IBM Watson Upgrades Cloud Marketing Service By Adding Video & Behavioral Analysis

What Happened
IBM continues to expand the marketing capabilities of its cognitive computing service Watson as it announced two new features this week. First, the new Watson Marketing Insights feature can analyze customer behaviors and offer insights on how they may affect businesses. For example, this new feature can be applied to analyze the possible correlation between shopping cart abandonment and brand loyalty, according to IBM’s press release.

Moreover, IBM will also be applying Watson’s cognitive smarts to analyze video for information such as keywords, main concepts, visual imagery, tone, and emotional context. This feature, set to launch later this year, aims to help media and entertainment companies make sense of unstructured data and extrapolate audience insights so as to deliver more relevant content to viewers.

What Brands Need To Do
These upgrades for Watson’s marketing services come at a time when early-adopting companies are beginning to experiment with AI-powered solutions in their business and marketing practices. For example, H&R Block integrated Watson into its tax filing system to helping people maximize their tax returns. As AI and machine learning technologies continue to develop at a fast pace, brands need to explore the kind of personalized user experience and product recommendations that AI-powered CRM solutions enable based on data and user input.

For more information on how brands may tap into the transformative power it will bring to marketing, please check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.


Source: PressWire & NewsFactor  


IBM Partners With Visa To Make Its Waston IoT Platform Commerce-Ready

What Happened
IBM will equip its Watson IoT platform with Visa’s token technology to allow trusted connected devices to complete online orders for users within preconfigured permissions. This partnership will allow IBM to integrate Visa’s token service, which assigns a unique digital identifier to information found on payment cards, with connected devices that are plugged into IBM’s cloud infrastructure. The end result is a lot like Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service (DRS), only replacing the need for a physical push to trigger the purchases with automation enabled by IBM’s cloud computing and Watson’s A.I. smarts.

What Brands Need To Do
While this partnership hasn’t developed any consumer-facing product yet, both companies see new business models emerging from the inspection of IoT and ecommerce. For example, a retailer can leverage this platform to manage their in-store stocks and optimizing the restocking process. CPG brands, on the other hand, could explore the possibility of leveraging this new platform to bring auto-replenishing packages into consumers’ homes. As A.I.-powered solutions start to percolate into a wide range of devices and platforms, brands will need to pay attention to the new possibility in automation and personalization they are set to unleash across industries.


Source: ZDNet

GM Launches IBM Watson-Powered Ads In OnStar Go

What Happened
On Wednesday General Motors announced a partnership with IBM that leverages Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities to deliver personalized brand messages to drivers via its OnStar service. The program, named OnStar Go, aims to dispense real-time, location-based information covering topics such as fuel, hospitality, entertainment, and restaurants. OnStar Go is expected to roll out early next year. ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, and Mastercard are also among the first batch of brands to join this program.

What Brands Should Do
This Watson-powered program offers brands a new channel to reach consumers on the go in a smarter, targeted way. For example, ExxonMobil plans to use it to help drivers quickly locate nearby gas stations, and Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to conveniently authorize payment from inside the vehicle. As connected cars continue to gain momentum in the auto market, brands should seize the opportunity to reach in-car consumers with personalized content through the dashboard and digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem.


Source: AdAge

Header image is a promotional image courtesy of General Motors

NYC AdWeek 2016: The Weather Company Gears Up For Watson-Powered Cognitive Ads

What Happened
The Weather Company, which was acquired by IBM last year, is tapping the cognitive computing power of IBM’s Watson for a cognitive ad product. The first brand to try out the new ad unit is Campbell’s, whose display ads will appear next week on The Weather Company’s website. Unlike typical display ads with personalized targeting, however, the Watson-powered cognitive ads will suggest recipes in real time based on location, what the weather is in that area, and which ingredients they want. Users will be able to tell Watson the ingredients by speaking into their microphones, thanks to integration with the “Chef Watson” API and a natural language classifier.

During its Advertising Week event in New York, The Weather Company also announced that Toyota will be the first auto brand to try out this ad product for a campaign set for the first quarter of 2017. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline is working with IBM on a flu-season campaign to promote Theraflu, in which Watson will answer frequently asked questions and analyze various flu symptoms.

What Brands Need To Do
Compared to existing display ad products, this Watson-powered cognitive ad product takes personalized ads to the next level as it adds natural-language interaction on top of contextual customization. If successfully executed, it should leverage Watson’s cognitive power to create one-to-one experiences for brands and consumers. Brands that want to get in on the next frontier of personalized targeting and contextual marketing should keep a close eye on this as it develops.


Source: AdWeek

Chevy Taps IBM’s Watson For New “Fueling Possibilities” Campaign

What Happened
Chevrolet has found an innovative way to integrate IBM’s cognitive cloud service Watson into its new ad campaign called “Fueling Possibilities.” The campaign leverages Watson’s cognitive power to offer people “positivity tests,” which assess how positive and upbeat their posts on Twitter and Facebook are and assign positivity scores accordingly.

So far, Chevrolet has set up so-called “positivity pumps” at gas stations in Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and New Orleans to engage consumers, who are encouraged to input their social media account names and receive free gas based on their positivity scores. Chevrolet’s parent company, GM, said that it is working to bring them to gas stations around the world for the rest of the year. The auto brand also created a website where interested consumers can check their positivity scores online.

What Brands Need To Do
This Chevrolet campaign showcases an interesting example of harnessing social media data for sentiment analysis and bringing some personalization into a marketing campaign. As cognitive cloud services like Watson mature and become more widely available, brands should consider experimenting with this type of analytical tool in order to learn more about their customers and devise new ways to engage with consumers.  


Source: ARSTechnica

Header image courtesy of ChevroletCanada’s YouTube Video

How IBM Is Using Weather Data For Hyperlocal Marketing

What Happened
Since acquiring all the digital and data assets of The Weather Company last October, IBM has been looking to integrate the weather data into its marketing solution. Now the company has announced that it is combining The Weather Company’s data with Watson’s cognitive computing to create a powerful tool for personalized marketing based on hyperlocal weather forecasts. Users of IBM’s Marketing Cloud platform can implement weather-related triggers, and IBM is aiming to eventually make it capable of predicting the impact of a “weather event” on future sales.

What Brands Need To Do
Weather can affect store traffic and people’s moods, so it makes sense for IBM to integrate weather data into its marketing platform. By adding another hyperlocal dimension to its contextual ad tools, IBM is making a compelling case for brand marketers to try out its ad platform and adopt a data-driven approach.  


Source:  Ad Exchanger

Turner Enlists IBM’s Watson For Ad Insights

What Happened
In an industry first, Turner Broadcasting, owners of cable networks such as TBS, TNT, CNN, and HLN, has enlisted IBM’s Watson, the cognitive computing service, to help support its ad sales efforts. With Watson’s data-crunching power, Turner will offer marketers automated recommendations on optimizing TV campaigns, based on a wide range of data sources including Turner’s in-house data on its advertisers, publicly available and purchased data sets, news and analyst reports, social media posts, and more.

What Brands Need To Do
This marks the latest example in brands and media owners partnering with IBM to tap into Watson’s computing power. Previously, Under Armour used Watson to help it analyze user data to generate fitness and health suggestions, while Kia used it to find the right social influencers for its Super Bowl campaign this year. Last May, Facebook signed a similar deal with IBM to get some help from Watson to boost its ad targeting capability. As data analysis becomes an increasingly crucial part of the ad business, we expect to see more media owners and brand advertisers to enlist outside services like Watson for better market insights and ad effectiveness.


Source: Wall Street Journal

The North Face Teamed Up With IBM Watson To Talk With Consumers

What Happened
Outdoor clothing brand The North Face teamed up with IBM Watson, a business solution platform capable of natural language processing and machine learning, to build a customer service tool on its website that can converse with online shoppers and make appropriate product recommendations. So far, the tool has a 60% click through rate on its product recommendations.

What Brands Need To Do
Led by efforts such as Facebook’s virtual assistant M and Amazon Echo’s Alexa, more and more tech products are allowing consumers to communicate their needs and commands via text or voice with a conversation-based interface. Therefore, brands that wish to stay ahead of the digital curve should tap into this growing trend of conversional UI and start developing their own brand voice.

Source: Digiday

Facebook To Supercharge Targeted Ads With IBM Partnership

Read original article on: Wired

Today, Facebook and IBM announced a new partnership that will see Facebook’s existing ad targeting technology integrated into IBM’s line of retail tools and services. By combining retail data, both online and offline, with Facebook’s user data, the two companies hope to create effectively personalized marketing campaigns that don’t rely on cookies.

The news came just on heels of Facebook’s new deal with Nokia’s Here, as the social media giant doubles down on data-driven ad targeting. With this partnership, new tools would allow targeted ads to be placed directly into individual user’s Facebook feed, while also enabling marketers to go after specific behavioral segments, such as runners, foodies, and new parents. It is clear that Facebook is determined to keep up its momentum in offline attribution through these new partnerships and solidify its leadership in mobile ads in general.


IBM Unveils The Blockchain Of Everything

IBM has released a proof of concept for blockchain-powered Internet of Things devices called ADEPT, short for Autonomous Decentralized Peer-To-Peer Telemetry. The system design is fully distributed, secure, and open source. Primarily based on the blockchain, which is the protocol that underpins BitCoin and the other cryptocurrencies, ADEPT also incorporates Ethereum for smart contracts, TeleHash for fast, secure, peer-to-peer messaging, and BitTorrent for file sharing. The company is teaming up with Samsung, which will presumably help test and implement the system into their products.

“Imagine a world where a smart washer is able to detect a component failing, can check from the blockchain if the component is in warranty, place a service order with a contracted service provider, and the service provider can independently verify the warranty claim – again from the blockchain – and all this, autonomously.”

The distributed design allows IoT devices, which might have a useful life of ten years or more, to avoid using a cloud service with ongoing financial costs that would likely require selling user data to be sustainable. It also eliminates single points of failure—for example, a hacker would not be able to compromise a manufacturer’s update server to instruct every device to transfer cryptocurrency maliciously because there is no central server, and quarantining bad actors is built in.