IBM Aims to Make C-Suite a Little Sweeter

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Getting down the business at the New York CX lab in IBM’s Watson Research Center. (Photo: IBM)
Getting down the business at the New York CX lab in IBM’s Watson Research Center. (Photo: IBM)

Big Data, customer experience, and digital marketing—there's not a CMO out there today who isn't kept awake at night by those three terms.

The announcement of a series of new tools out of the India-based arm of IBM's Customer Experience Lab—coupled with the launch of IBM's cloud-based Digital Marketing Network—is, according to Big Blue, an effort to help harried marketers improve overall customer engagement and response by developing systems intended to glean deeper insights into individual customers and thereby meet the growing demand for personalization.

The IBM Digital Marketing Network, which is housed within IBM's Cloud Suite and part of IBM's overall Smarter Commerce initiative, is comprised of more than 100 partners, among them Google, online marketing intelligence company Evidon, and CRM platform CrowdTwist.

According to IBM, the network includes customizable dashboards to allow marketers to track omnichannel data. The offering will reportedly also enable members to take advantage of IBM's Digital Data Exchange, a tool that integrates with third-party solutions—and allows brands to maintain existing website tags—in order to cut down on the need for IT support for digital marketing campaigns.

In a similar vein, IBM's Customer Experience Lab—a marketing facility where IBM researchers partner with clients to develop new commerce and customer engagement solutions—announced the roll out of three new tools to complement its existing work with the Watson Engagement Advisor, which was unveiled at IBM's Smarter Commerce Global Summit earlier this year.

IBM Edge Analytics promises to help brands cross-reference customer information, including location and purchase activity, to provide more context to customer data. Vibes is a software solution designed to help CMOs with their targeting needs. And lastly, the Social Media Event Tracker Tool uses natural language processing and text mining to derive insights from social chatter.

IBM spends about $6 billion on research each year and maintains 12 labs across the world; everywhere from Massachusetts and New York to Africa and Ireland.

The overall goal of the Digital Marketing Network and the lab's new toys is to move ever closer to reduced segmentation and, ultimately, a market segment of one. As Mike Rhodin, IBM's SVP of software solutions, told Direct Marketing News last year: “[That's] the Holy Grail of marketing.”

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