by Natalie Miller • @natalieatWIS

IBM continues to strengthen mobile marketing initiatives with Xtify acquisition

Published November 04, 2013


IBM is in a prime position to enhance its mobile marketing initiative, namely cloud-based mobile messaging capabilities, with the acquisition of Xtify Inc. earlier last month.

Xtify is a leading provider of cloud-based mobile messaging tools that help businesses and organizations improve mobile sales, drive in-store traffic, and engage customers with personalized offers.

The purchase is one of the many initiatives falling under the banner of the IBM MobileFirst portfolio, and joins the ranks with technologies such as IBM Worklight, an organic development, and the acquisitions of Tealeaf Technology, Unica Corporation, Coremetrics, and DemandTec.

IBM is building out efforts around marketing technologies to help drive marketing messages through mobile devices, says Jay Henderson, Strategy Director for IBM Smarter Commerce.

The October 3, 2013, acquisition of Xtify fits nicely in the MobileFirst portfolio, says Henderson. The company offers a range of applications, such as push notifications, SMS, and mobile wallets like Apple’s Passbook, which will allow marketers to engage with clients anytime, anywhere – both in stores and while shipping on mobile websites and other online channels.

Customers are using mobile devices more and more for shopping and banking, said Henderson, and IBM is looking for better ways to enable marketers to interact with them while also enabling mobile developers to add new capabilities into their applications. Both of these are being accomplished with the Xtify acquisition.

“We are pretty excited about it, ” said Henderson. “IBM is very committed to the mobile space. ”

Xtify offers four mobile messaging capabilities, he explains, including native and simple push notifications, rich (image) push notifications, mobile web notifications and web personalization, and mobile wallets. These capabilities enable customer engagement by allowing companies to send broadcast messages, narrowcast messages, and personalized one-to-one messages, as well as promotional offers that are timely and based on expressed interests and browsing habits.

There are good and bad marketing plans; the key is to be so relevant it feels like a service and not an advertisement, said Henderson, explaining that the right information, rating, and promotions can help consumers make the right decision at the right time.

Henderson said IBM has done its research and is seeing how customers are evolving out in the marketplace. The broad use of mobile has big implications as these devices change consumer behavior and demands, he said, and organizations have to adapt and go through the same transformation and leverage the power of mobile to better engage with customers.

“That’s a big part of what we are trying to enable,” he said.

Research from a new IBM Institute for Business Value study confirms leading organizations have seen clear benefits in their mobile investments to date – 73 percent have experienced measurable results from their mobile initiatives versus 34 percent of all other companies in the study, and 81 percent stated that mobile capabilities are fundamentally changing the way their organizations do business.

In addition, Gartner predicts that worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44 percent increase from 2012. These increases will continue at a 35 percent annual growth rate to a $721 billion market with 450 million users by 2017, according to a release by IBM.

According to IBM, the company has invested more than $6 billion in cloud-related acquisitions, including SoftLayer, which provides an easy cloud “on-ramp” to help clients quickly deploy mobile capabilities with the security, privacy, and reliability of private clouds and the economy, flexibility, and speed of a public cloud.

For more information about this acquisition see the IBM announcement. For more information on IBM cloud offerings visit IBM online.



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