Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘unica

Getting Ready For Smarter Commerce

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Happy Thursday.

We’re getting down to the wire for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, taking place in Orlando, Florida in the second half of next week.

Scott Laningham and I have been working hard preparing for all the interviews we’ll be conducting (and trying to find a hotel room!).

Seats are going fast.  That’s not Turbo marketing speak.  They’re literally going fast.  But, I’m sure we’ll be able to make room for you if you still wish to register!

In terms of the speakers and attendees, I’ll just say this: It’s an esteemed and distinguished group of folks.

I’ve been doing research on all my interviewees, and I’ve been very impressed with the caliber of their backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments.

Not that I’m surprised, mind you…it IS an IBM sponsored event.

Now, what do I think you’re going to hear about if you do attend (or, via the social stream, in case you don’t).

Simply put, I think there are a few overarching themes I’ve been surmising from my research.

First, marketing is changing dramatically. Lower entry costs through the cloud and pervasive broadband and wireless, combined with social media and the emerging mobile extensions via tablets and smartphones, means you can (and should?) reach out and touch and communicate with your customers early and often.

But if you do so with a fragmented and uncoordinated approach, don’t be surprised when you read the hate Tweets two minutes after the hour.

Second, brand still matters…maybe more than ever. Think about the notable brands of the world.  Some of my faves: BMW, Titleist, Coca-Cola…

The quality of the product or service still matters, sure. But the brand isn’t just about what you say…it’s about what you DO, and how your brand responds to all those new stimuli.

Third, if you really want to know what’s going on with your customers and the marketplace — and, to distinguish yourself from your competition — you have to know what’s going on out there, again, early and often.

You have to know what’s going on from the broadest market level, to the category level, to the product level, to the influencers who shape the market conversation around your products and services.

That means having the means, methodologies, and talent in place to take advantage of increasingly real-time analytics.

So, a quick recap: Synchronicity, Constant Awareness and Communication With Your Constituents, and Market Understanding.

If you’re joining us down in Orlando next week, you’ll hear from world-class experts on these topics and many more.

If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the conference hashtag (#ibmscgs), along with #smarter commerce, to hear about all the new technology, best practices, industry perspectives and visionary thinking that can help you optimize your business.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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.

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.

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.

IBM Introduces New Social Media Metrics And Tracking Tools

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If you interact with the social media world at all, you know what an immense opportunity there is to gather, analyze, and act on all the great data floating around.

But, as is the case with so many organizations, there’s an increasing challenge to make sense out of all that information, particularly in real-time.

IBM just announced a solution intended to assist on this front, new cloud-based software that is designed to help marketers gain real-time, actionable insight from data available across social media channels.

This new software builds on IBM’s business analytics capabilities by helping organizations to develop faster, more precise social media marketing programs that support their brand’s total online presence through a cloud-based delivery model.

IBM Coremetrics Social

IBM Coremetrics Social helps companies analyze the business impact of their social marketing initiatives.  It does so by helping them  measure the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of their social marketing initiatives by gaining insight from data that’s publicly available on social media websites.

“IBM’s approach to social media analytics is based on the understanding that people interact with an organization’s brand in a number of ways — including email, social networking sites and company Web sites — and the true measure of business impact demands a fully integrated view of the interaction with these resources,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics, about the announcement.

“The new social media analytics software unveiled today will help marketers develop more targeted, highly-measurable, and effective social media marketing campaigns.”

This follows IBM’s recent announcement of new software and the creation of a new consulting practice dedicated to the emerging category of “Smarter Commerce,” which is focused on helping companies swiftly adapt to rising customer demands in today’s digitally transformed marketplace.

Smarter Commerce includes new cloud analytics software that enables companies to monitor their brand’s presence in real-time through social media channels to better assess the effectiveness of new services and product offerings, fine tune marketing campaigns, and create sales initiatives in real-time.

IBM also announced IBM Unica Pivotal Veracity Email Optimization Suite, which analyzes email links that are shared across social network platforms, enabling marketers to better capitalize on opportunities across channels.

It has become routine for social networks to be used as a resource to broadly share links to special offers made available by companies via email. Well-known brands can expect to see as much as 38 percent of their special offer email links shared across social networks. An average of 28 percent of these links is then ‘liked’ or commented on.

The new IBM Unica Pivotal Veracity Email Optimization suite tracks and analyzes email links that are shared across social network platforms, delivering actionable insights which marketers can turn into recognizable profit.  Unlike other technologies, this new offering opens the doors for marketers to identify, track, and improve the perception of their brands across channels.

The Social Email Analytics software tracks all links associated with a marketer’s brand and email, not just the intended links a marketer shares.

This approach better encompasses and reflects the emerging complexities and ramifications of consumer interactions with brands, starting with email and ending up in the social realm. With this new software, marketers can also hone Web pages for social networks and better identify opportunities across channels.

Written by turbotodd

March 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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