Telco Media and Entertainment

Pitching for Success: Deepening Customer Engagement with AI

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News reports tend to sensationalise the existing state and future potential of AI technology, leading to unrealistic expectations in the business community and generating unfounded concerns in wider society. Thanks in part to the hype surrounding AI, many C-level executives are unsure how they can add value to their organisations with the technology. Recent research conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value shows that two thirds of enterprises believe that AI will be a disruptive force in their industry. Yet, only four percent say that they intend to be disruptors in the field.

If the vast majority of business leaders recognise the transformative potential of AI, then why aren’t they leading the way?

Taking a Strategic Approach

When it comes to adopting cutting-edge technologies, setting out a clear strategic vision is often the most difficult steps, but doing so is also a key ingredient for long term success.

Reactively flocking to AI is a recipe for disaster—businesses that do so risk seeing limited or no returns on their investments in the technology. Companies that take the time to think through their AI ambitions are already starting to reap the rewards and, in the process, develop a deeper understanding of the technology.

You don’t have to look far to see examples of effective AI initiatives in action. Moreover, as more success stories emerge, consensus is forming on how best to use AI technology. For instance, 77 percent of businesses that are outperforming their competitors say that improving customer satisfaction is one of the key reasons why they are pursuing AI technology.

What a Goal: Personalising Match Replay

Fox Sports, one of the leading broadcasters of national and international sporting events, knows that capturing and replaying spectacular in-game highlights is one of the most effective ways of increasing spectator engagement.

For events like the FIFA World Cup, creating match highlights can be a mammoth task. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 98,047 hours of video footage was broadcast to fans all over the world.

Capturing highlights from such a large amount of footage is a time-consuming, resource draining activity. What’s more, with more than 3,572 billion viewers tuning in to the 2018 FIFA World cup, giving each football enthusiast tailored match highlights is simply impossible with traditional editing and broadcasting methods.

Working with IBM iX, Fox Sports built “The Highlight Machine” using IBM Watson Media. This first-of-a-kind solution automatically identifies and categorizes stand-out moments in a football match—dramatically reducing the time and effort required to compile variety of jaw-dropping highlights.

The Highlight Machine doesn’t stop there. Audiences also have the option to personalize their match summaries based on their preferred team, player or match event. Viewers can also integrate related highlights from archive footage dating all the way back to 1958 into their match reports, and then easily share them via their favourite social channels.

Using the power of AI technology, Fox Sports can offer personalized viewing experiences on a mass scale. By nourishing viewer engagement with the sport in this way, Fox Sports can ensure that nobody misses out on the best moments of the beautiful game.

Building Immersive Experiences

The Augusta National Golf Club, home to the US Masters Tournament, is taking customer engagement to the next level too by offering fans an ultra-immersive spectator experience.

Defending its position at the frontier of golf technology, The Augusta National Golf Club worked with IBM iX and Project Intu to build a “cognitive room”. When fans walk in to this 12’ x 20’ room adorned with a 270-degree high-definition screen, they are stepping into a virtual recreation of the world-famous US Masters golf course.

In the cognitive room, fans can experience their favourite tournament from the caddy seat and walk through the course in their favourite player’s shoes. The room can interact with fans, automatically identify US Masters tour guides and answer fans’ questions about current and historic events on the course, while simultaneously tailoring the atmosphere of the room to fans’ preferences.

The Augusta National Golf Club’s cognitive room is an excellent example of how different AI technologies can combine to elevate customer engagement like never before. Now, fans can gain front-row access to the action—a privilege previously reserved for members of the esteemed golf club.

How Can IBM Help Your Business Become an AI Leader?

Adoption is still one of the biggest hurdles for companies that want to harness the power of AI technology, even for industry giants like FOX Sports and The Augusta National Golf Club.

Drawing on technical expertise, industry leading technology, and our extended network of partners, IBM is helping more businesses take the first step in their AI journey.

For customers that have already stepped into the world of cognitive business, IBM can offer the support and guidance they need to develop world-class AI offerings that deliver a coherent user experience across all touchpoints.

As FOX Sports and The Augusta National Golf Club demonstrate, with dynamic solutions such as IBM Watson Media, businesses can create memorable moments for their customers and drive deeper engagement with their products and services.

To find out more about how IBM iX can help your business exploit the potential of AI, visit: ibm.com/uk-en/industries/telecom-media-entertainment

Chief Technology Officer, GBS, UK&I

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