IBM watson customer engagement
Charlotte Russe, a U.S. women's clothing retailer, is using Watson Customer Engagement solutions on IBM Cloud to help them fulfill record numbers of customer orders. (Credit: Charlotte Russe)

Published: April 18th, 2017

IBM is putting its flagship artificial intelligence (AI)-powered supercomputer in the hands of marketers.

The company has announced new cognitive abilities for Watson that will allow it to continuously examine customer behaviours and learn how they may impact the success of businesses.

IBM Watson Marketing Insights can help marketing teams understand their audience and launch targeted campaigns “designed to turn all customers into brand loyalists who are helping drive business success,” IBM says in an Apr. 18 press release.

This insight feature “reveals key predictors in customer data based on their interactions with the brand across channels including email, digital social media and in-store, as well as customer attributes,” the company adds.

It can tell when customers consistently don’t open email campaigns, for example, and gauge potential responses to new ones based on previous behaviours. Watson notifies marketing teams through a visual dashboard that includes details, context and reasoning behind its findings.

“We understand that a customer’s journey has many touch points, and our clients want to make this journey seamless,” said Maria Winans, chief marketing officer for IBM Watson Customer Engagement. “While every customer is different, they all have one thing in common- they are interacting with brands across multiple channels. With these new cognitive capabilities, we give marketers the audience insights they need to strengthen customer engagement and deliver better performing campaigns.”

IBM is hoping to put the power of marketing back in the hands of marketers using cognitive capabilities, it says, while also speeding up the process between behaviour and analysis.

“Watson Marketing Insights ensures that teams no longer need to settle for static segments that traditionally don’t take into account variables such as how customers have interacted with the brand over time,” its press release explains. “Marketers also don’t have to wait for a data scientist’s analysis since data they need is automatically presented and, since Watson continuously learns over time and updates customer segments automatically, they are working with the latest customer details.

The IBM Watson Customer Engagement portfolio is delivered via cloud and can be introduced over a period of time based on “where and when there is a business need.”

The company is currently is working with more 17,000 companies around the world including Amadori Group, American Eagle OutfittersMoosejaw Mountaineering, Office Brands, and Performance Bicycle.

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