IBM is using its information technology and consulting prowess to get into the marketing services business.
According to Ad Age, IBM’s “Smarter Commerce” initiative links its 2010 acquisitions Coremetrics, a web-analytics firm; Unica, an interactive-campaign-management firm; and Sterling Commerce, a retail-systems and analytics company in a rollup of web analytics, consumer behavioral data, store data and consumer research.
The Smarter Commerce practice will analyze everything from social-media buzz to what time of day consumers buy which products to marketing-campaign effectiveness. It also aims to provide automated personalized shopping experiences, marketing and promotions.
Focusing heavily on the digital-marketing-to-retail link makes increasing sense, according to IBM, because 70% of a customer’s first interaction with a product or service now takes place online and 64% of customers across all businesses now make a first purchase because of a digital experience.