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IBM starts the CMO + CIO Dialog

IBM’s new CEO Ginni Rometty is targetting the CMO role in her first major client event. On June 6-7, Over 300 important IBM customers were invited to thie “CMO + CIO Leadership Exchange”. They attended in executive pairings – the company CMO plus CIO – to explore their business relationships and objectives related to Marketing Automation.

As an opening comment, Rometty stated that “IBM wants to set the agenda on the topic”, and she exhorted her customers to move fast, to capture the benefits. Over the two day session, the dialog and content was heavy on assessment of the current reality and challenges of customer data analysis.

IDC expects that IBM will drive the following (approximately) five messages / themes in to market, to reinforce the Marketing Automation imperative:

1. Technology is moving out of back office functions such as finance or operations, and into front office functions of marketing and selling.

2. Marketers and Sellers begin this journey into Marketing Automation with the problematic reality of attaining the current “Single version of the truth” regarding customer data and the customer record. They are hampered by IT legacy, management systems and processes, and company culture.

3. Capture and analysis of Big Data in Marketing is the quest. And 85% of marketing data is unstructured: the hardest form of data to analyze.

4. The future of marketing excellence will be owned by those who master predictive analytics that are extracted from customer data. With proper instrumentation and monitoring, it is easy enough to know where your customers have been or where they are at present. But where are they going, and what is their next move?

5. And, overall, this whole Marketing Automation mission is a race against time. There is a 12-36 month window to become a “Big Data Marketer”. Those who do not enter and win the race will risk not just the absence of marketing excellence, but might put their whole business at risk.

The Leadership Exchange agenda did not include a deeper dive in to IBM’s current or future solutions against that reality, but IDC expects that, logically, the solution-set portrayal will be IBM’s follow-up move.

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