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This is how IBM’s marketing department tracks its business



Michelle PelusoData visualization and transparency are key for IBM’s Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Peluso.Rommel Demano / Stringer

  • To give IBM’s marketing team an edge, Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Peluso commissioned a bespoke platform that puts all of its marketing and audience data in one place.
  • That platform is called Pearl. Its key feature is the ability to visualize campaign effectiveness.
  • To do this, Pearl aggregated data from numerous third-party marketing resources, and transforms it into charts and graphs that help marketers make more informed decisions.
  • Pearl lets everyone see which teams are spending their dollars most efficiently. 

IBM Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Peluso is a strong believer in using data visualization to do better, smarter work.

With 5,500 marketers around the world, and an Agile workforce, it was important to her that people have a way to track how efficiently they are spending their marketing dollars, and a way to see how their work performs compared to that of their colleagues. 

“That kind of transparency and that kind of visualization compels action,” Peluso told Business Insider.

To help reach this goal, Peluso turned to Ari Sheinkin, vice president of marketing analytics at IBM, to build a bespoke analytics platform that gives the marketers exactly what they need. 

That platform, known as Pearl, pulls data from popular marketing tools and puts it in one spot so that marketers can do all of their work from a single window. 

I’m very passionate about making sure marketers are working in environments where it’s very easy to do their work and [be] very productive,” Peluso said. 

Pearl officially launched at IBM after Valentine’s Day this year. Good marketers love to tell stories, so naturally the launch date was significant — a sign that the marketing team was “breaking up” with its older tool and moving on to something better. 

[How IBM transformed the way its marketers work]

The landing page, Top Sheet, was designed by IBM to show a summary of effectiveness for each marketing campaign throughout the company. It uses the visuals of circles to show progress on each project: Larger circles represent more successful campaigns. 

To figure out which team spends its marketing money most effectively, just look to see who has the biggest circle on the chart. 

That data is aggregated from a variety of third-party sources, including some of the most popular tools in marketing — including those from venture-backed startups like Lotame and Optimizely. What makes Pearl unique, though, is that all of the data is in one place, and gets represented visually in a way that makes it easy to compare across all those various data sources.

Currently, the Pearl platform is available exclusively to teams within IBM, but a spokesperson said that company hopes to commercialize it down the road.

These are the tools IBM uses to enhance its marketing: 

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