Awards 2015 case study: Best channel marketing initiative – IBM

How IBM's innovative programme used gamification, analytics and personalised communications to deliver an ROI of 1:50 and drive 30% of IBM’s total sales


Computer and IT consulting corporation IBM launched ‘Know your IBM’ campaign with the aim of growing its channel revenue, while educating and maintaining the loyalty of key partners.

The activity was vital due to the importance of IBM's distribution channels – over 30 per cent of the company's total product business and 40 per cent of new business opportunities from the SME market are generated through this indirect channel.

Consequently, IBM worked with agency MMI Motivforce Marketing and Incentives to launch this channel marketing campaign. The programme was structured in two components:

  • ‘Learn and earn’ whereby participants were rewarded with points for completing year-round online learning modules.
  • ‘Sell and earn’ which rewarded participants for selling certain IBM products/services.

The campaign ran across 131 different countries in 14 different languages, with impressive results including an exceptional ROI OF 50:1.

“We regard the 2014 KYI offering as a phenomenal success, particularly as it exceeded our most optimistic expectations in what was a very tough trading year globally”

Ryan Faithful, global deployment manager ‘Know your IBM’ Program, IBM Corporation


A look inside

Category name: Best channel marketing initiative

Programme name: ‘Know your IBM’

Agency: MMI Motivforce Marketing & Incentives

Client: IBM