IBM, Twitter Data Partnership To Uncover More Of What Customers Want

International Business Machines (IBM) and Twitter have announced a partnership that will allow companies to integrate social data into Big Blue's tools, consulting services, and platforms like the cognitive computing platform Watson. The deal aims to go past the chatter to discover what consumers really want.

Infused with social data, IBM plans to help businesses better forecast market trends and consumer intent. Twitter will train 10,000 IBM consultants to use the tweets for data analysis. The two companies will work together on a collection of enterprise solutions that include Twitter data in IBM's analytics solutions, making Twitter data a more critical input to the operation of global enterprises.

The two companies have listened to what consumer say on Twitter, but now IBM hopes running the data through its platforms will help identify more of what customers want.

Twitter on Monday reported revenue of $361 million for Q3 2014, up 114% year-on-year. Advertising services revenue of $320 million contributed about 89% to total revenue, rising 109% compared with the year-ago quarter.

eMarketer estimates that digital advertising in the U.S. will reach $50.73 billion in 2014, with Twitter owning 1.6%, up from 1.0% share last year. The company accounted for 3.1% market share of U.S. mobile advertising in 2013, per the data firm. Many believe the deal with IBM will only increase the company's dominance.

John Allessio, VP of global client success and engagements, industry cloud solutions at IBM, believes changes in the way IBM supports brands continue to evolve across the company, not just in social and data. In addition to integrating social data on the front end of campaigns, the company recently embarked on a major initiative, IBM Client Success, to evolve post sales for a variety of services. It ensures technical issues are addressed as they arise and plays a role in helping customers quickly achieve their business goals.

It's about improving client satisfaction. Every IBM employee has a role to play in this initiative. In the 18 months since the program roll out, IBM has improved customer satisfaction and increased renewal rates. The program is made up of 100 customer service representatives tasked with understanding their specific clients' business. These representatives are trained in specific industries and software implementations, with the goal of helping customers increase adoption of IBM services to achieve better business results.

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