Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘coremetrics

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: 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.

No More Business As Usual: The Road To Smarter Commerce

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I mentioned in my last post that I must have been dreaming on the way over to Madrid. Or maybe it was just all these thoughts running through my head before I actually drifted off to some semblance of jet-engine-drone-induced slumber.

The English East India Company was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. The Company was granted a Royal Charter in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

One of those thoughts reminded me of the guy in the YouTube video who reminded us all what an amazing time we live in. That we can climb into what essentially constitutes a rather large beer can and zoom a few thousand miles away in only a matter of hours. In a journey that, once upon a time, would have taken a Benjamin Franklin or a Thomas Jefferson weeks by sea, and likely would have been filled with seasickness, scurvy, or worse, when all they wanted to do was get there.

That was one of my thoughts: Then I fell asleep somewhere near Dallas and woke up somewhere over lovely Spain.

Be Amazed By This Amazing Opportunity

But I also dreamed of commerce. Of its history, and its evolution, and what an amazing time we live in terms of how we conduct business.

I went and looked up “commerce” on Wikipedia, curious as to what the “crowd” out there had to say. That, too, is another relatively new concept, to be able to “crowdsource” information from people around the globe.

Their definition goes something like this: Commerce is the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any country. Thus, commerce is a system or an environment that affects the business prospects of an economy or a nation-state.

First, there were barter economies, where trading was the principal “facility” in which peoples bartered for goods and services from one another.

Then, currency was introduced as a standardized money, which, facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services — everything from coins to lumps of precious metals to, today, even virtualized currency like “Bitcoin.”

But these days, as the Wikipedia entry observes, commere also includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (consisting of both individuals and other companies) at the lowest production cost.

The Early Road To Smarter Commerce

So what did some of those early commerce scenarios look like? Imagine, for example, how the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East.

Or the “Silk Road,” which was established after the diplomatic travels of the Han Dynasty Chinese envoy Zhang Qian to Central Asia, which allowed Chinese goods to make their way to India, Persia, the Roman Empire — and vice versa.

The English East India Company was an English and, later (from 1707), British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company operated its own large army with which it controlled major portions of India.

In more recent times, we saw the introduction of 23 countries agreeing to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1947, which attempted to rationalize trade among nations.

Going All In…For Your Customer

Today’s smart 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.

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.

No More Business As Usual

This ultimately means, of course, that there is no longer such a thing as “business as usual.” Empowered and connected consumers are deeply linked — to their friends, colleagues, and the world at large — and they evaluate and compare the quality of their experiences with those of others. And they are the ones who can reward, or penalize, the businesses that do, or do not, give them what they want.

This is new trading crossroads of the 21st Century, and it is those companies who are interested and compelled to act to enable and encourage this new consumer who are in attendance here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit here in Madrid this week.

To thrive in this new age of the customer, they recognize they must understand the motivations of each individual purchaser. They must predict, and not merely react to, customers’ needs and preferences.

They must understand not only what they buy and where, but also why and how they choose to buy it.

That’s what this new world demands. That we need not only a better system of doing business.

But, also, a “smarter commerce” environment, one that puts the customer at the center of all operations, and that helps companies better buy, market, sell and service their offerings accordingly.

No Bull! IBM Marketing Innovation Summit 2012

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I’m heading back to one of my favorite cities in the world in May, to Madrid.

Turbo during his first visit to Madrid in June 2008, where he visited the world-famous Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, the "home" of bullfighting in Spain.

I first visited Madrid traveling on business in June 2008, an auspicious time to be there, as the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament was quickly winding down to a conclusion.

One night, June 10th to be precise, my IBM cabal and I were looking for a small bar or restaurant to take in the Spain v. Russia match, when we heard a loud cheer go up in unison across the city.

“Spain one, Russia nil,” I announced.

That echo sent chills down my spine, as did the wild celebration later that evening after Spain trounced Russia 4-1.  Spain later went on to win the whole shebang in a 1-0 final over Germany.

Anyhoo, enough reminiscing.

If you’ve never visited Madrid, I’m going to provide you with an excellent raison: The IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012.

From May 22-24, the IBM Smarter Commerce will be the most significant European gathering of marketing professionals in a single place, one filled with four days of learning, networking, and exploring best practices in the commerce realm.

If you need some convincing with your boss, download the “Top 5 Reasons to Attend.” 

They go like this:

1. You get to network with Turbo.

2. You get to hang at the hotel bar with Turbo.

Oh, wait.  That was a different list.

Anyway, once you preview the sessions  with your boss you won’t have to do much convincing.

Here’s a couple of session titles that jumped right out at me: “Beyond Dashboards: Driving Marketing Returns With Digital Analytics.”

Or how about this one: “Tag Management Zen: Using Tags To Drive Innovation.”

Or even this: “Social Media & Mobile Marketing: Moving From Siloed to Intertwined.”

They’re going to have to drag me away kicking and screaming.

Here’s the bottom line page: Register here.

Before April 1, you only have to pay 895 Euros, at which point it goes up to 1195 Euros.

In the meantime, keep an eye out here on the Turbo blog, as I expect I’ll be passing along some travel tips (including restaurant and sightseeing recommendations) for Madrid.

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.

Black Friday: U.S. Online Retail Up 20% Year-Over-Year!

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I had absolutely nothing to do with shopping today, online or off.  But I seemed to have been a minority, and for those retailers looking to the holiday season to help bolster an otherwise anemic year, they will be excited by the news delivered today by the IBM Coremetrics e-retailing Black Friday Benchmark Report.

No flies on those guys! Apparently they were too busy counting everyone else’s clicks to pursue any of their own.

Click image to enlarge. Black Friday e-retail sales in U.S. were up 20% over the same period last year, with consumers turning to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets for their e-shopping efforts more than they ever have.

E-retail sales at major online retailers were up 20 percent as of 3 P.M. EST this afternoon, compared to the same time on the Friday after Thanksgiving last year.

The survey monitors some 500 major U.S. Online retailers, and the 20 percent is in line with the 20 percent year-over-year increase IBM was reporting mid-day yesterday.  However, apparently lots of folks are holding out until they’ve allowed the turkey trytophan to kick in and the evening football games to start, because full-day online Thanksgiving sales ended 39 percent up over the holiday last year and they soared Thursday evening.

Mobile devices also played a much bigger role in online shopping this year, according to the benchmark.  Shoppers are making 9.73 percent of their purchases from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, about the same as Thanksgiving day. And, as much as 17.37 percent of traffic to e-retail sites is coming from mobile devices, higher than even the 15.2 recorded yesterday.

Following are some other key highlights from this afternoon’s report (again, as of 3 P.M. EST):

  • Consumer spending increased: Online sales were up a healthy 15.9 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value up from $170.19 to $190.80 for an increase of 12.1 percent.
  • Luxury goods are making a comeback. Jewelry retailers reported a 17.6 percent increase in sales.
  • Social shopping. Consumers appear increasingly savvy about their favorite brands’ social presence, and are turning to their social networking friends for information about deals and inventory levels. 
    • Though the percentage of visitors arriving from social sites is fairly small relative to all online visitors — nearly 1 percent — it’s gaining momentum, with Facebook dominating the space.
  • Surgical shopping. Consumers know what they want and where to get it. People are viewing 18.0 percent fewer products on sites than they did last year, suggesting they are shopping with a specific item in mind and quickly moving up. (My kind of shopping! Surgical strike, indeed!)
  • Mobile shopping. Consumers are embracing mobile as a shopping tool, with 5.6 percent of people logged onto a retailer’s site using a mobile device on Black Friday (a jump of 26.7 percent compared to last Friday!)

The report also provided some color commentary on the types of retail categories and products that are especially sought this year:

  • Department stores.  They’ve become the research engine of choice for consumers looking for Black Friday deals and product promotions. As a consequence, shoppers are spending 17.7 percent more time year over year on department store sites.
  • Health and Beauty. A reported rise of 73.1 percent in the number of new consumers completing their first purchase on their sites and a 53.4 percent jump in the number of visits in which consumers completed an order.
  • In-Store Sales for Consumer Electronics and Appliances. These are expected to increase 3.5 percent this year compared to last, with consumers spending a larger-than-usual share in November, according to an analytics-based forecast from IBM’s Global Business Services division.

U.S. consumers have been increasing their savings relative to disposable income, from 2 percent in 2007 to nearly 6 percent today, which has led to strong pent-up demand for consumer electronics and appliances, both of which are typically seen as necessities in today’s economy.

Stay tuned here on the Turbo blog for other upcoming reports on the holiday season’s retail tidings.  It’s still Black Friday, we still have the weekend, and Cyber Monday is a full three days away!

Smarter Web Metrics

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The weekend in sports proved to be as about as exciting as I had hoped.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke became the third man from that region to win a golf major in 3 of the last 6, and it was Clarke’s first British Open title.

And as to the U.S. Women’s soccer team, they played a nailbiter of a match, but in the end the team from Japan won on penalty kicks.

My hat goes off to both teams.  I had a whole living room full of soccer fans, and we were all nervous wrecks up to that last penalty kick that gave Japan this year’s World Cup trophy.

Still, it was an awesome game all the way around, and I wish my friends in Japan a very happy celebration.  They could probably stand some good news about now!

Now, on to business.

Later today, IBM will announces its second quarter 2010 earnings.  You can check the Investor Relations site for more details.

On the announcement front, today saw the introduction of a new cloud-based Web analytics and digital marketing suite intended to help organizations automate online marketing campaigns across their online channels, including web sites, social media networks, and even mobile phones.

The new offering combines the best of Coremetrics and Unica, and provides analytics that help companies better determine the effectiveness of new products and services, fine tune their marketing campaigns, and create personalized offers in real-time across channels.

More Digital, More Integration

With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical that marketers understand online behavior and refine their marketing activities accordingly.

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization 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:

  • 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
  • Supports deep analysis into how customers interact with a brand over time and when each marketing program is the most effective.

Using this technology, businesses will be able to evaluate Facebook or Twitter activity, and offer customers tailored promotions delivered to their mobile devices on the fly.

IBM’s suite 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 would receive special offers via email to purchase tablet accessories.

The benefit to the customer is a consistent, relevant brand experience that reflects all of their online preferences, not just what they did, read or saw on one specific site.

Smarter Web Metrics, Smarter Commerce

The IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the newest addition to IBM’s family of Smarter Commerce solutions,which is focused on helping companies more effectively market, sell and secure greater customer loyalty in the era of social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and swiftly adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the entire commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

To learn more about this and other marketing solutions please visit the IBM Enterprise Marketing Management site.

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