Looking to bridge the gap between social media networks and e-commerce, IBM and Facebook today announced a partnership through which organizations using IBM e-commerce software will be able to tap directly into Facebook application programming interfaces (APIs).
Jay Henderson, director of strategy for IBM ExperienceOne, says under the terms of the agreement, IBM will initially focus on applying analytics to data streaming out of the Facebook Custom Audiences service to identify potential new customers.
Henderson says users of the IBM e-commerce software will be able to access IBM Journey Analytics to identify which subset of the 1.44 billion people using Facebook are existing customers or might be interested in their products and services. That data can then be fed back into IBM Journey Designer software to deliver marketing messages that are relevant to those customers, said Henderson.
The partnership with Facebook comes on the heels of a similar IBM alliance with Twitter. Henderson says the Twitter alliance is more focused on allowing marketers to better listen to their customers, and the Facebook alliance is about finding new ways to engage customers.
IBM and Facebook also announced that the social media giant will become the first company to join the new IBM Commerce THINKLab, a research environment in which both companies will work directly with customers to accelerate development of technologies designed to personalize the customer experience.
At this juncture, it’s obvious that organizations will soon have massive amounts of customer data at their disposal. How that data is used will vary widely. But those organizations that don’t have a framework in place for analyzing that data will be at a serious disadvantage in whichever market they serve.