Monthly Archives: May 2012
By Marcel Holsheimer
Marketing Executive, Worldwide Demand Generation, Enterprise Marketing Management
IBM Sales & Distribution, Software Sales
The IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012 – Madrid is now behind us, and I wanted to review one of the main themes we explored during the event:c how industry changes are affecting business and retail communities around the world.
One of the biggest changes over the past few years has been the rise in m-commerce. IBM’s recent Easter Shopping study found that mobile sales accounted for 15.4 percent of all online purchases, a 195.5 percent growth over the week leading up to Easter year on year and this is a trend that will surely only get stronger in the future. The increased ownership of smart phones and tablets, combined with the availability of mobile wallet and micropayment apps plus online services such as PayPal, means that consumers can now buy products at any time and from any location.
However, the proliferation of mobile devices has much wider ramifications beyond opening up an additional sales channel. For businesses, pervasive mobility is a fantastic way of getting closer to customers on the high street as well as online. Because the mobile device tends to be an integrated part of users’ lives, a personal possession that they carry with them wherever they go, it means that businesses can literally be inside the pocket of their customers.
I spent the better part of last week in Madrid at our Smarter Commerce Global Summit and as usual, I found myself on the flight home thinking about what I’d learned from my colleagues, clients and partners.
Smarter Commerce, when reduced to its very essence, comes down to strategically investing in technology in order to understand your customer. Jon Briggs, who served as our hilarious Master of Ceremonies, offered up this analogy: if you wish to be an effective speaker, you must consider your audience as a collection of individuals, rather than as an amorphous group. Anything short of that is an insult to the presumed intelligence of the people you’re addressing. The same is true in commerce. Take the time to get to know your customers. Market to them on as personal a level as possible. Sell to them on their terms: what they want, when they want it, where they want to buy it.
What we’re really talking about is the digital lifestyle and the many ways in which our constant and instantaneous access to information has forever changed our approach to the commerce landscape. We’re talking about Generation C, where the “C” stands for the connectivity of the digital lifestyle.
If you think that the impact of the digital lifestyle is limited to the world of commerce, consider this extraordinary article, How 100 iPads Saved Greece $140 Billion by Philip Elmer-DeWitt. The article tells the story of Bob Apfel and the ingenious (and mobile-savvy) way he went about orchestrating a massive debt restructuring deal for Greece. Greece’s financial crisis is dizzyingly complex and I won’t attempt to dissect it here, but the simple version is that the country is faced with the prospect of bankruptcy due to its inability to repay its debt.
It’s always gratifying to see companies using IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) solutions transform their marketing processes into an integrated, self-learning system that delivers strong ROI. First Tennessee Bank is a terrific example.
Like companies in many industries, First Tennessee’s marketing programs lacked relevance to the customer. They were poorly integrated and slow. Leads went stale, messages were disjointed and ROI was lackluster.
That was several years ago. Today, First Tennessee, headquartered in Memphis with about $25 billion in total assets, is reaping the rewards of an ambitious re-engineering of its marketing solutions infrastructure to meet the demands of the Generation C connected customer with integrated cross-channel interactions.
We recently had the pleasure of hearing an in-depth presentation on First Tennessee’s success from Tanner Mueller, the bank’s CRM marketing manager. Tanner gave a highly informative first-hand account of how First Tennessee coordinates outbound and inbound marketing at a recent IBM webinar, “How to Stop Marketing and Start Interacting with Customers.”
53% of consumers who follow brands on social media buy more from retailers with whom they have had constructive online engagements, 13% say they buy significantly more. Retailers seeing the largest gains in brand advocacy are those that know how …
1. What’s bringing you to the Madrid Summit?
The IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit where I’ll be speaking at the “How Cross Channel Customer Profiles Enable Smarter Marketing” session, on Tuesday, May 22nd. I’m also spending …
1. Please provide your boilerplate/company description.
Purple Square Consulting Ltd is a specialist marketing, data and technology consultancy whose primary objective is to assist our clients to define and build the most appropriate solutions to deliver their CRM and marketing objectives.
Our focus is on the application of IBM technologies within the marketing domain, specifically Unica, SPSS, Cognos and Coremetrics, where we can provide end-to-end support and delivery of our clients’ marketing initiatives and technology investment.
Follow us on twitter @purplesqconsult.
2. What are some of the highlights of your work with IBM? How do your solutions help your customers embrace Smarter Commerce?
Our consultants are experienced practitioners who cover the full range of direct marketing disciplines. This enables us to deliver optimal solutions to assist our clients to acquire, develop and retain the right customers in today’s multi-channel, information-led marketing environment. Since becoming an IBM EMM Reseller, we expect this to go from strength to strength.
Todd Watson writes, “[Mike] Rhodin’s talk was entitled ‘Transform Your Business Around the Customer,’ again with the central theme of theSummitthat if more businesses wanted to keep theirs, …
As part of the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, I led the Marketing Innovation Summit which brought together marketing professionals to network and discuss best practices. Of the 1,700 conference attendees, more than one thousand came from marketing backgrounds, providing a rich and in-depth conversation surrounding best practices for marketing effectiveness.
During the Marketing Innovation Summit, I focused on the idea of the Generation C (“C” for connected) customer. Today’s customer is digitally connected via an array of devices and channels and with that, consumers are far more in control than ever before. Consumer demands and expectations are great and it’s our job as marketers to evolve to meet those needs.
We know in order to succeed with Generation C, we must transform our marketing so it feels like a service, rather than what the customer perceives as an intrusion. So how do we increase our marketing effectiveness to achieve this goal? We start by reminding ourselves that we must practice consumer centricity and arm ourselves with as much data and information as we can when it comes to the preferences, buying behaviors, and attitudes of our target consumers. But this valuable information can’t stop at the marketer’s desk. Instead, we must share this information with other parts of the business, including our partners, agencies and customer communities. From a retail perspective for example, retailers should leverage consolidation between merchandising and marketing to better collaborate and work together to achieve overall marketing goals.