IBM’s digital agency program targets Mad Men types

LAS VEGAS – One of the more astonishing statements made by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at the recently concluded 2015 Partnerworld Leadership Conference is that Big Blue is one of the largest digital marketing agencies in the world.

And, the company is putting some tangible metrics and incentives behind this with the creation of a Digital Agency Program. This program is geared to ad agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather as well as interactive marketing agencies The Barbarian Group.

According to Sandy Carter, GM of IBM’s cloud ecosystem and developers, these digital agencies are the new world influencers specifically for the line of business decision maker and the chief marketing officer (CMO).

Carter added that in retail, for example, many consumers are buying straight from their mobile device. “How do we come up with a strategy for that. How can I influence this that is all on the cloud,” she said.

Well, the strategy for IBM here is a simple one. They want these digital agencies to work with channel partners in recommend IBM technology and digital agency services to customers.

If they do this successfully, IBM will pay these digital agencies an incentive fee. Carter would not elaborate on the specifics of the incentive but it looks like this:

IBM Digital Marketing Agency Incentive will be subject to qualification criteria, eligible solution providers can earn competitive fees for recommending and co-selling digital marketing agency solutions that include IBM products from the following categories:

  • Business Analytics – Cognos
  • Business Analytics – SPSS
  • Digital Experience
  • Enterprise Marketing Management
  • MobileFirst
  • WebSphere Commerce

Carter added that digital agencies are not technologists and so any leads generated by them will go to the channel. “This will help them get a lot of line of business leads,” Carter added.

IBM has put training in place to support this program such as How to speak to the Line of Business officer and How to speak to the CMO. There is also a demo program as part of the Digital Agency Program that will be based on delivering outcomes.

One quick hit before I go: Friend of CDN Rafael Ruffolo has left agency life for an internal role at HP Canada. Ruffolo is the new media and analyst relations manager for HP Canada. CDN wishing Raf the very best in this new job.

Ruffolo’s new post became available after Sandra Bengamin was promoted to PR Leader, Americas Region for HP.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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