Publicis' Rosetta, IBM Team For Ambitious 'Commerce' Initiative

Commerce seems to be on the minds of cutting edge digital shops, and the big agency holding companies that own them. R/GA just recruited a top 1-800-Flowers exec to run its commerce initiatives (see earlier post), and now Publicis is announcing a deal between its Rosetta agency and IBM to do some really ambitious things. Stay tuned for some news analysis, but this is what Publicis initially has to say:

"Working together, the companies are uniquely positioned to drive the future of eCommerce by redefining the role of the transaction in the brand experience. The partnership combines Publicis Groupe's deep experience in consumer insights, technology and building a broad eCommerce ecosystem around transactions with IBM's technology, expertise and business process innovation to serve the needs of today's Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who want to align their organizations and purchase decisions around integrated content and commerce.

"Publicis Groupe's Rosetta unit plans a global expansion to capture a larger share of the growing demand for Commerce-related technology and services.  Commerce-related revenues Rosetta has derived from the 10+ year IBM/Rosetta relationship have grown 100% in 2012 alone and are expected to triple over the next three years.

"The go-to-market partnership enables Publicis Groupe to immediately capitalize on an urgent need in the marketplace for a new type of agency partner - a highly specialized commerce agency - that is able to connect CMOs and CIOs of today's global brands, facilitated by technology to build and optimize the commerce and content ecosystem. The partnership serves a rapidly expanding, global client list that includes: Aldo (footware retail/Canada), Cencosud (grocery retail/Chile), Dorel (consumer Products/US), Follett (educational services/US), Genco (distribution/US), hhgregg (electronics retail/US), Holt-Renfrew (luxury retail/Canada), Luxottica (eyeware retail/Italy), Newell-Rubbermaid (consumer products/US), Sigma Pharma (healthcare/Australia) and T-Mobile (telecommunications/US).

"Over the next three years, Publicis Groupe plans to establish four global Commerce hubs, beginning with an expansion of its current U.S. hub on the West Coast, and then launch new centers in Western Europe, China and Latin America. Each hub will consist of a team of professionals skilled in the IBM Smarter Commerce offering portfolio. The Publicis Rosetta team will work in concert with a local IBM team and local agency professionals to deliver software and services with IBM Smarter Commerce related offerings for clients.

"Publicis Groupe breaks down the nearly $600MM global market opportunity by 2015 as: approximately $390MM in North America; $130MM in Western Europe (France, UK and Germany); $30MM in China; and $30MM Latin America (primarily Chile and Brazil).

"As part of the expanded focus on the global market, Publicis Groupe will continue to deliver commerce solutions for leading brands at a consistent and global scale while integrating the following critical components: a full life-cycle strategy powered by customer-centric market intelligence; world-class multi-channel customer experience and creative; and enterprise-level tech strategy, execution and servicing; and continuous product-based innovation.

"IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, launched in March 2011 is an approach designed to accelerate key business processes covering the marketing, sales, commerce, supply chain and customer service functions of business clients to help meet the needs of the increasingly demanding digital customer. The partnership will offer IBM software that supports Web analytics, digital marketing and eCommerce, including product lines such as IBM Coremetrics, Unica, DemandTec, Tealeaf, ILOG, Cognos and SPSS, among others."