Vanson Bourne Case Study: IBM
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Vanson Bourne Case Study: IBM



Case Study on recent technology market research work done for IBM.

Case Study on recent technology market research work done for IBM.



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Vanson Bourne Case Study: IBM Vanson Bourne Case Study: IBM Document Transcript

  • Let’s talk the facts please! “We needed to clarify our thinking and to understand the business challenges facing our customers. We knew some of the areas receiving particular attention from the IT buyers in the insurance community but we didn’t know which, in 2010, were going to have the highest priority. We chose to again work with Vanson Bourne to guarantee we were getting the facts from the people that mattered – both the IT decision makers and the customer-facing executives responsible for business operations.” Richard Spong, Worldwide Financial Markets Industry Marketing Leader, Industry Solutions, IBM Software Group Establish the reality In a rush to say the right things to the market, to stake a claim as “expert in the field of.....” or to throw a sufficient number of leads to sales, it would be all too easy to by-pass the need for market intelligence. Not so at IBM. This Vanson Bourne customer opted to do things properly when determining the key themes for its marketing activities to customers and prospects in its insurance sector target market. IBM decided to undertake primary research to more closely look at the challenges facing insurers when dealing with moving data across their enterprises and their business communities. Research Solution: Media Relations, Demand Generation Research Scope: 100 IT and business executives; 6 countries 1 | Vanson Bourne - IBM Research Methodology: Telephone interviews
  • Richard Spong, IBM Worldwide Financial Markets Industry Marketing Leader, explained as follows: “There were two objectives to this study. The first and most important was to validate existing assumptions and information about our insurance market. We needed to establish some reality around the key aspects of business data usage and integration in European and North American insurance business operations. We wanted to know the relative importance of the various issues, challenges, risks and priorities facing insurers and how this changed by insurance line of business and by country. With this understanding, we could make marketing decisions and investments in the most appropriate place. The second objective was to turn this valuable data into strong marketing communications assets to provide back to our insurance community and to ultimately enable sales.” With better and broader data However, IBM knew that it would not be easy to secure the views and opinions of both IT decision makers as well as line of business executives in insurance firms and to do this across several countries and across a number of different insurance product lines. This would mean first finding and then addressing the relevant individuals working within this specialist market with very clear and focused questions. Willemijn Steegenga, Manager, Media & Analyst Relations, EMEA for IBM, who had already worked with Vanson Bourne in support of PR thought leadership initiatives for the company, quickly connected Richard to Vanson Bourne. “I needed to achieve an accurate view from a sufficient number of responses to give IBM definitive feedback. We had already conducted a number of engagements with Vanson Bourne and have a very good working relationship with them. I decided that I would get better and broader data from them and excellent support”. Further discussions with Vanson Bourne led to a single, well structured questionnaire for both sets of respondents. Particular attention was paid to remove uncertainty from those questions, and to clarify IT terminology, ensuring business respondents could reply accurately and fully. Vanson Bourne confirmed that it could access the target audience and tightly monitor the research scope to achieve the business objectives. A telephone survey methodology was advised as the best approach to secure the outcomes required. Research Solution: Media Relations, Demand Generation Research Scope: 100 IT and business executives; 6 countries 2 | Vanson Bourne - IBM Research Methodology: Telephone interviews
  • Made ready for sales Within 6 weeks the project was completed and IBM was able to delve into a comprehensive set of data perspectives illustrating how the behaviour, focus and priority of insurance firms differed between the European and North American regions. With the study complete, the results and implications of the results were then compiled into two regional whitepapers ready for a focused media relations campaign and for supporting the sales process. Press releases pinpointed the key findings from the research and directed journalists to the reports and generated good media coverage. Study data supported webinars and presentations made to analysts, customers and prospects as well as those made internally to sales teams. “We have a significant investment in sales enablement in IBM as we have widely distributed sales people working in different vertical industries. We have to give them the right tools to do their job properly and that means being able to talk about the market that they are operating in as well as the specific proposition on the table. This study enabled us to talk facts.” With a registration process in place for access to the whitepapers on the website, IBM has also been able to gather intelligence from its customers and prospects in the insurance community, enabling field marketing to conduct further lead nurturing before transferring more qualified leads to sales colleagues. To share significant insights Overall with such a clear emphasis on the value of market intelligence to guide its decisions on marketing activities and investments, IBM has been able to create a strong platform for brand awareness and more importantly for sales enablement within its target insurance community. “This study with Vanson Bourne has generated significant insights, clearly illustrating that some leading insurers are enabling efficiencies and improving customer experience by using technology to integrate data and present it where it can support operational value, whilst many other insurers appear to lag in recognising and achieving these benefits. This is absolutely the market intelligence we sought and can now share with our customers and prospects.” About IBM IBM helps companies optimise and transform their Business Collaboration Network to accelerate revenues and reduce costs. IBM provides more than 18,000 customers worldwide applications and integration solutions to connect, communicate and collaborate inside and outside their enterprise. More information can be found at About Vanson Bourne Vanson Bourne is an independent and specialist market research provider for the global technology sector. We have a demonstrable track record of helping our clients better understand and communicate more effectively in their target markets, providing market research with real statistical rigour. Our expertise in sampling, design and assured project management combine with informed data insights and market context to deliver highly effective technology marketing. More information can be found at Research Solution: Media Relations, Demand Generation Research Scope: 100 IT and business executives; 6 countries 3 | Vanson Bourne - IBM Research Methodology: Telephone interviews