—with optimization capabilities embedded in the creation tools—will streamline the creation and delivery of relevant content and applications. This optimization will enable advertisers and advertising agencies, publishers, and e-tailers to realize greater ROI from their digital media investments and improve their end users’ experiences.

No question, we marketers are always on the lookout for tools that can help us better understand the impact of our activites in the marketplace.

It’s particularly key for the nascent digital marketer, where we’re often in the position of still having to prove our worth in salt.

But methinks an Omniture alliance with a player which has one of the admittedly leading Web technology development solutions may be taking it a pixel too far, because the perception could be that the fox is guarding the henhouse, on both sides of the fence.

If Adobe is able to build the Omniture measurement widget into its products upstream of other vendors, might that not give them an unfair advantage?

Does it also not set the RIA market spinning off into a whole other direction as Microsoft and other vendors scrambling to scoop up the remaining measurement crumbs (WebTrends, Coremetrics, etc.)?

Could that, in turn, lead to a Balkanization of Web metrics, just as we’re seeing a shift of traditional-to-digital marketing spend?

Will we be able to continue to edge towards an apples-to-apples comparision that CMOs everywhere are just beginning to trust?

Only time will tell, but ZDNet’s Larry Dignan ain’t completely buying it.

He cites several analysts who think the two companies’ business models won’t make for smooth integration.

Citing Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar:

The combination will be complicated by the company’s differing business models. As a SaaS delivery model, Omniture recognizes revenue ratably over the life of a contract, where Adobe recognized revenue on a transactional basis.

Deutsche Bank analyst, Thomas Ernst Jr., seems to see it through a similar lens as I:

The end-game appears to be the ability to combine analytical capabilities into the creative process vs. today’s approach of tagging web content after the content is created and deployed. We believe this is a strategic move that, in the near-term opens up Adobe’s significant global customer footprint to Omniture’s products, and in the long-term can represent an Adobe creative platform with embedded analytics, potentially a powerful differentiation.

For far too long, digital content development and market impact have had a woefully widened gap in the Web marketing industry, one that Omniture (and others) have been on their way to bridging.

You know the gap I’m talking about, the one where the CMO is looking for real empirical data before moving their Monopoloy marketing money over to Digital Park Place?

There’s no question Omniture has market-leading Web measurement and analytic capabilities that many of we digital marketers count on (pun intended) to help us make more intelligent marketing decisions.

I guess after this deal, many of us just want to be reassured that with Omniture becoming part of the Adobe family, the fox doesn’t go into the henhouse and eat all the chickens (particularly those who don’t wish to be penalized for not being full-on Adobe Web development shops).

Written by turbotodd

September 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

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