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Social Native

IBM Watson: A Digital Strategy For the Modern Marketer

May 29, 2018

Jackie Giordano

Artificial intelligence may seem futuristic, but smart brands are already focusing on creating practical, measurable consumer-facing applications with the technology. Brand and agency leaders are using this new technology for everything from shifting how media dollars are deployed, to customer service, to using artificial intelligence for data driven content creation.

People are increasingly connected. New trends are emerging. Competitors enter and stakes rise. And consumers expect more from the companies they buy from. It is not about just being the most convenient option or the cheapest option. With a world of data available to consumers at their fingertips, and all products available with the click of a button, brands will win by building real relationships -- cutting through the noise to connect with consumers through authentic, personalized and relevant marketing.

So, what’s a brand to do? Sure, marketers can spend their time painstakingly combing through social media for organically generated content. But, as this demand for relevant, personalized content increases, the feasibility of manually sourcing this content decreases.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, powered by IBM Watson, have become core to Social Native’s ability to predict which creators and content will reap the highest performance for each unique branded content initiative. After years of informing our engine, we’re now able to improve and optimize content in real-time based on historical performance, while ensuring that only the most relevant and highest caliber of creators are invited to participate in our campaigns.

Technology has evolved so that brands can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. But what about the right creative? Our technology platform solves the final piece of the personalization puzzle: to make creative available to scale, so that truly personalized experiences -- where the surfer gets an ad featuring a surfer, and the dad gets an ad featuring a dad -- can become a reality. This isn’t a problem humans alone can solve. The IBM Watson capabilities built into our platform allow for the processing of millions of data points to understand consumers at an individual level and bring that data to brands to make meaningful decisions on how to most effectively market to them.

Our content optimization engine uses IBM Watson to aggregate feedback from the brand, content performance metrics, and a proprietary Social Native content score to create a continuous improvement loop, where data is used to influence future content development. Understanding performance of ad content and allowing machines to make better decisions about what content specific people will best respond to is pivotal to modern marketing. Advertisers should no longer go with their “gut” when choosing marketing messages that will resonate with consumers. By merging the art and science of content creation, marketers are now able to make strategic decisions that deliver measurable results -- even when it comes to something as seemingly subjective as a brand's creative.

More than 100 top-tier brands such as Mattel, Coca-Cola and General Motors leverage Social Native’s creator network to cut creative costs and increase performance across the board. Brands across all industries are seeing impressive results; a large subscription box service increased ad recall by 25 points; a Fortune 50 retailer increased its click-through rate by 4x; and a major beauty brand decreased content creation costs by 50%. This success owes a lot to a single distinction: a disciplined, data driven approach to fuel more impactful marketing initiatives.

If you are still running the 1997 playbook of creating a few images and commercials a month, your mindshare will fizzle. The market is evolving, consumer expectations are evolving and, thus, brand marketing needs to evolve. Brands need to get creative and take advantage of IBM Watson and other tech-enabled solutions, now and in the future, to help them scale processes and become more relevant in today's market climate. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible when we combine content at scale with intelligent predictions powered by machine learning.