IBM’s Outthink Campaign: B2B Marketing Lessons from the Integrated Media Campaign with Founder & CEO of Omnia Strategy Group, Jessica Marie

In this episode, we’re analyzing IBM’s Outthink campaign with the help of our special guest, Founder & CEO of Omnia Strategy Group, Jessica Marie. Together, we talk about capitalizing on the moment, venturing outside your branding, and taking high quality photos and videos.

Episode Summary

Your content has the power to reposition your brand’s place in the industry. It’s time for you to take the lead.

So we’re sharing a story with you about a campaign that did just that. IBM’s Outthink campaign declared the beginning of the cognitive era; an era in which they were no longer a company that just sells technology. The campaign repositioned them as a thought leader in this new era.

And in this episode, we’re analyzing IBM’s Outthink campaign with the help of our special guest, Founder & CEO of Omnia Strategy Group, Jessica Marie. Together, we talk about capitalizing on the moment, venturing outside your branding, and taking high quality photos and videos. So put your thinking caps on for this episode of Remarkable.

About our guest, Jessica Marie

Jessica is an accomplished visionary strategist and catalyst in the tech industry, renowned for her achievements within the B2B cybersecurity space. She's helped leading organizations in Silicon Valley, and played a pivotal role, from guiding companies through multiple funding rounds, to achieving notable successes and lucrative exits.

Her expertise in discovery, positioning, product marketing and thought leadership has driven multi-million dollar product launches, media campaigns, and helped transform organizational dynamics during times of uncertainty.

Recognized for her ability to think beyond conventional methods and bring a deeper perspective to any situation, Jessica's profound understanding of the technology industry and emerging trends has positioned her as a trusted advisor and industry influencer.

Jessica's personal philosophy is rooted in her manifold interests and experiences. As a writer, artist, and futurist, she delves into the complexities of societal patterns and trends, casting a visionary eye towards the potential futures of humanity. Her diverse areas of curiosity, including technology ethics, spirituality, ancient teachings, and economics, are colored by her personal voyage through depth psychotherapy, spiritual exploration, travel, and artistic expression.

As the founder of Omnia Strategy Group, she draws on both her personal and professional experience, leveraging her strategic insights to help companies and leaders create and maintain a positive impact in the world, while shaping the future of the technology landscape.

About Omnia Strategy Group

Omnia Strategy Group is a visionary guide for B2B tech startups poised to become market leaders. Their mission is to identify potential, fuel growth, and drive companies out of stealth mode and into the forefront of their industries. They specialize in product marketing, thought leadership, and strategic positioning, leveraging our unique insights to catapult tech companies to success. At Omnia, we redefine the future of technology, turning possibilities into reality, and startups into industry pioneers.

About IBM’s Outthink Campaign

IBM’s “Outthink” campaign was created by ad agency Ogilvy, and launched in 2015 to promote IBM Watson, a data analytics processor. Watson uses Natural Language Processing to understand a question, analyze tons of data, and come back with an answer based on the data. In other words, you ask Watson a question, and it returns momentarily with an answer based on data across the internet that it has analyzed. It’s named after former IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson, and became world famous after beating human contestants in Jeopardy in 2011. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says the goal was to “redefine the relationship between man and machine.” It’s been used in healthcare, finance, retail, and more.

So the “Outthink” campaign promoted this idea of cognitive business through the use of Watson. In that by using Watson, you’re leveraging a tool that will enable employees to work faster and smarter. And give you a leg up on your competitors. It was considered an integrated media campaign, and consisted of a series of print, digital and video ads, the print versions which featured in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Each ad was different, so an example of what this looked like was an ad targeting the cybersecurity industry. It’s a full-color image of a network of connections lit up in the shape of an eye. And it says, “Outthink threats”. In smaller text, it says, “Seeing threats others might miss helps you respond to attacks before they endanger your business.” It goes on to explain how IBM Security and Watson scan blogs, forums and bulletins to gain security intelligence, while being able to search through unstructured data to find threats.

Key Takeaways

What B2B Companies Can Learn From IBM’s Outthink Campaign:

  • Capitalize on the moment. Timing is everything. Jessica says IBM launched their Outthink campaign when “cognitive computing was just starting to enter the public sphere. AI was still this Star Trek concept. And IBM capitalized on that moment with a campaign that was both educational and inspirational. It set the stage for discussions about the future of technology in a way that was really accessible. And AI was suddenly a topic that we could have real conversations about.” So launch content that speaks to the moment in your industry and position your brand as a thought leader.
  • Venture outside your branding. A standalone campaign is an opportunity to be adventurous in your marketing. Jessica says, “Creativity and design are incredibly powerful in helping to further messaging. Even when it's really out there and creative, it really stops you.” The Outthink campaign was a clear departure from the black and blue colors with stark geometric shapes normally used in IBM’s branding. And because it was, the campaign stood out. So create a campaign with its own unique look to grab attention.
  • Take high quality photos and videos. The images in IBM’s Outthink campaign are captivating. They’re well-lit, sharp, detailed and vibrant. Ian says, “Get a photographer and take some really cool photos of your actual customers. It's always worth the money to take high quality photo and video.” It humanizes your brand, highlights your customers, and is visually compelling.

*”With a lot of the earlier stage companies that I work with, there are so many priorities. And a lot of the time, unfortunately, what ends up happening is that their story isn't told. And so a lot of the time their messaging and positioning will suffer because of that. I don't think it's possible to really get to great content unless there is solid messaging and positioning. And you can't get to messaging and positioning without really diving deep into the story and the narrative of that company.” - Jessica Marie

*”There's a tendency to think that we have to be really technical about things to show the value. Like that's just not true. We can show value based on how we are solving a problem that no one else is in a way that no one else is. How is it making your life easier? Like, those things are compelling.” - Jessica Marie

Episode Highlights


See IBM’s Outthink Campaign

Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn

Learn more about Omnia Strategy Group

About Remarkable!

Remarkable! is created by the team at Caspian Studios, the premier B2B Podcast-as-a-Service company. Caspian creates both nonfiction and fiction series for B2B companies. If you want a fiction series check out our new offering - The Business Thriller - Hollywood style storytelling for B2B. Learn more at

In today’s episode, you heard from Ian Faison (CEO of Caspian Studios) and Meredith Gooderham (Senior Producer). Remarkable was produced this week by Jess Avellino, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and our theme song is “Solomon” by FALAK.

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