IBM rolled out an analytics and marketing tool that represents its first new offering since acquiring Coremetrics and Unica in 2010.
Yuchun Lee, VP of IBM's enterprise marketing management group, said the tool is part of IBM's "smarter commerce" push to provide businesses with solutions for "buying, marketing, selling, and serving." It expands upon the company's long-standing business software products, such as its WebSphere e-commerce platform and Cognos business intelligence tool.
Up until now, customers of IBM's technology, including its commerce software, have typically been chief executive officers and chief information officers, Lee said. "This is the first time IBM is addressing the needs of chief marketing officers," he said, pointing out that $1 trillion a year is spent on advertising and marketing.
Lee, former Unica CEO, said the analytics tool is based on technology from both Coremetrics and Unica's NetInsight. Interestingly enough, the tool's name – IBM Coremetrics Web Analytics and Digital Marketing Optimization Suite – dumps the Unica brand name, which was lesser known than Coremetrics.
In addition to analytics, Lee said the digital marketing optimization tool marries features from Coremetrics such as targeting, intelligent offering, and social analytics tools. Features from Unica include campaign, email, and lead management tools.
Andrew Edwards, a managing partner at consultancy Technology Leaders, has not seen IBM's new offering. In an interview with ClickZ News, he said it's likely that IBM selected one of the two platforms – either Coremetrics or Unica - to serve as the tool's foundation and then added features from the second tool to that foundation. "Integrating is an interesting word. I have not really seen it happen where platforms are melded into one. From a technology point of view, that's not easily achievable…It's like joining two buildings together," he said.
IBM is not alone in advancing its analytics and marketing tools. Adobe, which acquired Omniture, plans to offer a social analytics tool to its customers in coming months; it includes sentiment and text analytics software from Clarabridge, according to Chad Warren, senior manager product marketing, social marketing, at Adobe.
In addition to Adobe, IBM's rivals include Google, which offers a free tool, and Webtrends.
Analytics companies have been moving beyond tracking website visits and conversions as people spend more time on social networks and mobile devices. This is occurring as businesses seek to better understand the impact that online advertising and marketing campaigns are having on offline commerce – and vice versa..
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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.