Robert Schwartz, global leader, agency services, IBM iX: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 45

Everyone knows IBM is one of the biggest companies in the world, but it might surprise some to learn that it is also a top 10 global marketing services agency and number two digital network. However, that is just the start of its ambitions in the space.

Former WPP global MD and AT&T marketing director Robert Schwartz heads up the agency services function of IBM iX, short for interactive experience, which specializes in creative, digital, and analytics services for brands and businesses.

It’s much more about Watson than Big Blue these days, and he is focused on building authentic and engaging customer experiences through smart use of data and the cognitive abilities of IBM technology, rather than deploying the scattergun approach associated with traditional advertising and marketing.

IBM iX employs 10,000 and counts companies such German agencies Aperto and ecx.io and U.S. digital firm Resource/Ammirati among its go-to-market assets.

The company’s much-expanded presence at Cannes this year demonstrates IBM and Schwartz’s determination to be on the radar of every brand and marketer when it comes to deploying their budgets in an environment characterized by hugely increased scrutiny and focus on business results.

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