IBM launches online marketing service

IBM's new service allows organizations to analyze their online marketing campaigns as they take place

IBM has combined a number of its online marketing software programs into a unified service, called the IBM Marketing Center.

IBM has designed the service, an IBM Smarter Commerce offering, for organizations to outsource their online marketing efforts, eliminating the need to purchase and stitch together new marketing software and hire an IT team to manage it. The service provides the ability to select target customers for a product campaign, to design an email solicitation or Web page, as well as analyze the results of how many people responded to these marketing efforts.

"Customers can do all this today, but they have to wire together a whole disparate set of systems," said Craig Hayman, IBM general manager of industry solutions. The marketing center combines two operations that are usually run by different sets of software, the software that manages email and Web-based promotional offers, and the software that analyzes the results. Combining these operations allows managers to test new marketing campaigns and quickly assess their success. "We have pulled that together into one service that runs in the cloud," Hayman said.

The service uses a number of different technologies from companies that IBM has recently acquired. In 2010, IBM acquired Coremetrics, a firm that provided a commerce-focused Web analytics service. Also that year, IBM purchased online marketing software provider Unica.

Organizations are charged on the basis of how many campaigns they run and how many users they reach. "Users just pay for what they consume. There are no upfront capital costs," Hayman said.

IBM announced this new service at its Smarter Commerce Global Summit conference, being held this week in Orlando. At the conference, the company also announced a new line of business process outsourcing (BPO) services from its Global Process Services group. The BPO service, called the Smarter Commerce Managed Services, is specifically aimed at running multi-channel marketing efforts. The company has also released the IBM Smarter Commerce Workbench, an asset repository of tools and best practices documentation designed for getting the most from IBM's commerce offerings.

IBM software and services are used to analyze related data from more than $100 billion in commerce transactions a year, IBM estimates. The company counts Bank of America, ConocoPhillips, Expedia, Lenovo, the Norwegian Cruise Line, Staples, and Urban Outfitters as customers. IBM announced that RadioShack will work with IBM to help personalize customer experiences at RadioShack's 4,700 stores.

At the conference, IBM also released the results of a 2011 survey of 1,700 chief marketing officers (CMOs). It found that 82 percent CMOs plan to increase their use of social media in the years to come. At this time, however, only 26 percent of CMOs currently track blogs to help shape their marketing efforts. About 42 percent track third party reviews and 48 percent are tracking consumer reviews.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?