Newspaper article International New York Times

Facebook and IBM to Join Forces ; Partnership Will Bolster Data-Fueled Marketing in Personalizing Ads

Newspaper article International New York Times

Facebook and IBM to Join Forces ; Partnership Will Bolster Data-Fueled Marketing in Personalizing Ads

Article excerpt

The partnership will combine the companies' data skills to help retailers and consumer brands move toward personalized marketing.

Personalized marketing -- the product pitch or message that really hits its target, the right person at the right time -- is the much-discussed ideal in advertising and sales.

The truth is that personalized marketing is, well, mostly marketing today. With modern tools of data analysis, it is becoming increasingly possible to identify customer groups in smaller segments than the big demographic buckets of the past, which filtered by age, gender, income and place of residence. But smaller audiences are still a long way from personalized marketing.

On Wednesday, IBM and Facebook were set to announce a partnership to take a step closer to the ideal. The partnership stems from how the companies bring complementary strengths to the lucrative business of data-fueled marketing.

IBM's data analytics business caters to major retailers and big consumer product brands. And Facebook, the social networking giant, does too. IBM's data scientists do a lot of social media and sentiment analysis, but not with the vast laboratory of human behavior and preferences that Facebook has.

"Our clients have urged us to bring Facebook into the equation because it is so important," said Deepak Advani, general manager of IBM Commerce. "Facebook is where consumers spend a lot of their time."

Blake Chandlee, vice president of partnerships for Facebook, said, "We both want to connect people with brands. Our objectives are very much aligned. And we share quite a few major clients."

The partnership is intended to combine data that marketers have on customers -- like purchase behavior, responses to a marketer's email campaigns and call center inquiries -- with Facebook data including likes, comments and complaints. …

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