WPP and IBM Partner to Revolutionise B2B Marketing

WPP Open for B2B will help marketers solve complex B2B marketing challenges, accurately identify and engage buying groups, and improve clients' return on investment.

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  • WPP and IBM announced the launch of a new business-to-business (B2B) solution powered by IBM’s AI and data platform watsonx designed to reinvent how B2B marketers identify and engage clients and prospects across the buying journey. 

    Stephan Pretorius, Chief Technology Officer at WPP, said, “Our clients want to get in front of the right people, at the right time, on the right channels, with the right message. However, most solutions in the market today are designed for consumer marketing, targeted at sole decision-makers at a single point of purchase.  WPP Open for B2B, and our collaboration with IBM and LinkedIn, will help solve some incredibly complex challenges in the B2B marketing space, using the best of WPP and IBM technology and expertise.”

    Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM, said, “B2B marketers have been focused on creating truly personalised, relevant and consistent experiences for buying groups at scale for years. Our collaboration with WPP and LinkedIn provides real-time, actionable insights that are based on trusted data. We are excited to create and use these new, powerful and trusted AI solutions to deliver a force multiplier for B2B marketing.”

    WPP Open for B2B will help marketers solve complex B2B marketing challenges, accurately identify and engage buying groups, and improve clients’ return on investment. Buying groups are made up of multiple stakeholders with different priorities who influence key purchasing decisions both inside and outside of organisations, which can make it difficult to deliver a consistent message over a long sales period. 

    Traditionally, understanding how to adjust that message across the right channels to guide buying groups to purchase is challenging and often leads to inefficient marketing spend. 

    WPP Open for B2B is powered by watsonx – an AI and data platform designed to accelerate the impact of AI across businesses – and will bring together market-leading, proprietary capabilities from both organisations. 

    WPP and IBM will strategically collaborate with LinkedIn to help brands better understand buying groups so they can market more effectively and reach target buyers. 

    Penry Price, Vice President at LinkedIn, said, “With success in B2B requiring customers to reach between 6 to 10 stakeholders, building relationships and ‘collective confidence’ among the entire buyer group is key. We are looking forward to working with WPP and IBM to determine how our unique knowledge of buyer groups can help inform WPP Open for B2B and help clients deliver more effective advertising campaigns.”

    Also Read: WPP and Google Cloud Partner to Redefine Marketing

    WPP and IBM have used watsonx to build capabilities for the platform including:

    • AI-powered Buying Group Brain, a WPP AI model that can more accurately identify target buying groups in a B2B client account, built with IBM watsonx.ai and trained on trustworthy data from the client and third parties through IBM watsonx.data. It can also inform how marketers deliver personalised and consistent experiences across channels and across the duration of a long-term influencer campaign. 
    • Orchestration and Optimisation, using insights from WPP’s Buying Group Brain™ AI model to optimise engagement and opportunity progression for buying groups. That includes providing recommendations for channel mix and content to ensure buying groups experience a cohesive, consistent and relevant message. It can also help marketers track marketing activity effectiveness with a buying group and adjust messaging or influencer targeting on demand. 
    • Chief Marketing Officer Command Centre, an AI assistant that serves as a command centre for CMOs, bringing forward data and insights and connecting underlying systems so senior marketers can plan and model scenarios, predict results, make more data-driven decisions and execute recommended actions.

    These capabilities are supported by the IBM watsonx.governance toolkit to help clients govern and transparently track the performance of the AI models. 

    IBM has already begun deploying the new platform within its marketing and communications organisation. WPP’s creative and technology expertise alongside the joint innovation on the watsonx platform is expected to support IBM’s objective to accelerate growth through AI-driven marketing. 


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