IBM Adds to Their Marketing Cloud; Kre8 Media Adds New VP; XAPPmedia Lands Additional $3.8 Million in Funding


IBM announced new design and analytics as part of IBM marketing cloud to enable brands to address the rising complexity marketers face engaging with customers as individuals. These new capabilities from IBM enable marketers to collaborate, design and deliver customer experiences with a focus on personalization.

Now, brands of all sizes can leverage IBM analytic insights generated from every single interaction regardless of where the brand engages with the customer — from the first moment a customer interacts with a brand in a store, to researching comparable items and pricing online, or sharing feedback on their experience with the brand on a social channel.

The job of being a marketer in 2015 is more complex, thanks to the proliferation of devices, channels and emerging markets around the world, which makes delivering personalized experiences to the customer a growing challenge and an opportunity at the same time. In fact, according to the IBM/eConsultancy study, only 35% of consumers say the communications they receive from their favorite brands are relevant and 4 out of 5 consumers believe that brands fail to understand them as individuals.

Addressing these new market dynamics, marketers can now tap into new analytics and design capabilities from IBM as part of IBM marketing cloud integrated solution or as individual offerings:

IBM Journey Designer – a virtual whiteboard where practitioners on multiple teams within an organization can collaborate with a single view of a customer’s journey to make more informed decisions. The design point of this capability is as simple as a drag and drop where they can now effectively plan, design, create and execute multichannel campaigns based on insights learned over time to deliver more meaningful and relevant experiences to engage with the customer.

IBM Journey Analytics
– Marketers are challenged with vast amounts of data generated on each customer every single second. For example, a customer who goes into a store to look at an item, then checks comparable products and prices via mobile device, gets feedback from family and friends on a social channel — to ultimately make a purchase via an iPad. In the growing omni channel phenomena, this new analytics capability allows marketers to sift through valuable insights about the customer, making it easier for marketers to visualize the journey of the customer, map and design a campaign to that — to help deliver more relevant experiences with greater precision at the right time.

IBM Customer Experience Analytics
– a single platform that unifies IBM’s Journey Analytics, Digital Analytics, and customer behavior analytics capabilities. Marketers now have a complete view of how brands engage with their customers. For example, what content they are looking at, whether they are buying, registering, and/or downloading. Brands can understand why things are happening such as why the customer didn’t complete a registration or abandoned a shopping cart, and take the corrective action to re-engage the customer to nurture brand loyalty.

IBM Commerce Insights — provides business executives insight into the performance, operation and growth of their digital commerce business. With this insight, brands will be informed of opportunities to drive more sales and ways to improve key business metrics such as, conversion rate, and average order value; or when customers are struggling with various aspects of the customer experience, such as check-out.

Just last week, IBM and Facebook announced they will collaborate to provide the world’s leading brands with tailored marketing capabilities that reach the right people at the right time with the right message. To build on this, IBM has also expanded its business partner ecosystem to help brands access these design and analytic capabilities with an easy click-to-connect integration for marketers. Today, brands use a vast number of applications and data sources to understand and engage their customers. This open ecosystem will allow marketers to integrate IBM and partners’ marketing applications including social, ad network and the insights they provide. This significantly simplifies the way marketers gain immediate access to the most relevant data across a variety of applications across a brand’s infrastructure – putting these insights in the hands of marketers when they need it – to create timely and relevant experiences for their customers.

“Marketers are the gatekeepers to the customer and have the opportunity to understand each individual and guide them on the path through a mix of campaigns designed to nurture brand loyalists. To succeed, however, marketers must embrace technologies that offer them the opportunity to build two way engagements with each customer and deliver a meaningful and relevant experience,” said Deepak Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce. “IBM is providing innovations such as journey analytics to allow marketers to gain insights into customers at depths they could never have imagined just a few years ago. Teams can then turn these insights into campaigns to deliver powerful experiences that engage customers in-context and ultimately build advocacy.”

Kre8 Media, a leading DRTV, Digital Media, and Brand Advertising agency, has named Tina Wisner as its new Vice President of Data Science and Analytics. Wisner brings more than 15 years of analytical leadership and data-driven marketing experience to her new position. Wisner will focus on ensuring that the agency is well positioned for the analytics of tomorrow. The announcement was made today by Lee Cutler, Founder/CEO, Kre8 Media.

As Kre8 Media’s VP of Data Science and Analytics, Wisner will spearhead efforts to leverage new technologies, tools and applications geared towards delivering deep marketing performance insights. Wisner will accomplish this through the use of an advanced statistical approach to solving cross-channel attribution; connecting analytics intelligence and predictive powers and placing them into the hands of marketing and media decision makers; and, most importantly, having the ability to scale and adapt quickly to the changing velocity, volume and variety of data.

Wisner joins Kre8 Media from Los Angeles-based Hawthorne Direct, where she had been Director, Data Science and Analytics. Earlier, she worked at RAPP, where she was the Director of Data Science. (She additionally held previous positions at RAPP, including Campaign Analytics Director, and Consumer Insights Manager.) Before her tenure with RAPP, Wisner worked for AIG Direct/21st Century, where, as a Product Manager, she was responsible for the $62 million in profitable growth of auto insurance direct written premiums in the territories she oversaw. She played a key role in the creation of proprietary analytics tools for AIG, including the company’s comparative rater, rating engine and a statistical data mart.

“We are very excited to welcome Tina Wisner to our team,” Cutler said, “With a strong background in insurance, automotive, retail, healthcare and the health sciences, coupled with her hands-on experience in information technology development, Tina is well equipped to create big business impact. She has the proven ability to create an environment whereby robust technology and analytics rigor intersect to inspire bottom line business growth. Data seems to be in her DNA! Her passion in this field allows her to uncover hidden moment-by-moment trends and inflection points that spark business action. Additionally, Tina is also a master of telling the story delivered by the data, and in integrating the visual-ization that allows for the meaning of the data to be easily seen. She has the unique expertise to seamlessly bring data to life!”

XAPPmedia, provider of the first interactive audio content and advertising service, today announced it has received an additional $3.8 million in funding, bringing the total amount invested in the company to $6.8 million. The private investors who participated in the seed round also led the A1 funding round.

With the new funding, XAPPmedia will continue to expand its interactive audio services to pure play and streaming radio providers. The previous funding was used to launch the industry’s first interactive audio advertising service with National Public Radio, extend the product capabilities to include voice-activated content discovery and app navigation services for Internet radio users, and to form a partnership with jacapps, which now offers XAPPmedia services to more than 300 radio stations streaming through its mobile app platform.

“Our new funding represents another vote of confidence in XAPPmedia’s ability to give consumers a voice and create instant connections with content, artists and brands through mobile audio apps. The funding is a strategic extension of our original seed round and will help to further expand our customer base and product capabilities,” said Pat Higbie, chief executive officer and co-founder of XAPPmedia.

“Many audio publishers were initially interested by the high CPM rates that XAPP Ads command, which are 4-5 times higher than other mobile ad units,” continued Higbie. “Given the industry’s economic challenges and competitive limits around ad load, a three-pronged strategy to increase listening hours, CPM rates and sell-through is widely seen as essential for growth and profitability. XAPPmedia helps Internet radio publishers with all three. More recently, we demonstrated new product capabilities to improve user experience around content discovery and app navigation that enable listeners to connect effortlessly with content and artists. Industry product managers have recognized the power of using voice engagement to improve user experience, since 79 percent of listening occurs when touch interaction is not possible. We are excited about leveraging this new funding to bring Interactive Audio Services to a broader audience of Internet radio listeners.”



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