Big Blue offers Solutions with $60 mil co-op effort

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IBM Corp. kicks off a $60 million ad and marketing campaign May 1 touting the role its strategic alliance partners play in the success of its e-business strategy.

The effort, for the Solutions division of IBM Sales & Distribution, was created by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, and begins in The Wall Street Journal. The campaign, marking the second year of IBM's partner advertising effort, is backed with IBM co-op money and funds from IBM business-to-business partners such as Ariba, i2, Siebel Systems and Dassault Systemes. IBM has 59 alliance partners overall, 10 of which will be featured in the latest wave of advertising.

The campaign introduces the proposition, "We know, They know," to underscore IBM and its partners' combined strengths in critical e-business areas such as customer relationship management, supply chain management, e-procurement and product life-cycle management.

POWER OF ALLIANCES

IBM rival Oracle Corp. last week launched its latest suite of CRM solutions in an ad and marketing campaign by Grey Worldwide, New York. However, IBM's approach, unlike Oracle's, is to suggest that no company can implement e-business practices on its own.

"We want to capture the power and the strength of all these alliances," said Ron Greenberg, IBM worldwide VP of solutions marketing. "IBM and our partners bring solutions to our customers like no one else can. As information technology and solutions become a complicated business, the partnership between IBM and its partners makes it easier."

The budget for the campaign, which supports sales and customer marketing initiatives across all IBM divisions, has grown by about 30% this year, according to John Kahan, VP-worldwide marketing communications for IBM's Sectors & Solutions unit.

The ads reference specific IBM partners, such as Dassault, a French marketer of 3D software, and i2's supply chain management offerings.

The i2 image, a close-up of a collection of screws, features the "We know, They know" headline and "24x7x365 ETA 8:45."

The IBM campaign will target business people with ads in newspapers, business magazines and online, as well as event marketing and outdoor media, including bus wraps.

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