IBM, the technology company, has embraced agile marketing as a means of driving return on investment and adapting its messaging at speed.

Michelle Peluso, IBM’s SVP and CMO, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Masters of Marketing Week.

“As marketers, we’re on a mission more and more to make sure we understand the physics of every dollar we spend,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How IBM marketing maintains corporate values … and changes everything else.)

The goal for Big Blue, as described by its top marketer, is to achieve “the radical transparency of the data foundation that [enables] every one of our 360,000 employees at IBM to see how their teams’ dollars are performing live, in-market.”

IBM's spin on agile marketing carries the name Pearl, a smart system that lets the company’s marketers access the latest data and optimise campaigns.

“At any given point in time,” Peluso said, “we have $400 million in media dollars deployed. Pearl shows me how all of my different teams, at the business unit level, are performing in efficiency and effectiveness.

“All 6,000 of our marketers around the world spend all day every day in this system,” she added. “With an AI chatbot, they can figure out what they’re searching for,” including real-time performance updates.

Peluso provided an example: “If you’re the securities CMO, you double-click on ‘security’ and see all the major campaigns – $43 million – that you have in-market, and which ones are performing better than others.

“You can track and see how the campaigns are performing over time, making sure they’re moving up and to the right. You can double-click on any part of the media spend – any campaign – and see how the spend is performing across the different channels and what the engagement rating is.”

Even with the depth of detail and the potential for granular analysis, she said, it takes around three minutes to ensure the optimal use of a digital offering.

“This is how we expect our marketers to work, and live, and breathe every single day,” Peluso said. “And we don’t stop: every day, [the Pearl] team is releasing new capabilities so that marketers can do the work of marketing.

“No more spreadsheets. No more back and forth. No more competing versions over what matters most.”

Sourced from WARC