NEW YORK: IBM, the technology company, is leveraging “business-to-individual” (B2I) marketing as it seeks to reach members of its target audience in meaningful ways.

Cecilia Correa, Director of IBM’s Global Advertising, discussed this topic during a session at an event held by Kantar Millward Brown to launch the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands report.

“When we think of IBM as a brand, we don’t think about it as B2B, but more B2I: business-to-individual,” she said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: IBM’s “business-to-individual” marketing formula.)

Building on this theme, she argued that the firm aims to look beyond the kind of tactics that have typically defined enterprise-to-enterprise communications.

“So, it’s not about business-to-consumer, but it’s not just about business-to-business. It’s about marketing to the individual,” Correa said.

“If you have that context and reference, the way that we develop creative is really trying to connect to you as an individual, not just as a business decision-maker, or an IT decision-maker.”

On the one hand, IBM will express what Correa called a clear “point of view” on important subjects in the technological world, like cloud computing, adapting to digital change, and the potential of analytics.

Equally, however, the brand’s objective is to pursue activations capable of “connecting to people through the intersection with cultural moments and the things people care about,” she continued.

This approach has been evidenced, for example, by creating a song, a dress and a movie trailer that were each inspired by Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform, but mixed with human insight and inspiration.

Such initiatives, Correa reported, reflect a focus on “connecting to people as individuals and being in places where they care” – which, in turn, means moving well beyond the channels favoured by traditional business-to-business marketers.

Sourced from WARC