IBM Watson

AI: IBM’s Playbook for the Future of Marketing and Advertising

-    LEGO Systems and BEHR Turn to IBM AI-Powered Ads
-    IBM Expands Partnership with MediaMath to Drive Future of Marketing

October 2, 2018

We live in a world that is increasingly connected, which is contributing to an explosion of data. New customer needs and expectations have forced brands to rethink how they engage with consumers using artificial intelligence (AI). With its ability to unlock big data, AI has teased a future full of exciting transformations for marketers. AI promises better campaign analytics, hyper-personalization, predictive audience segments, reallocation of valuable time saved, and more.

However, adoption among marketers is slow. The technology is quickly advancing, and the playbook is still evolving

During Advertising Week, IBM will highlight how companies like LEGO Systems and BEHR are using AI-powered capabilities to make marketing easier, smarter and more efficient; and how we’re partnering with companies like MediaMath to drive the future of marketing and advertising.

Expanding the Reach of AI-powered Ads: Introducing Watson Ads Omni with LEGO Systems as First Brand

Marketers have long recognized the need to deliver consumers a more personalized ad experience at every touchpoint. However, 71% of brands are still just providing generic marketing messages to their customers.

Today, IBM is launching Watson Ads Omni, a new extension to IBM’s industry-first Watson Ads, providing brands and agencies the freedom to deploy fully-trained AI-powered interactive ads on any digital site that's within their advertising ecosystem's reach. In 2016, IBM launched Watson Ads, an industry-first interactive ad unit that delivers hyper-personalization at scale along with actionable insights. This solution was previously only available on The Weather Channel app and

On Black Friday—the busiest shopping day of the year—LEGO Systems will be the first brand to activate an AI-powered ad broadly across the digital marketing landscape via Watson Ads Omni. Trained on the knowledge of 35 different LEGO(R) products, Watson Ads Omni enables the world’s leading toy company to craft distinct responses to consumers’ specific interests and needs — empowering LEGO Systems to have meaningful one-to-one conversations at scale with consumers wherever they may be in their path to purchase. 

Building Deeper Connections: BEHR Joins as First Retail Brand to Leverage Watson Ads

Over the past two years, Watson Ads have launched in multiple industries such as automotive, consumer healthcare, consumer packaged goods and entertainment with brands like State Farm, Best Western, and TruGreen. Interactive sessions for Watson Ads range between 2- 3 minutes in active engagement, which are helping brands develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with consumers. The more consumer interacts with the ad, the more insights a brand can discover and apply to their marketing and business strategies.

BEHR Paint is the first retail brand to lean into AI in their marketing strategy with Watson Ads. Through the AI-powered ad, BEHR aims to make the interior paint color selection process easier for individual consumers. Using a combination of Watson’s Natural Language Processing and Tone Analyzer capabilities, BEHR will be able to deliver personalized BEHR paint color recommendations based on the mood and feeling a consumer desires for their space.

Optimizing Ad Spend and Impact with IBM Media Optimizer, In Development with MediaMath

On average, only about 50 cents of every ad dollar spent appears in front of the desired target audience. Infusing AI into programmatic can help reduce media waste. To achieve this, professionals in the industry have new weapons in their arsenal they can use to optimize the power of their ad dollars across their ad buying supply chain.

IBM Media Optimizer is a new offering being developed in collaboration with MediaMath. Powered by MediaMath’s cloud-based demand side platform (DSP) and data management platform (DMP) marketers can optimize their programmatic media spend using AI to connect the pre- and post-customer journey across paid, owned and earned channels. By centralizing paid and owned customer behavior data in an integrated platform, marketers will be able to measure and adjust campaigns in real time.

IBM Media Optimizer includes Intelligent Bidder, an AI-powered warm data model that improves programmatic paid media spend and impact by reducing cost per acquisition across industries. Intelligent Bidder helps analyze the when (time), where (channel) and bid value for each ad placement for each audience based on each individual’s conversion probability in real time – saving marketers valuable dollars in media spend.

This comes after IBM’s recent launch of a new Watson Assistant for Marketing feature, an AI-powered intelligent assistant built into Watson Campaign Automation, IBM’s AI-powered email marketing and digital marketing application. The solution will help marketers work smarter and automate manual, time-consuming processes to free up time, so they can be more strategic and creative. 

Marrying AI with Weather and Other Data Sets for More Relevant Advertising

An overwhelmingly majority of marketers (98%) agree that personalization helps advance customer relationships, with 74% claiming it has a “strong” or “extreme” impact. The problem, however, is that layering on too many types of targeting variables in the name of personalization impacts the ability to scale.

To solve this challenge, IBM is introducing a new targeting capability, Predictive Audiences, that leverages deep learning with neural networks (the most advanced form of AI technology) and LiveRamp's IdentityLink to help provide marketers with advanced look alike models of their target consumer – resulting in greater targeting precision and maximum contextual relevance. The solution works by layering multiple, continuous data signals such as location, weather and/or first-party CRM data and trusted third party data from LiveRamp Data Store to identify users that are most or least likely to take a desired action. 

The solution was designed for advertisers looking to retarget or prospect new customers, is available as custom segments in LiveRamp and can be applied to media across the digital ecosystem. This product helps alleviate the challenges marketers face when trying to bring together multiple data sources to help them drive performance as well as enables them to target audiences at scale and across their entire campaign.

The Bottom-line: Smarter, More Effective Campaigns with Trusted AI

In 2016, IBM brought several major components of The Weather Company’s data capabilities under the Watson umbrella. Since then, IBM Watson Advertising has transformed from a publisher to an ad-tech platform by leveraging leading AI technology to build trusted media, data and technology solutions that unlock data and insights to help marketers make better decisions.

IBM Watson Marketing is also making significant headway. Its portfolio of AI-powered marketing solutions enables marketing professionals to lean into AI to rapidly access marketing insights and create compelling, personalized customer experiences at scale.

And now, with the introduction of these new AI-powered solutions, IBM continues to help marketers—a profession increasingly reliant on technology—use AI to change the way they work, build better campaigns, enhance customer experiences and improve conversion rates.