IBM Consolidates Interactive Agencies to Focus on e-business

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Armonk, N.Y - 26 Oct 1998: . . . To further strengthen and focus its e-business initiatives, IBM today announced it has selected six interactive agencies to support its Web strategy, marketing, design and interactive advertising activities around the world.

The decision follows previous consolidations of IBM's advertising, direct marketing and business show agencies, and reflects IBM's continuing focus on IBM brand integration and marketing in all media, including the Internet. The consolidation is also an outcome of IBM's recent centralization of company-wide Web strategy, design and production through its Enterprise Web Management unit, as well as Web application development and Internet event production through IBM's Global Services business.

The selected interactive agencies were chosen based on their capabilities in strategy, Web site development, user experience, design, digital branding, interactive marketing and advertising, and application development, as well as their global reach.

The selected agency partners are:

In addition to North America, the agencies will support IBM in each of its geographic regions, including Europe/Middle East/Africa, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, to implement worldwide Web initiatives.

Using the Internet as a business tool, IBM conducted most of the agency review and qualification process through an interactive application on IBM's Web site, More than 100 interactive agencies, including more than 60 incumbents, participated in the review. A handful of finalists gave presentations.

Billings were not disclosed. The consolidated agency model will take effect January 1, 1999.

Putting e-business to Work

The agency consolidation demonstrates IBM's commitment to e-business and will further unify the customer experience, look and feel and functionality of IBM's Web sites.

"Our goal is to drive a consistent IBM brand image on the Web and to enhance the value, consistency and efficiency of interactive Web work with a core group of preferred interactive agency partners," explained Abby Kohnstamm, IBM senior vice president, marketing. "By combining the best Web skills inside and outside of IBM, we'll deliver a superior online customer experience."

The recent centralization of IBM Web investment, strategy, design and production through the company's Enterprise Web Management organization signals the company's efforts to realize increased business value on the Web.

"We've learned a lot since went live in May 1994," said Dick Anderson, general manager, Enterprise Web Management, IBM. "Today we're focused on the business returns the Web can deliver and the value we can achieve through online commerce, procurement, service and support, marketing and knowledge management. As the Web becomes a more critical 'e-channel,' our Web sites and extranets for customers, OEMs, IBM Business Partners and suppliers, must be easy to use and a valued source not only for information, but for sales, service and procurement transactions as well."

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