The Case for Radical Simplicity in a Complex World

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When did it all get so complicated?  That’s what I asked myself over the weekend as I was thinking about the current state of online marketing.

Think about it: how many times have you, a marketing expert, found yourself shaking  your head (or your fist) in frustration as you tried to make sense of your latest analytics report?  Your analytics partner should simplify your approach to marketing, putting the customer at the center of every ROI calculation, and delivering reports that don’t require an army of Ph.D.s to arrive at actionable insights. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Turns out this is a radical idea. But we at IBM are leading the way with a customer-centered approach to commerce, based in large part on the power of analytics data. That’s why we’re launching two new products that will make it a lot easier for you to create compelling, highly personalized marketing programs.

The first product, the IBM Coremetrics Digital Data Exchange, makes it easy for companies to deploy and maintain web site page tags with minimal support from IT. We’ll serve as a single source for the collection and distribution of real-time behavioral digital data.  In practical terms, this means that you and your team will be able to work with your partners—ad networks, survey vendors, multivariant testing vendors, and email service providers—to execute new marketing programs and services on the fly and without the productivity-killing overhead of having to manage individual JavaScript page tags. A radical approach to be sure, but one that puts your focus where it should be: on the customer and your marketing, not on page tags.

The second product, IBM Coremetrics Enterprise Analytics, represents a new way of thinking about digital analytics: one that is aligned with the structure of your business. It turns out that many businesses today run dozens (or in some cases, even thousands) of websites across multiple geographies, brands, or kiosks. Unlike your digital data, people are analog – they are complicated and their shopping, browsing and information-gathering habits are no less so. The only way to fully understand how customers are interacting with these many brands or sites is to share analytics data at multiple levels—from individual sites, to a variety of user-defined groups of sites, all the way to the global level.  And that’s exactly what we’re enabling businesses to do, without double tagging or double server calls.

These new offerings are all about simplification in the name of customer-focused marketing. We’ll continue beating this drum until every single one of our clients’ customers view marketing as a value-added service. Until then, expect more radical simplicity from your friends at IBM.

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