eCommerce & Merchandising

Customer Engagement and Cognitive Technology – What Marketers and Retailers Need to Know

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The science behind reaching your customers on their terms isn’t always easy to master. Marketers and retailers need to have a keen understanding of where their audiences are, find unique ways to target them, and be innovative enough to create engaging and memorable experiences. All of these activities require significant time and effort – luxuries not always available to all companies when campaigns need to be launched quickly in order to remain relevant. Enter Watson Customer Engagement – our way of bringing the power of Watson technology to the marketing, commerce, and supply chain professions.

I recently sat down with FutureCommerce to discuss how the Watson Customer Engagement umbrella positively impacts each of these professions, including how cognitive technology can revolutionize the way that we do business. We left hardly no cognitive stones unturned, discussing everything from understanding how Watson works, to leveraging insights to make more informed decisions, and the future of A.I. in digital marketing. Read on for some key points from our discussion and see below for the full podcast.

Why Watson, why now?
The truth is, retailers are at a significant turning point when it comes to the current state of the commerce industry. There is tremendous untapped potential in terms of leveraging data and insights to make informed decisions. That’s what cognitive technology, and Watson, is all about. Cognitive technology gives marketers and commerce professionals a leg up on the competition, allowing for a natural flow of data between the marketer, retailer, and supplier. Information is processed quicker, decisions are made faster, and sales are made more efficiently.

The future buyer

In a newly released study, IBM has revealed that despite living largely digital lives, 98% of customers born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s still prefer to shop in store. However, this generation (Z) very much enjoys engaging and personally interacting with brands online and via multiple devices – leading to unique opportunities to influence purchase paths. The future buyer generation doesn’t just crave personalization, they expect it. It’s up to marketers and retailers to create these memorable experiences and to execute them properly, using data to help drive decision making.

Digital + A.I. = A better customer experience

Digital marketers understand the importance of personalization without overstepping customer boundaries (i.e. don’t be creepy). A.I. has the potential to help marketers successfully walk this fine line by enhancing the man and machine relationship – taking what a customer has seen and done, and making informed next suggestions based on data. By leveraging natural-language-processing and third party data, marketers can create a successful customer experience that is not intrusive, but effective.

Listen to our podcast and please note the time stamps below to find specific parts of the discussion:

Time stamp index:

  • Gen Z Study and the Future Generation of Buyers: 3:30
  • Examples of Mastering Personalization with Watson: 6:54
  • How Retailers Can Apply Watson to their Business: 11:58
  • The Cognitive T-Shirt Company: 16:20
  • Innovators, Big and Small: 19:20
  • Voice-Driven Technology and Purchasing: 20:15
  • The Future of AI in Digital: 28:20

Want more info on how cognitive technology is revolutionizing the marketing and commerce professions? Register for IBM Amplify 2017 to hear key insights from industry thought leaders on creating more engaging experiences with your customers.

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