IBM has found a new friend in Facebook, or maybe it's the other way around, depending on which one is perceived to offer the greater contribution in their new collaboration.
Regardless, the Silicon Valley stalwart and world's largest social network are teaming up with the same end goal in mind: improving targeted digital advertising.
Facebook has the channel (not to mention billions of eyeballs) for the ads, while IBM has the big data crunching power to determine (and potentially sway) the results.
On a product level, the bulk of the resources will come from IBM Commerce, relying on IBM's Marketing Cloud for building online ad campaigns along with IBM's Journey Designer for customizing those by customer preferences and behavior.
IBM's marketing cloud customers can then funnel those campaigns through Facebook's digital ad portfolio, including Custom Audiences, allowing marketers to reach and build relationships with known customers.
IBM Commerce general manager Deepak Advani suggested in prepared remarks that many brands already understand the need for personalized shopping experiences to build loyal customer bases.
Blake Chandlee, vice president of partnerships at Facebook, followed up that the IBM-Facebook match should offer the tools needed to achieve those goals for companies that might not know where to start.
"Through this collaboration, consumer product companies and retailers will be able to quickly and easily gain deeper insight into what their customers expect and in turn provide them with compelling experiences that bridge the physical and virtual divide," Advani promised.
The agreement comes full circle as IBM can garner more data from Facebook audiences, which could then be applied to other brand channels, such as e-commerce websites, in-store, mobile apps, and potentially even other social media platforms.
But the IBM-Facebook collaboration looks like it is in the initial stages of a long-term relationship.
Facebook been signed as the first partner to join the IBM Commerce's new THINKLab research initiative for accelerating customer experience tech and development.
THINKLab participants will include researchers, domain experts and designers from both companies, working side-by-side with corporate clients on their individual needs.