Twitter and IBM’s Partnership Means Better Data Solutions for Marketers


Emily Alford

Twitter and IBM have partnered to combine Twitter’s firehose of social data with IBM’s analytics in an effort to offer business solutions to marketers overwhelmed by social data.

A recent Harris poll shows that many companies continue to struggle with integrating social data into their marketing strategy, but Twitter and IBM may soon provide a solution.

The companies have joined forces to partner Twitter’s data with IBM’s analytics tools to better inform business decisions. Through the partnership, IBM and Twitter will offer a set of enterprise applications that analyze tweets based on geography, public biographical information, and the emotion expressed in the tweet. IBM also plans to train 10,000 employees to consult with businesses on the best use of Twitter data.

Better insights into customer behaviors could impact all aspects of marketing, from better targeting to new product launches, according to John Lee, managing partner at Clix Marketing. “The possibilities are endless,” Lee says. “IBM specializes in analytics and understanding data. Perhaps IBM will be able to process Twitter’s real-time data and give Twitter Ads users greater targeting capabilities.”

The new applications could improve marketers’ understanding of “affinity categories, purchase habits, purchase readiness, and more,” Lee continues.

Bundling data with analytics and offering them together as a package could also make data-based business solutions more economical than ever before, says Tim Nichols, founding partner of ExactDrive. “Twitter’s partnership with IBM makes perfect sense,” Nichols says. “Twitter has the data and IBM has the analytics. Combining the two creates a powerful business intelligence solution that will take the raw data and transform it into useful and powerful information. Their partnership brings insightful answers into one location, potentially creating a more operational effective and cost-efficient solution than competitive offerings.”

Since going public last year, Twitter has been looking for ways to monetize its data. Last April, the company acquired Gnip, a social media aggregation company, to help mine tweets. According to Lee, partnering with IBM is another important step for Twitter toward becoming an indispensable marketing tool akin to Facebook.

“All of the social networks are significant generators and keepers of real-time data,” Lee says. “That is their commodity. Facebook has figured out how to monetize that data on their own. Despite building an effective and exciting ad platform, Twitter has not found the same level of success. In short, they are monetizing their commodity by trading it with IBM.”