Attention is an expensive thing to waste

Today, the challenge facing most marketers is to establish the basics of the ultimate personalised and relevant customer experience. Our own CMO, Lisa Gilbert welcomed guests to IBM UK & Ireland’s first ever Marketing Leaders event. During the event it was emphasised that we are now at the mercy of the great experiences that our buyers expect whether B2B or B2C. It’s this experience that has reached the top 3 board level priorities (according to 71% of executives), is the product of an entire organisation and the reason that marketers today are, and have to be, customer obsessed.
The Weather Company IBM BusinessConnectWhether you call it cognitive marketing, artificial intelligence or augmented intelligence, there’s a lot of excitement about the possibilities this evolving technology brings to marketers. IBM’s manifestation of this is Watson. By using data that helps us to humanise our relationships with customers and understand their context beyond a transaction, we can begin a journey of true engagement with our stakeholders. This is what Unilever’s leading brand Knorr did in their recent campaign, #LoveatFirstTaste. Knorr, together with IBM iX, developed an interactive Flavour Profiler using cognitive technology to provide inferences based on consumer personalities to match to a personalised flavour profile. By allowing consumers to learn more about themselves, this level of personal engagement made for not only a successful advertising campaign but also a demonstration of a deeper understanding of consumer preferences.

The Weather Company is helping clients to adapt their marketing using weather data to project future impact and help to shape marketing campaigns. A US insurer emailed a weather warning to their customers, suggesting they move their cars in to the garage before a particularly heavy hailstorm, giving them 35% increase in positive customer sentiment. Weather, a huge and unpredictable data set, impacts every industry and its insights are changing the way businesses behave across the globe.
If we are to be truly customer obsessed, we need to engage with and understand customers at every touchpoint. We need to tap into not just the drive to purchase but almost more importantly the post-purchase nurture to be able to truly create loyal advocates. To do that, we need to be marrying the right kinds of data together to make even better decisions. And, to do that, we need to embrace the newest member of the marketing team – Watson. Importantly though, Watson and AI isn’t about replacing humans, but augmenting their decision making at pace. With all the examples that came through loud and clear is that starting simple is the way to go.
This is an exciting time to be a marketer as we enter the cognitive era. Bookmark ibm.com/uk/marketing where you can learn about cognitive marketing.Jane Gill IBM