CRM Watchlist 2013 Lifetime Achievement: IBM Institute for Business Value

The 2013 CRM Watchlist Liftetime Achievement Award, the second annual one, kicks off the reviews. This is probably the kindest of the reviews that you'll be seeing in this entire 40+ series of them. Because the IBM IBV is SO damned worthy. How can I be edgy?
Written by Paul Greenberg, Contributor

In a lot of ways this gives me an enormous amount of pleasure. It’s my second annual CRM Watchlist Lifetime Achievement Award and it goes to an organization that has had long term and continuous (meaning year over year) impact on the business world especially that focusing around customer facing industries and practitioners.  Last year, the inaugural award rightfully went to the Peppers and Rogers Group, who were pioneers in one to one thinking and personalization and continue to be leaders in how customers and companies interact and need to.

This year, however, it goes to a very different kind of organization.  One that I’ve had the honor of knowing and trusting for a long time and one that if you are part of this industry in any way, knows is perhaps the most quoted and trusted research organization in the world of business.  One that has had perhaps more impact on driving vendor and practitioner strategies around market trends and best practices than any other organization that I can think of. One that has had its studies and data quoted almost ubiquitously and is omniscient in the discussions around how to proceed with the present and future business of business.  One that never has had its veracity questioned despite its ties to one of the most significant businesses on the earth.  One that seemingly has no agenda despite those ties – it is an institution that lives to produce the quality of work that it does.   A true impact player.

It is my honor to announce that the Second Annual CRM Watchlist Lifetime Achievement Award goes to…

The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV)

(Clap! Clap! Audience goes wild).  I suspect if you know anything about these guys that when you saw the award went to them, you went “of course; it’s so obvious.”  And it is obvious.  From their every-two-years (biennial?) CEO report to their work on big data analytics to their research on social business and social CRM, they have become what is probably, at least in the technology world, the most quoted business research group ever.  Anecdotally, I’ve seen a slide on the perception gap between business and consumers when it comes to social channel use (source: From Social Media to Social CRM, Part 1, 2011) used in more presentations than any other single chart in my life.

But this goes way beyond anecdotal evidence. Their results have driven decision-making at companies across the spectrum – ranging from technology companies and consulting firms to manufacturing and CPG businesses.  Despite their connections to IBM, no one I know in any industry presumes they have any agenda other than producing extraordinary research to provide some fundamental insights for those reading it.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Eric Lesser, who is the Executive Director – the guy in charge – of the IBV.  He is the kind of guy who engenders the personal trust of those who deal with him – and he is as big a Yankees fan as I am. J.  I told Eric about this award and asked him for a statement that speaks to who the IBV is. So, before I go on any further, ladies and gentlemen, Eric Lesser:

The Institute for Business Value, the research and thought leadership development arm of IBM Global Business Services, develops practical, fact-based points of view on a variety of industry, cross-industry and role-based topics.  I have been proud to have been part of this group, which is comprised of leading subject matter experts from around globe, since its inception in 2002.  In the IBV, we develop perspectives as well as share the results with executive audiences. We work in collaboration with internal and external industry experts, leading edge clients and IBM’s own consultants to provide practical recommendations built on a foundation of fundamental research.

Since 2002, we have produced over 250 studies over the last ten years, which are disseminated through a number of delivery channels, including our website and tablet app. This base of knowledge provides IBM with the insights needed to develop deeper relationships with its customers and demonstrates its commitment to leading business thinking.

From the beginning of the group, we have developed a range of marketing and consumer-based insights.  Starting with research on customer relationship management, we have continued to expand our coverage to understand global consumer opinions in the retail, telecommunications, banking, automobile and insurance industries, as well the impact of emerging topics such as Social CRM and Collective Intelligence.  One of our flagship studies, the  2011 Chief Marketing Officer Study which is based on face-to-face interviews with over 1,700 marketing leaders, has shed new light into the challenges faced by senior executives on the use of social media, customer data and the future skills needed for marketing success.

I am honored to be part of such a great group of individuals, who have really helped shape business thinking over the last several years, and made a significant contribution to IBM and its clients.  

I expect that the IBV’s impact will not only continue but grow over the next several years because the C-level studies are iconic reference points for those people who care about not just data and trends, but about possible practices that work in the rather confusing world of 21st century. The IBM Institute for Business Value has been and is one of the beacons that help us light the way.  For that reason, they win the CRM Watchlist 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award AND what will be my kindest review of any of the winners of this award. J

CONGRATS to the IBM INSTITUTE FOR BUSINESS VALUE, the 2013 CRM Watchlist Lifetime Achievement Award! 

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