Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

Once mighty AOL now selling off its patents … ouch!

March 26, 2012

Punch line: AOL has hired Evercore Partners to help it shop around its patent portfolio in hopes of offsetting lost dial-up business and  “accelerating shareholder value creation.”

Meanwhile, Facebook has acquired around 750 patents from IBM in order to “bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals”.

Excerpted from: CNET: AOL, lacking better options, hires firm to sell its patents

Citing three people with knowledge of the hire, Bloomberg says AOL tapped Evercore to find a buyer for more than 800 patents and to “explore other strategic options” — code for a possible sale or private buyout of the entire company.

Last December, AOL announced plans to reorganize the company, combining its declining dial-up Internet service business and its Web services arm, the latter of which was recently scaled back with layoffs in the Instant Messenger group.

AOL has previously said it’s looking for ways to raise cash from its patent portfolio and is making efforts to “accelerate shareholder value creation.”

AOL’s move follows Facebook’s acquisition of some 750 patents from IBM, a deal made to bolster the social network’s defenses against litigious rivals.  Facebook has been targeted by Yahoo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents that cover customization and advertising.

Easy to pile on AOL for its strategic mis-steps over the years (e.g. hanging with the “walled garden” too long, failing to find a way to migrate to high-speed internet service), but gotta give the company credit for its role in the Internet explosion.

And, in a timely fashion, the original owners dumped the bag on Time-Warner … walking away with a fortune …

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IBM study indicates CMOs are old school … but trying to catch-up

October 20, 2011

Punch line: This IBM study outlines top concerns from global CMOs and highlights how CMOs fail to analyze and capitalize on digital channels …

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Excerpted from “IBM Study Shows CMOs Fail To Monitor Digital Channels

“From Stretched to Strengthened,” IBM’s latest Global Chief Marketing Officer Study, interviewed 1,734 CMOs from 19 industries and 64 countries. Topline findings converge on three points:

  • The empowered customer is now in control of the business relationship
  • Delivering customer value is paramount — and an organization’s behavior is as important as the products and services it provides
  • The pressure to be accountable to the business is not just a symptom of hard times, but a permanent shift that requires new approaches, tools and skills.

While 82% of marketing chiefs rely on traditional market research — which delivers information about consumers in the aggregate — comparatively few “are exploiting the full power of the digital grapevine,” with only 26% regularly tracking blogs, 42% tracking third-party reviews and only 48% tracking consumer reviews.

Four major priorities concern CMOs:

  1. Data explosion
  2. Social media
  3. Proliferation of channels and devices
  4. Shifting consumer demographics.

… IBM warns that a majority of CMOs are missing the personal touch, by paying more attention to markets than individuals and “peddling, not partnering,” and favoring data over relationships.

The researchers offer three key areas for improvement:

  1. understand and deliver value to empowered customers;
  2. create lasting relationships with those customers;
  3. measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms.

While more than half of the interviewees are confident their organization’s corporate character is understood in the marketplace, just 20% believe their employees are fully on board, and 75% believe marketing should oversee brand reputation inside and outside the enterprise.

Conclusions on how to “Get fit for the future” include:

  1. Create value for customers as individuals
  2. Reprioritize investments to analyze digital channels to access customers’ views and use advanced analytics to recognize preferences and trends across every touch point
  3. Work with IT to assess potential data and infrastructure exposures, employ tools to secure customer data and update privacy policies to address customers’ concerns
  4. Capitalize on new digital channels to stimulate customer conversations and new relationships; use tangible incentives to attract followers.

“Marketing people will need unique skills in the near future. They’ll need to be capable of integrating marketing and IT – like footballers who can kick with both feet,” concludes Jeroen de Punder, CMO of Ricoh Netherlands.

Edit by KJM.

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