Friday, August 27, 2010

Know Your IBM

Agency: CiLoyalty, IBM Corporation & Merscient Inc.
Client: IBM Corporation

The Know Your IBM (KYI) program is IBM’s primary sales and training initiative for sellers to the small and medium-sized business market. In 2009, despite the economic downturn, the marketing team was tasked with driving the KYI program to new levels of engagement in learning and cost-effective selling. The program needed to be deployed and managed across 104 countries in 12 languages. 

Know Your IBM

IBM charged its marketing team with ambitious sales targets and ROI goals, including completing 195,000 education modules, generating 9,700 active participants and producing $850 million in revenue.

The loyalty program included Learn and Earn, a component that provided incentives for educational and learning behavior, and Sell and Earn, in which participants were motivated to sell IBM products and services. Participants received electronic monthly activity statements customized by country.

Communication tactics included motivational online interaction; in-person visits from IBM account managers and individually scripted teasers. A real-time online reporting tool measured email open rates, clickthroughs and time and day of each action. The information was cross-referenced with email content, number of words used, number of images embedded and type of headline utilized. Together this data created an individual profile on every participant. As the information became more detailed, communications tactics were developed to achieve greater cut through and call to action. 

Two interactive website portals were also created, one for the Learn and Earn module and logging of sales, and the other for the leader-boards, rewards and redemptions. Results and important announcements were communicated via email to all program participants. Leader boards were created in each country and the top achievers were awarded with bonus loyalty points.

The promotions averaged an 82% increase in module completion compared to the same period in 2008. Participants in the loyalty program completed 195,395 modules, an 11.2% year over year increase. Active participants increased 10.1%; and sales increased 10.1% for a total of $864 million.