Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

What You Need to Know Now About LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

With the recent removal of the LinkedIn Products & Services tab from Company Pages, it’s time for businesses to switch gears to the newly minted Showcase Page format. Showcase Pages are an extension of a LinkedIn Company Page that allows a business to promote specific products or services to a targeted buyer persona.  LinkedIn users can follow a Showcase Page without following the business’s Company Page. This allows business to promote for and cater to multiple audiences through up to 10 Showcase Pages.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Showcase Page shares visual content daily with an audience of 12,700 followers.

IBM Big Data & Analytics Showcase Page shares visual content daily with an audience of 12,700 followers.

Another reason for B2B brands to consider moving to LinkedIn Showcase Pages is the dwindling performance on Facebook Company Pages due to algorithm changes driving down news feed visibility. Janel Pettit, McBru’s social media manager, notes, “It’s a valid conversation to have with clients. Step back and consider your marketing objectives and how they align with Facebook as a social channel. Does the client want to build a Facebook community with an active user or affinity group? Can the client tag business partners with strong Facebook communities to grow its audience organically? If not, pay-for-play advertising on Facebook is the most legitimate option to reach a vast consumer base. The alternative is to consider reallocating your focus to a LinkedIn Showcase Page keeping in mind the platform’s lead generation features.”

IBM has a series of Showcase Pages dedicated to different market segments. You can see IBM’s list of Showcase Pages in the right hand column of its Company Page.

IBM has a series of Showcase Pages dedicated to different market segments. You can see IBM’s list of Showcase Pages in the right hand column of its Company Page.

IBM has a Showcase Page about cloud computing and another about Big Data and Analytics. By having different Showcase Pages for each business unit, brand, product, or initiative, users can chose what topics they want to follow. LinkedIn also provides dedicated analytics for each Showcase Page, which allows businesses to drill down into each of the buyer personas. By keeping content focused, personal and visual, a Showcase Page can drive high engagement and impressions.

In my next blog, I will share five easy steps for building and maintaining a LinkedIn Showcase Page. Has your business made the transition?

What IBM Can Teach Marketers About Design and Branding

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

IBM Paul Rand Poster

“Good design is good business.” – Thomas J. Watson Jr. President of IBM 1952-1971

From its founding in 1911 as Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company to what it is today, IBM has shown how important strong company branding is for better business.

IBM’s branding first began in 1924 by Thomas Watson Sr., when he changed the name to International Business Machines Corporation. He said the name needed to parallel with the “growth and extension of [its] activitiesâ[1]. He then oversaw the creation of its first corporate logo, which launched its brand focus for years to come.

When Thomas Watson Jr. took over in the early 1950’s, he wanted to make the IBM brand fit with the changing times. He decided, “I could put my stamp on IBM through modern design.â[2] He hired Eliot Noyes to help create a first-of-kind corporate design program that would encompass ALL off IBM. The goal was to create a culture within the business, which had never been done before. So he brought in some of the most creative talents of the day to create the IBM brand.

The end result was best put in the words of Steven Heller, author and design director at the New York Times. “The impact Noyes had was incredible. He oversaw the modernization of all aspects of the brand. IBM became the company to beat, the paradigm of the modern corporation.”

By the 1970’s IBM was the power player in technology. Yet the printing technology of the era would print the company’s solid logos poorly. So Paul Rand, the logo’s original designer, was brought back on and designed the infamous stacked stripes, suggesting speed and dynamism, which formed one of the most recognizable logo-marks in the world. [3]

Mr. Watson truly understood that “good design is good business.” In the end, his effort, along with Eliot Noyes and the various other designers, helped create one of the first and most successful brands.

Today, as always, a strong company brand is important and necessity to help set your company apart from a sea of competitors. It helps your consumers and clients not only select your services or goods, but also buy into the your culture, which in the long run, is the most important outcome.

To read more about IBM branding history, go to the company website at

Is Social Media the Catalyst for Virtual Events?

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

dependence on the virtual reality gamesWhere was social media marketing when virtual events really needed it?

I had that thought when I was reading remarks by Sandy Carter, IBM’s VP, Software Group Channels, in B2B Magazine. In answering questions about IBM’s social media programs, Carter provided some practical insights – don’t get into social media if your customers aren’t there, and have an “insight champion” spend time on the various networks to understand what people are talking about.

Surprisingly, Carter said that what she is most excited about are virtual events, “not just podcasts or webcasts, but truly replicating the experience that you have at an eventâbut online.” IBM is experimenting with online events complete with an online keynote session, breakout sessions, demo centers and chat rooms. Why do it? She says a virtual event cuts costs “between 85% and 95%” compared to a live one.” Even better, she reports “conversion rates for validated lead revenue that ranges from 10% to 25%,” nearly the same as the results from in-person shows.

I feel like I’m in a time warp. Wasn’t it ten years ago that virtual trade shows were going to sweep the industry? That every company would need an island in Second Life where customer avatars would enjoy pixel-spiked coffee and text chats? That didn’t happen. So what is different now?

I believe that the rise of social media networking has as much to do as the poor economy does in preparing deep tech markets for virtual events. Today’s technologists are more familiar with going to an online destination to make contacts and share information. Whether it’s LinkedIn or IBM’s own developerWorks, engineers are building their personal networks, exchanging ideas, asking questions and providing answers in online communities. Carter herself mentions IBM uses Twitter and LinkedIn to drive attendance to its online shows.

What do you think? Is the increasing use of social media networking going to make virtual conferences more compelling to technical audiences?