Innovation That Matters

AI for marketers to leverage cognitive advertising

Advertising & Marketing

Watson Ads enable marketers to interact with customers in natural language, as they gather data about consumer behavior.

In an increasingly noisy and cluttered world, advertisers are seeking ways of using technology to deliver more personal and relevant content to consumers in ways that can scale to reach millions. Artificial intelligence is leading the way in providing a solution. A Canadian startup created chat bots that use AI to have conversations with users, and in Japan, a creative agency has appointed an AI robot that mines creative databases to provide input as their creative director. The latest innovation comes from The Weather Company in the form of Watson Ads, which use AI to answer consumer questions through the medium of advertising.

The Weather Company, an IBM business since January this year, offers highly accurate weather data to consumers and businesses. Watson Ads is their latest product and uses what is called ‘cognitive advertising’ to interact with consumers. Users ask questions in natural language, as they would to Siri, via voice or text and Watson can respond accurately. In their most recent collaboration with Macy’s, for example, buyers can use Watson as a shop assistant to find out where certain products are in-store or which brands they have in stock. Aimed at brands looking to have more valuable interactions with customers, Campbell Soup Company, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare were among the first to collaborate with Watson.

What’s more, even as consumers are learning about the product, Watson is gathering data from their interactions in order to help marketers better understand brand perception, improve consumer experience and inform creative strategies. Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales at The Weather Company said of the innovation, “We’ve embraced big data and leveraged it to improve every aspect of our business, from forecast accuracy to ad targeting.” Are there more ways businesses can use this new technology to improve consumer experience?



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