BENGALURU: IBM expects marketing of technology services to become more performance-oriented as it sees increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain-based platforms.
The company is working on a pilot project using blockchain to effectively use every dollar spent in marketing and reduce middlemen in marketing activities, Michelle Peluso, chief marketing officer at IBM, said in an interview.
IT services companies across the globe have seen a shift in types of work contracts with majority of their customers opting for outcome-based deals as against long-term and high-value ones. This has prompted companies such as IBM, Accenture, TCS, Infosys and others re-structure their focus on sales and marketing.
The IBM marketing leader believes the role of CMO has changed to make make more data analytics driven decision and focus on more one-toone engagement than year-long marketing campaigns.
“It has always been the case that marketing budgets are set and fixed budgets… and you will have to work on an annual plan and you get a budget, and I see a time not too distant in future when market budgets are earned every day. And I say that because as marketing is becoming more of a science and more and more data-driven, we should be allocating our dollars in a much more agile fashion; teams that have the highest returns, get more money,” said Peluso.
AI and blockchain are considered to be key enablers of effective and transparent marketing for technology service companies.
“You have huge amount of unstructured data and AI is figuring out how to optimise dollars further and engage with customers differently… blockchain is another technology that will really impact marketers. With blockchain, and we are piloting this now, it will improve transparencies, eliminate the middlemen and you know (better) where your ads are showing up. These technologies will create new capabilities,” said Peluso.
She said currently 40-45% of a dollar spent in marketing sees effective use and impact before the clients. IBM said it is also identifying areas where it can cut marketing budgets and focus on growth areas.
— With assistance by Ayan Pramanik