With the launch this week of Coremetrics Lifecycle, Big Blue (news, site) continues to expand its Smarter Commerce initiative, which it outlined at last month's Impact conference and also builds on the Coremetrics acquisition last year that caused some excitement at the time.

Smarter Commerce

It’s important to put this new release in the context of Smarter Commerce, because it provides key functionalities in a new portfolio of IBM products. This aims to address what IBM has identified as a new market, which could be described as deep online marketing, and which the company estimates will be worth US$ 20 billion in software sales alone by 2015.

Smarter Commerce, as IBM defines it, is a smarter way for companies to buy, sell and market their products by integrating operations and enhancing interactions through community, collaboration, process and analytics -- within an industry context.

So it is easy to see where any product built around Coremetrics will be an important part of that, as a company that built its reputation on cloud-based solutions for analyzing customer interactions and information for social media-based marketing campaigns.

Coremetrics Lifecycle

So what about this new release, Coremetrics Lifecycle? According to IBM, it will enable enterprises to capitalize on customer contact at major milestones of the enterprise-customer relationship.

This extends from customer acquisition to retention, through all marketing channels -- including email and social media -- and, from that contact, collect information needed to provide the best customer experience and ultimately maximize business potential.

The Coremetrics element comes into play by taking the guesswork out of the best kind of content, or marketing initiatives, that will work best with a given customer, using the analytics that Coremetrics brought to IBM originally.

See where the Lifecycle part comes in? The new release will manage this over the entire lifecycle of the enterprises relationship with a client. It also maximizes the impact of enterprise spend on marketing with a given customer by deploying the most effective resources at the client milestone that is likely to produce the best results.

The solution includes:

  • Prebuilt and customizable lifecycle templates for specific verticals
  • Insights into online marketing effectiveness based on content viewed and products purchased
  • Integration with other Coremetrics solutions

We are dedicated to delivering capabilities that equip marketers with analytics-based insight into how customer lifecycles speed up or slow down over time, benchmarking current results against previous ones and laying the foundation for consistently smarter marketing,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics.

Smarter Commerce Software

Before leaving this, though, let’s take a quick look at the Smarter Initiative, because we’re going to be seeing a lot of movement around it over the coming months.

While there was a lot of talk around it when it was launched at Impact this year, it is basically new software and services to help businesses adapt to rising customer need in the B2B and B2C marketplaces.

It aims to transforms how companies manage and adapt to customer and industry trends across marketing, selling and service processes that span the commerce cycle, putting the customer at the center of their decisions and actions.

Craig Hayman, General Manager, IBM Industry Solutions, at Impact outlined it as follows:

Customers use social networks, mobile devices, Web sites and influencers to make buying decisions today…These businesses must connect to these customers where and how they prefer to buy to be successful. At the same time, they need to make sure they have the means of effectively managing their supplier and trading partner network to ensure they have the products at the right time and place to meet this new customer demand."

Check out the video to find out more:

At the time, it also announced a number of software offerings and groupings that aim to achieve that goal, including:

  • Advanced Analytics: WebSphere Commerce and Coremetrics web analytics enables customers to gain faster insight from statistics, charts and dashboards.
  • Cloud Computing: The new Coremetrics Lifecycle offering is a cloud-delivered product that helps IBM clients track key customer advancement milestones.
  • Cross-Channel Commerce: Through the integration of Coremetrics Intelligent Offer and WebSphere Commerce, organizations gain immediate insight into online buying trends.
  • Sterling Configure, Price, Quote: Comes with embedded business intelligence by Cognos, helps companies streamline the quote-to-cash process.
  • Social Business: The integration of Coremetrics Social Analytics with WebSphere Commerce allows enterprises to measure the impact of social activity on their website.

Quite a list already, in which at least some of the IBM acquisition activity over the past few years can be seen coming to fruition. But there will be more on this and sooner rather than later.