OneSpot Helps Optimize IBM Security Content
When I think of tech buyers, I don’t often think of IBM. After all, Big Blue has been creating and selling hardware, software, and attendant services, for over one hundred years now.
But when it came to an IBM business unit trying to squeeze the best juice from its content marketing, it turned to the comparatively youthful (2005) content sequencing platform OneSpot, based in Austin Texas.
IBM Security packages together intelligence reports, information security expertise, and actionable advice, and breaks the space down into categories like cloud security, mobile security, and threat protection. IBM, of course, does have tech solutions to sell in the security space. The unit is also responsible for a highly active Security Intelligence blog.
“Five pieces of original content every day,” said IBM digital marketing strategist Pamela Jones. IBM Security, she said, is a fairly new business unit, created two years ago to represent the company’s growing portfolio of security products. The blog is mostly written by IBM staff, with about 15% contributed by external influencers.
The brisk publication schedule means the content library is expanding fast. “We wanted visitors to have a personalized experience,” Jones said, “and be served content relative to them. Relatable.” A visitor interested in cloud security, for example, may well have no interest in blog content about securing a mainframe.
Because there’s a product portfolio, the aim is not just to inform, of course. “We want to get the customer right through the journey to conversion.”
The One Spot proffer
“At our core, we’re a platform for personalizing content marketing across channels,” says Adam Weinroth, OneSpot’s CMO. “Shout-at-me, one-way marketing and advertising is getting less effective over time.” Today, he explains, you need to predioct what someone is likely to be interested in; and to fulfill their needs, up-to-date intelligence about brand content is necessary.
“IBM is a leader in many content marketing categories,” says Weinroth; and, as one might expect, “it’s accumulated a ton of content.” OneSpot Insights is described by Weinroth as a “highly actionable” content intelligence solution. It shows not only what pages and topics are performing well, but also how much content on popular topics is available. “When you know that,” says Weinroth, “you can make informed decisions about where to invest the next content marketing dollars.”
OneSpot doesn’t manage the content assets. “We’re not a DAM, not a CMS,” Weinroth emphasizes. Resident on pages through a script, OneSpot indexes content through natural language processing and ontology/taxonomy procedures. “We’re gathering interactive data where we’re present,” says Weinroth, “then utilizing it to support decisioning.” The aim is to enable decisions about what content to serve unique to each user. “Segmentation gets you to a certain point,” he says, “but we go way beyond that.”
OneSpot works primarily with brands which are investing in high utility content — thought leadership, for example, rather than entertainment, or “news you can use,” as Weinroth puts it. This includes CPG brands like Nestlé, Stonyfield Farms, Whole Foods and L’Oréal, all of which seek a competitive edge through making their marketing useful to consumers. “There are tons of recipes in the food space,” he added. Finding the right ones to serve to the right users can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Recommendations move engagement
Although at the time we spoke, Jones told me OneSpot was still in the testing phase with IBM Security, she was able to share some early results. “In the first six weeks of OneSpot on the site, we have seen 15% increase in engaged page views,” she says.
“Since OneSpot recommendations were only served to half of our audience over this time, we are hopeful that this number grows as we release recommendations to more of our readers over the coming months.” She also saw a 16.4% increase in engaged time with content over the control group.
IBM is, of course, developing its own content personalization strategies. “Watson for personalization isn’t available for all business units yet,” Jones explains. “The Digital Business Group only started implementing it in Q4 last year, and there is no release date for the rest of IBM business units to be able to leverage it once they have optimized it.