Customer Analytics

Deploy And Manage IBM Interact With Digital Data Exchange – No Coding Required!

Share this post:

The more sophisticated digital marketing gets, the more specialized solutions for niches within digital marketing emerge to help marketers build their own eco-system that best serves their needs. So, our clients of IBM Digital Marketing Optimization (formerly Coremetrics and Unica NetInsight) employ many of these solutions to extend our suite and build their own eco-system.

But enabling all that eco-system of solutions to collect digital data in order to function and interconnect with each other in real time can be easier said than done. 

That’s where our IBM Digital Marketing Optimization customers use IBM Digital Data Exchange (DDX), our real-time data syndication API and enterprise-grade tag management solution. DDX is the data powering IBM’s Digital Marketing Network that ties together over 100 certified digital marketing solutions from IBM and Business Partners.

How to access DDX and the IBM Digital Marketing  Network

As our Digital Marketing Optimization customers know, access to DDX and the Digital Marketing Network are available to them at no additional cost. Our customers’ authorized users access DDX straight in the suite’s user interface within the same drop down menu as all the other suite capabilities. 


Best of all, DDX follows the industry leading design of IBM LIVEmail and IBM Ad Target to achieve the same ease of use for interconnecting our IBM partners’ marketing solutions with IBM’s suite. You can simply browse the catalog of IBM and certified partner solutions, select the ones you are using and configure the solution’s data access through the DDX user interface screens with no manual coding needed. (As a side note: DDX of course also enables any custom tag management capabilities as you would expect.)


An example: Deploying tags for IBM Interact via DDX

As an example, here is how IBM Digital Data Exchange is used to deploy tags for IBM Interact, our real-time cross-channel marketing solution. If you aren’t familiar with IBM Interact, it is one of IBM’s flag ship marketing products that came into IBM from the acquisition of Unica in 2011. With Interact, marketers can personalize (in real time) the experience of customers interacting across online and offline channels, e.g. websites, call centers and other inbound marketing channels.  

Interact uses multiple ways to access data in order to decide in real-time – and based on a 360 degree view of the customer – what next marketing action can best serve each customer’s needs. So, for the web channel, Interact also uses JavaScript tags to collect real-time data and then to return the next best marketing offer, content, or action. Those Javascript tags need to be deployed just like with any other digital marketing solution.

In IBM Digital Data Exchange, users simply select IBM Interact from the list of pre-certified solutions. This brings up the workflow:


Step one is to provide DDX with the web URL of Interact’s installation so it knows where to go. Simply click “Partner settings” and fill in the right URLs for Interact’s production and staging location.


The IBM Interact tag is so simple to use that it captures all the real-time web data a cross-channel marketer needs without needing to configure additional field parameters on the client side. Instead, all configuration is done through the IBM Interact user interface by marketing users.

As a result, the only other thing that needs to happen now is to decide on which site zones and pages the Interact tag will be deployed, if not on all. You simply go to your page group settings that categorizes your site into sections that you wish to treat differently from tag perspective. Below is an example.


IBM Interact’s tags go into the HEAD section of a web page. Simply select one of the appropriate page groups or create new one for deploying tags in the HEAD section. On the “Head Container Tags” tab of the page group you can select the IBM Interact solution and add its single tag, the Web Connector Javascript to the page group.


Other tabs for the page group enable you to specify additional tag rules and details if you require a custom configured deployment.

Testing your tag configuration and defining your marketing campaigns

Now that you’ve assigned the Interact tag to a group of pages, it’s time to deploy the page group. Always good to first deploy to test. Simply go to the testing tab within DDX and drag the page group. Use the Introspection Tool that comes with DDX to review the behavior of the tag.

Going into the IBM Interact user interface you can configure Interact to respond to interactions with your desired marketing campaign actions. As IBM Interact users know, a convenient flow chart user interface is available that allows them to tie together cross-chanel data, historical profiles and real-time information and define marketing business rules.

Going back to the Introspection Tool you can then check how Interact responds to real-time interactions.

Deploying your Interact tags into Production

With testing and marketing campaign configuration completed, you’re ready to hit production. Most DDX users have administrative controls and security configured enabling them to restrict who in their organization is authorized to deploy. It is even possible to require multiple signatures before tags goes into production.

The set of authorized users can select “Production” from the “Deploy to” menu and save the page group with the IBM Interact tags to go live. The new tags are deployed to the IBM CDN and your personalized cross-channel marketing actions go live.


Going beyond traditional tag management

Our customers can do much more than to merely deploy IBM Interact tags via DDX. It’s possible to interconnect Interact tags with the tags of other digital marketing services so that for example retargeting campaigns are refined based on cross-channel customer insights.

We’re making it easy to deploy IBM’s marketing solutions so you can focus on your passion and build out your vision for real-time marketing. Happy marketing!

More stories

Innovating with AI and Blockchain for Professionals

We recently announced a definitive agreement under which HCL Technologies intends to acquire a select number of IBM marketing and commerce software products. HCL is a valued IBM partner with whom we already have a development partnership with, in support of the products in the announcement. HCL and IBM expect to close the transaction in […]

Continue reading

A New Era for Marketing and Commerce

Last week, we announced a sharpened focus on AI-powered and cloud-based applications, and that HCL plans to acquire certain marketing and commerce software. You can read more about the announcement here. While the transition is not planned to take place until mid-2019, I thought it was important to share what this means for our portfolio […]

Continue reading

How to Turn Customer Loyalty Programs into Love

“Loyalty programs increasingly need to have flexibility. In other words, it can’t just be ‘Buy ten get one free,’ at a coffee shop anymore. Stores themselves are starting to have to get creative with what loyalty means to them and giving the customers choice in what those rewards are.” — Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder, @RetailMinded […]

Continue reading