IBM Case Study 1. ) IBM advertises itself as a company that provides service and business solutions. It used to be positioned as a computer hardware company, but as more companies like HP and Dell began to pop up they were forced to move away from this image. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with an IBM sales person, and he said that they very much rely on the value of their products, rather than competing on price. IBM positions themselves as having better, but slightly more costly, products than their competitors.
IBM doesn’t want to be seen as just another computer company, but as a company that can help you run your business, and make life all around easier for you. 2. ) Prior to 1993 IBM’s advertising was handled by a large number of different agencies. Until the late 80’s this wasn’t a problem because IBM was such a dominant player in the market. However this eventually became a problem as IBM was beginning to loose its identity have portray itself in a wide variety of ways around the country. In 1993 IBM moved all of it’s advertising to Oglivy & Mather whose goal was to “keep the IBM brand fresh, interesting and topical. In 1995 they introduced “Solutions for a Small Planet. ” These ads were meant to create a unified brand image of IBM around the world, while connecting everyone on this “small planet”. This campaign was very successful, and was a huge step in restoring IBM’s image. In the late 90’s the introduced the “E-Business” campaign. This was to connect with people who were beginning to use the internet more and more for their business and personal use. This was a very good move as using the internet in some way is now a part of almost everyone’s daily activities.
This campaign continued to connect the brand with being able to help people with their business needs. Testimonials from customers such as Mercedes Benz and Motorola were used to back up the message that IBM can help you with your business. This campaign was huge in turning around IBM as a company. In 2002 Samuel Palmisano became the new Chief Executive of IBM. Palmisano’s wanted to dramatically increasing IBM’s focus on the fast-growing Business Services market. IBM began to use the “ON Demand” campaign. The purpose of this was to show businesses how they could run when they relied very heavily on IBM.
Again testimonials were used. IBM showed how they could create smoother operations through technology, staying on the cutting edge by providing new tools such as broadband, and appealing to customers who needed to have the best resources to be competitive. In the mid 2000’s IBM recognized a new are to grow, Business Process Transformation Services (BPTS). Companies were more and more realizing how advantageous it was having a partner to help streamline your operations, and IBM knew that they had the potential to be this partner for many clients.
They needed to position themselves as continuing to provide superior technology, and at the same time position themselves as having superior customer service and support. This was done through the “Help Desk” and “The Other IBM” campaigns. These were IMC campaigns used to create awareness, credibility, preference, and an image of IBM as a provider of business consulting services. Both of these campaigns established IBM’s customer service and support business, without implying that IBM was less focused on providing the best technology in the market. The Other IBM” campaign was launched during the masters, and beautifully captured IBM’s target market, with the help of print ads run in The Wall Street Journal. The “Help Desk” campaign was more focused on how IBM solves real problems and helps real people. These ads showed situations that could some up in varying jobs, such as a highway traffic officer, or leisure activities, such as golfing, and how they could be helped by IBM. These ads connected with people and made people feel comfortable with IBM’s customer support.
In March of 2006 IBM’s advertising launched the “Innovation That Matters” campaign, which was designed to position IBM as a means for companies to significantly change how they do business when seeking ways to grow. The tagline “What makes you Special” helped capture the wishes of companies to innovate and grow, as well as giving the ads a personal tough implying that IBM would meet different needs for different customers. These ads went in a very different direction as far as creative is concerned. The ads featured imagery very unrelated to IBM, such as radishes.
This campaign, titled the “Innovation that Matters” campaign, was successful in creating a sense that people were capable of doing special things, and then tied in that IBM could help people and businesses do the special things that they wanted to do. 3. )The “E-Business” campaign was very successful in creating a new image of IBM. It was a very good campaign at the time when internet was beginning to become more of a daily tool. Today however people have become so accustomed to the internet that it is just part of our daily life.
People expect business to be done almost seamlessly through the internet, so today this campaign would not be nearly as innovative or successful as it was at the time it was used. This campaign was very good for a very specific period of time, and IBM transitions beautifully into their next campaign. 4. )The “ON Demand” campaign showed a variety of different companies, such as National Geographic, hobbies, such as sailing, and locations, such as Broadway, and saying that they were ON.
Then with the sales force selling On Demand across all of IBM’s different markets, this image of IBM as being able to create smoother operations for companies took off. 5. ) I do not feel that the campaigns have changed to often. Many of the changes were due to research and studies that IBM had conducted. IBM has done a great job of staying with business needs, and continuing to move along and offer what business want, when they want it.
IBM’s recent campaigns have all been very successful, and IBM has been moving forward building upon their past campaigns to strengthen different aspect of their business, without loosing touch with the previous messages that they have conveyed. 6. )Advertising through mass media creates a very strong image for IBM. IBM reaches their target audience, of C level officers, by targeting them during their daily lives. The Masters is a great example, because it’s something people watch for fun, but it’s also watched by many business people who would be IBM customers.
Also advertising in the airport where business people may be traveling reaches the target market while they are not at their desk. Average people know IBM also. People know that IBM provides better business solutions, therefore businesses will want IBM be more attractive to customers. IMB should continue to advertise in the ways that they have done, and continue to strengthen their image. 7. )IBM has cut off its personal computer lines, and has begun to target business people more and more. IBM has changed their message as businesses became more and more integrated with technology.
As the audience has evolved IBM’s advertising has evolved with them. As IBM’s clients began to use the internet more and more for their daily operations, IBM launched the “E-Business” campaign. As Business wanted to grow more in different directions, IBM launched “Innovation that matters. 8. ) The King Arthur’s Round Table ads were a gamble because they used humor to convey business strategies, which is an area humor is not often used. This however is a gamble that often proves successful (such as Aflac, or career builders).
These ads were memorable, and showed examples, albeit slightly exaggerated, of mistakes companies could make it they didn’t have IBM business consulting. These ads tied in very well with “The Other IBM” campaign. Also these ads were different from other ads done by IBM, so they were less likely make consumers feel that IBM was loosing focus on having superior technology, in order to focus on providing consulting. 9. ) It provides stronger support of the message being conveyed. Potential customers are more likely to purchase IBM’s products and services, after hearing how much their competitors have benefited from it.
Companies don’t want to be left behind by other companies in their industry, and if competitors are profiting by using IBM then other companies will want to have the same advantages that they do. 10. )IBM doesn’t compete on price, but on quality. IBM uses their advertisements to create a very strong identity, and that is of being the best. Customers of IBM are more interested in benefits rather than price, so IBM doesn’t focus on price in their ads. IBM’s campaigns have showed customers how they will benefit, and created incentive for customers to find ut how IBM can specifically help them. IBM’s ads do enough to draw in customers to learn more about the products and services, and then end up purchasing. 11. )This was a very good move by IBM. On one hand it could prove very difficult, and possibly too much to handle for one company to handle this much work for one client, but Oglivy and Mather have done a great job. This has created a much stronger, unified, image of IBM worldwide. Also it has made transitions from one campaign to the next much easier.