Business Challenge

Knowing your customer base is key to devising targeted marketing messages that appeal to individual needs and preferences. How could Ingersoll Rand achieve this?


The company uses an automated marketing platform to combine data on purchasing histories with behavioral, demographic and contextual information—deepening its customer insight.



messages to unique customer preferences, helping to boost open rates


relevant content, increasing the likelihood of conversion


personalized customer support after adverse weather, nurturing loyalty

Business challenge story

Personalized messages get results

Ingersoll Rand is a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Serving customers from a wide range of industries, the company aims to zero in on the specific needs and preferences of each segment: a powerful way to ensure great service and drive sales.

“Our businesses have a broad variety of customers, each with their own specific needs,” says Melanie Fox, digital engagement leader at Ingersoll Rand. “For example, a HVAC servicing technician uses a very different set of our services than a self-servicing owner does—and messages or promotions that would resonate with one of those groups wouldn’t necessarily be relevant to the other.

“In the past, we weren’t tracking much information about customer preferences—order histories were all we collected. Because we didn’t have data around the ways that different types of customers were interacting with our digital campaigns, sites and landing pages, it was very difficult to target our messaging.”

Ingersoll Rand realized that generic, catch-all campaigns were limiting the effectiveness of its marketing efforts, and the company looked for a fresh approach to grab its customers’ attention.

“We wanted to go beyond the mentality of sending out generic campaigns to large batches of customers, and instead build localized, targeted segments that would enable us to speak directly to the specific needs of different customer groups,” says Fox. “To achieve that goal at scale without increasing the size of our team, we knew that we would need a way to dramatically improve the efficiency of our marketing processes, which were based heavily on manual, time-consuming work.”

We’re confident that our IBM digital marketing solutions will empower us to build even closer relationships with our customers in the years to come

Melanie Fox, Digital Engagement Leader, Ingersoll Rand

Transformation Story

Gaining insight into unique customer preferences

To achieve its goal, Ingersoll Rand teamed up with IBM to deploy a digital marketing platform based on IBM® Watson Campaign Automation.

“One of the things that impressed us most about the IBM solution was its ability to automate time-consuming processes such as segmentation—enabling us to build personalized campaigns at speed and scale,” says Fox. “For example, we can now create campaigns with dynamic content designed to appeal to specific customer roles. This means that we can reuse the same basic campaign template, but show the recipients different creative, information and images depending on factors such as their job title.”

With IBM Watson Campaign Automation, Ingersoll Rand can also target messages based on a customer’s location, which is especially useful to drive foot traffic to in-store marketing events.

“If one of our customers RSVPs on the campaign landing page for an event, our local marketing leaders can now design ultra-targeted campaigns to follow up with them as the event draws closer,” Fox explains. “By continuously engaging with our customers throughout the event lifecycle, we can help drive up attendance and make it easier to collect feedback afterwards to understand what our customers liked and what they didn’t—helping us make future events even more valuable.”

Extreme conditions such as flooding and hail storms can drive increased demand for parts and maintenance for HVAC equipment. By integrating IBM WeatherFX® for Watson Campaign Automation from IBM Watson Advertising, Ingersoll Rand can enrich its marketing data with contextual information on weather trends.

“It’s not just extreme hot and cold conditions that affect HVAC servicing needs; adverse conditions such as flooding also have a huge impact,” says Fox. “When bad weather strikes, we can proactively reach out to customers in the cities affected. For example, if a hailstorm has recently battered an area, we can share advice that customers should check their HVAC coils for damage, and share a link to contact their local store for more support.”

Results story

Delivering targeted outreach at speed and scale

Thanks to the IBM solution, Ingersoll Rand is now better-placed to devise and launch automated, personalized marketing campaigns that speak directly to individual customer requirements.

“Our customers are inundated with email, and it’s more important than ever that when we reach out to them, it’s to share something that’s relevant and valuable,” says Fox. “Because we can now use automated tools to personalize our messages, we predict that we will see substantial improvements in key campaign performance metrics such as open rates, click-throughs and conversion. Crucially, we can share more personalized messages every month than we could before—creating new opportunities for customer engagement.”

By following up with customers who attend in-store events, the company can cultivate lasting dialogues that nurture loyalty and engagement.

“We want to form long-term business relationships with our customers, and help them maximize the value of their investment in HVAC solutions,” adds Fox. “Events are an important way to help strengthen those customer relationships. By helping us drive up attendance through personalized messages, our digital marketing solutions definitely make an important contribution to nurturing customer loyalty.

“Our journey with intelligent marketing automation is just beginning, and we’re very excited by what the future holds. Looking ahead, we’re particularly interested in the potential of cognitive solutions to deliver decision-support for our marketers. For example, this might involve suggesting audience profiles for campaigns that we might not otherwise have considered. We’re confident that our IBM digital marketing solutions will empower us to build even closer relationships with our customers in the years to come.”

The letters "IR" are enclosed in a red oval. The words Ingersoll Rand are written in red text next to the oval.

Ingersoll Rand

Founded in 1871 and headquartered in North Carolina, Ingersoll Rand specializes in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments for homes, buildings, transport and industries. Employing over 52,000 people, the company operates global offices and produces a comprehensive range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solutions.

Solution Components

  • Electronics: Digital Marketing & Sales Reinvention
  • IBM Watson Campaign Automation
  • Marketing Software Managed Hosted Legacy

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