By Kim Whitler
What are the biggest challenges facing marketers across the globe? According to a hot-off-the-presses study conducted globally by IBM (500 marketing managers) across 15 different industries, creating growth (through the acquisition of new customers) and sustaining growth (through superior loyalty) is at the very top. Forty-two percent of respondents suggested that acquiring new customers and 36 percent suggested driving loyalty and satisfaction were the biggest challenges facing their organizations.
While these results aren’t earth-shattering as it is likely that a survey a decade ago would have yielded a similar pattern, what is surprising is the items at the bottom. Only 21 percent of the respondents suggested that measuring ROI was the most challenging problem they faced, behind branding, leveraging data, understanding and effectively using social channels, and creating positive experiences for consumers. A few years ago, measuring ROI was at the top of everybody’s list. This perhaps suggests a sign of the times – that a tough marketplace, increased competition, a more global marketplace, and more savvy consumers has made growth especially challenging. Continue Reading »
By Jeanette Horan
Most CIOs will tell you that one of their top priorities is helping functions like sales, marketing, and HR stay agile, collaborative and equipped to make data-driven business decisions.
Take IBM for example. The information that IBM’s many departments need to do their jobs resides among more than one petabyte of Big Data (that’s one million megabytes). That’s a lot of data and business opportunities to be analyzed. For the past few years, IBM has called upon the cloud for business analytics to boost resource flexibility, departmental collaboration and enable faster, more informed business decisions.
At IBM we’ve been able to save $25 million over the past five years. Here’s what we’ve learned… Continue Reading »
By Jill Puleri
These are crucial times for brick-and-mortar retailers as they evolve to put the consumer at the center of all that they do. Those that make good decisions are going to prosper; those who don’t are going to slip to the back.
Central to retailers’ ability to remain relevant is their response to the mobile opportunity. Mobile commerce is expected grow 115 percent over the next 12 months. Though the opportunity is clear, capitalizing on it is full of complexity as retailers integrate web sites and supply chains together with the numerous mobile devices that consumers are using to shop.
Just a few years ago, many retailers were working feverishly to push out shopping applications for mobile devices. There was good reason for the rush: tens of millions of consumers are jumping on the smart-phone band wagon and using them to shop. Continue Reading »
By Michael Haydock
Jewelry sales are set to shine this year and expected to grow more than 11 percent in the second quarter and nine percent overall this year, according to a new Big Data-based retail forecast from IBM.
According to the analysis, improved consumer confidence, lower unemployment and enhanced stock dividends from the fourth quarter of 2012 have combined to leave people ready to start spending on luxury items again, like jewelry.
In addition, key retailers are buttressing the economic landscape and driving sales by leveraging Big Data analytics to better understand and respond to customers and trends. Sterling Jewelers, for example, which owns the popular Jared and Kay brands, overhauled its digital channels to better respond to changing consumer preferences. The move led to an increase in online sales of 49 percent this past holiday season. Continue Reading »
Mobile shopping also played a large role this past holiday as consumers reached for their smartphones and their tablets to shop. Overall sales from mobile devices increased 43 percent over 2011 and mobile site traffic increased close to 69 percent over the same period. It’s clear that more and more consumers are engaging in “couch commerce,” buying clothes, home goods, and other items from the comfort of their own couch. As consumers shop with the swipe of a finger, the iPad continues to be the device of choice, making up 35 percent of all mobile traffic – more than any other device. Continue Reading »
By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications
During the past year, we’ve profiled nine exceptional “People for a Smarter Planet” who exemplify the spirit of change, innovation, creativity and curiosity that lie at the core of building a smarter planet. They are inventors and researchers, academics and executives, thought leaders, dreamers, risk-takers, pioneers.
These individuals come from a wide range of fields and possess an array of interests and expertise. What they all have in common is a passion for their work and a commitment to make the world a better place.
They include Ruhong Zhou, whose avian flu research may help prevent a global pandemic; Dave Bartlett, IBM’s smarter buildings guru; Bill Reichert, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist with novel advice for entrepreneurs; and sustainability expert Sarah Slaughter.
If you haven’t met them yet, here are nine People for a Smarter Planet you should know.