Three easy steps to marketing your Watson AI solution
When you are developing a marketing strategy for your Watson AI solution, you have no quick or easy fix at your disposal. However, a recent marketing workshop run by Marketing Consultant Fiona Butler of TBT Marketing and IBM introduced a three-stage approach that should help Partners to get started. The approach begins with market segmentation, transitions to developing your value proposition and then addresses the need to tell your story—a stage we call narrative development. This post discusses the first two stages, and a future post will cover stage three.
The division of markets into distinct groups of customers who share similar needs and characteristics defines the market segmentation stage. Traditionally, many companies focus on demographics such as company size, industry, job title and so on. However, while keeping these demographics in mind is good practice, focusing too much on demographic criteria can lead to a failure in coming to grips with what really keeps your customer awake at night.
Understanding a customer’s pain points is a much better starting point. Often referred to as behavioral or needs-based segmentation, this approach gives you an understanding of the problem that you are trying to solve. In relation to artificial intelligence (AI), myriad use cases—or scenarios—exist for which an AI solution can lead to outstanding results for your customers. These use cases include the need to automate business processes, desire for better insight through data analysis, requirement for better engagement with customers and employees—to name just a few.
The key task is to view AI through the lens of solving a business problem rather than leading with the technology. Consider a couple of examples in which IBM Partners have started with a customer’s pain point and delivered an AI solution:
- With 55 venues, Deltic Group is the UK’s largest late-night bar and club operator. It faced the challenge, or pain point, of how to respond to hundreds of thousands of Facebook Messenger inquiries from their customers each year and convert them into bookings. To solve the problem, IBM Partner Filament delivered a virtual assistant that was built using IBM Watson Assistant to answer guests’ questions, tell them what’s going on and direct them to buy online.
- The UK’s Help to Buy scheme is a government initiative that helps first-time buyers onto the property ladder. However, the scheme floods mortgage brokers with complex and time-consuming mortgage applications—the pain point. To solve the problem, mortgage broker SPF Private Clients engaged IBM Partner Escalate AI to create an AI-powered app featuring a chatbot that accelerates application processing times with 24/7 Help to Buy qualification.
Read more about these Watson AI customer case studies at our new microsite: Become a Watson AI Partner.
Developing your value proposition
Having gained an understanding of your customer’s needs matched against your AI solution, you need to begin to create your value proposition by answering the following questions:
- What are the functional benefits? That is, what does it do for my customer?
- What are the emotional benefits? That is, how does it make my customer feel?
- Where is the proof? That is, why should my customer believe what I say?
Functional benefits such as revenue gains, improved productivity, speed improvement, more accurate information and cost reduction tend to be the most obvious value measures. In contrast, emotional benefits can be more complex and may involve intangibles such as confidence, security, control, power and impact on career progression. In regard to proof, communication of customer case studies that include testimonials and quantified benefits are essential to making your value proposition come alive. As a checkpoint, ask these three questions:
- Is my value proposition relevant (from my customer’s standpoint)?
- Is it differentiated from my competition?
- Does it demonstrate quantified value to my customer?
Clearly, there is much more to do in developing your marketing strategy, but working through the market segmentation and value proposition stages gives you a firm foundation for success. Stay tuned for an upcoming post that covers the narrative development stage for telling your story.
Marketing Manager, Watson AI, IBM Partner Ecosystem – UK