Innovation

How IBM wants to use Watson to better help businesses predict customer behavior

IBM's new Watson Marketing Insights allows businesses to examine customer behavior and better target ad campaigns. Here's how it works.

IBM's cognitive processor Watson has taken on yet another role: Marketing. This week, the company announced IBM Watson Marketing Insights, a cloud-based service that can study customer behavior and learn how it might impact the business, in order to launch more targeted campaigns.

Watson Marketing Insights continuously examines customers' interactions with a company, including in the store, and via email, social media, and other digital platforms. By doing this, the service can uncover new audience profiles and customer segments, according to a press release.

How does it work? Watson Marketing Insights allows marketing professionals to examine customers' previous behaviors to predict how they will respond to a new campaign. For example, IBM noted in the release, the program's cognitive capabilities may demonstrate that customers who regularly abandon their shopping cart are more likely to defect from a brand than those who frequently return items.

"To make it easy for marketers, the new offering features a visual dashboard that includes details on the context and reasoning behind the findings," the press release stated. "Marketers can then leverage this information to target campaigns designed specifically to engage this group with a personalized offer."

SEE: IBM Watson: The smart person's guide

Watson Marketing Insights also has the ability to consider how customers interact with a brand over time, unlike traditional marketing solutions, the press release stated. It also frees up marketers to gain insights that are updated automatically directly from the platform, rather than requiring a data scientist.

"While every customer journey is different, each involves multiple touch points before the purchase is made. It's up to the brands to make every one of these journeys is seamless and end with a satisfied customer," said Maria Winans, chief marketing officer of IBM Watson customer engagement, in the press release. "With these new cognitive capabilities, marketers can now get the audience insights needed to strengthen customer engagement and deliver campaigns that resonate with every single customer."

The press released noted that IBM is currently working with more 17,000 businesses globally, including Amadori Group, American Eagle Outfitters, Boots, Ermes, Moosejaw Mountaineering, Office Brands, Performance Bicycle, and REI.

Watson Marketing Insights is part of the Watson Customer Engagement portfolio, made up of individual services in marketing, commerce, and supply chain that enterprises can introduce over a period of time if desired to create an end-to-end, cloud-based digital experience, the press release stated.

IBM has been implementing Watson throughout the tech stack, including for cybersecurity and big data, among other capabilities. The company seems to be trying to position its Watson services as key office suite tools for innovative enterprises, as TechRepublic's Conner Forrest noted. However, it will face competition from a number of sources.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. IBM recently launched Watson Marketing Insights, a cloud-based service that can study customer behavior and help businesses identify new markets and launch more targeted campaigns.

2. The platform also gives marketing professionals easy access to an updated database of customer analytics, meaning that they no longer need the help of a data scientist to gain insights.

3. The release of Watson Marketing Insights marks another move for IBM implementing Watson throughout the tech stack and the enterprise.

Also see

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Image: IBM

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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