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Denise Beckmann - Denise Beckmann is the Senior Digital Marketing Professional for IBM Worldwide. In this position, she serves as a member of the IBM Digital Strategy Team and leads IBM's core search strategy pilot tests. Denise travels globally to help country marketing teams integrate digital and traditional methods into cohesive localized execution plans. She has over a decade of personal experience running analytics teams at GTE Wireless and IBM.

Tips to Navigate Today's Digital Marketing Transformation


Let me describe my perspectives, which are my own. My career has spanned IT, statistical analytics, sales, and marketing including technologies of all kinds. My current position is within the demand-generation side of marketing, and I work on the corporate digital strategy, project managed the WW search strategy and define digital metrics. I am a practitioner, not an executive. My thoughts here are a bit more tactical. 

I have traveled to Bejing, Milan, Singapore, and Switzerland delivering digital education with a small team. At first, we tried to gain some basic digital adoption within a traditional marketing organization. Now we work on integrated-marketing plans around the priorities of each country. The most important thing I teach is you don't do digital tactics in isolation. Digital activities in every marketing program amplify the traditional experience. Digital methods are so much easier to measure than traditional TV and print because you can actually see the effects real time. Let me give you a couple old and new examples.

In 2009 we had a paid search strategy called "Always On." We invested in an important set of keywords and paid for them across the globe. While it taught people how to jump in the pond, it was not a game changer. We measured activity like appearing at a top position on the search results and getting visitors to come to the page. While we continued to fund the keywords in the second year, we changed the metrics to focus on effectiveness using engagement with the content, and registrations for offers. Now that was a game changer.  People learned quickly how to measure the outcomes, and behavior changed.

Meanwhile we also began working on moving IBM away from "inside-out language." Inside-out refers to phrases that are dreamed up in a conference room, but are not the terms real people use when searching for content. Moving to outside-in language was a culture shift. Inside-out product categories were misunderstood like "Dynamic Infrastructure" or "question and answer system," the internal name for our Watson technology. In 2010 we wanted to intercept search traffic for top volume terms. To us top volume meant the keywords our B2B Technology buyers used often. We used deep keyword research to figure that out. Once we knew the words and the volume, we could set targets for share of volume IBM wanted to get on our top pages.

By now you probably get where I am going. You identify the goal, set the target, and measure against the target in the same way you do across any other business process. Don't try to build it all at once; instead, move ahead while always showing return for the investment, and it will make the case for you.

In upcoming posts, I will take this a bit further. My thought is to walk you through several digital topics and show how they all fit into an ecosystem that will help amplify your voice. In the end, we can talk about making optimal choices in how to spend your total marketing budget, because the shift is already upon us!

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Video: Perspectives from Global CMOs