As if taking a cue from tech counterparts uniting their point solutions onto a single platform (like Salesforce1, Neustar's PlatformOne and AOL's ONE), enterprise giant IBM Tuesday rolled out IBM "ExperienceOne," a cloud and on-premise tech portfolio that is a culmination of its acquisitions and services.
These include Sterling Commerce, DemandTec, Tealeaf, Unica and Xtify. It will be sold in conjunction with IBM's consulting service and agency arm IBM Interactive Experience, as well as IBM's broader sales and services divisions.
This marks one of the initial stages of an integration with marketing automation SaaS provider Silverpop, a deal the company closed during IBM’s Smarter Commerce Summit this week in Tampa, Fla.
IBM swooped in on Silverpop as competitors like Oracle, Salesforce.com and Adobe have acquired or built their own marketing clouds. To some, it seemed a move on IBM’s part to make good on a $3 billion plan to invest for organic growth and acquisition.
“Since we’ve seen a number of email-related acquisitions over the past year, it was checking a box for them,” commented Rob Brosnan, SVP of strategy for marketing technology and services company StrongView and a former Forrester Research principal analyst. “It didn’t seem like they were saying, ‘We’re going to buy a big chunk of revenue and grow with it,' which is what they did with Coremetrics and Unica. It was more like, ‘We better fill a hole.’”
One source in the finance and investment space commended IBM for having “one of the most unified sales (efforts) of any of the different digital marketing suites. … (For) the most part they will go in and sell this” as a cohesive product portfolio.
Clients can access ExperienceOne via numerous portals, including IBM's campaign management and mobile push messaging products. IBM has made a number of functional advancements in line with those product areas following its acquisition last fall of mobile messaging platform Xtify; Xtify Reactor, a mobile push notification tool for desktop and mobile Web apps, has been rebranded as IBM Mobile Web Push within the IBM Campaign Creator console.
A number of digital marketers use IBM mobile tools, including customer Abercrombie & Fitch, which shared that mobile has become its flagship brand awareness tool. "Ninety percent of our target market sleeps with their phone," said Billy May, the clothing retailer's group vice president of digital and customer marketing. "For our consumer, context is critical. For a long time, the digital experience was a fixed desktop experience, but when the iPhone launched in 2007 it changed everything. The consumer became untethered."
In the case of Mexico's third largest financial services company Grupo Financiero Banorte, which serves more than 26 million Latin Americans, "striving for a segment of one" is a critical part of its digital marketing strategy, according to the financial group's chief strategic and value creation officer Fausto Hernandez Pintado.
The company is redefining the way it evaluates customer intelligence from disparate data sources such as bank branches, ATMs, the contact center, Web and mobile transactions to create master customer profiles (see AdExchanger's research note on the topic) and identify customers with higher lifetime value to the company.
Client needs are part of the reason why IBM is making a deeper push into a management consulting, digital agency and systems integrator role with IBM Interactive Experience.
"We’ve been investing in marketing automation and extending marketing into the full lifecycle of customer engagement for three years now, [and now we're bringing together the] capabilities of six different acquisitions," said Kevin Bishop, VP of enterprise marketing management for IBM. "[We are] pivoting from integrating between our platforms to a single, unified solution with more than 60 integrations with our broader portfolio of analytics and commerce." He said the changing nature of customer analytics -- following consumer's movements online to mobile to in-store, is what spurred the need.
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