How enriched and faster news discovery fuels business development and growth

By and Joe Scherping | 10 minute read | July 31, 2017

Key Points:
– Watson Discovery News is like having a large team of tireless researchers vigilantly seeking opportunities and threats in news and blog content, only faster, and with more precision.
– Watson’s NLP-enriched news search sources from more than 100,000 outlets, with 300,000 new articles added daily, in real-time.
– Build powerful news queries in under five minutes.

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For many business development, product marketing and sales professionals, finding prospective customers with a compelling need for their products and/or services is challenging. Customers across all industries expect vendors to be knowledgeable enough about their business that they can deliver valuable advice without going through an extended learning curve. In the media, entertainment and sports arenas, audiences expect to be kept up to speed with late-breaking developments as quickly as it hits social media or other news sources.

Watson Discovery News is like having a large team of tireless researchers vigilantly seeking opportunities and threats, only faster, and with more precision. These services crawl and/or ingest large amounts of information quickly from leading and trusted news sources. It pinpoints relationships to other content which could be of strategic value, but would often go overlooked by traditional search engines. The search results set is more targeted based on these relationships and can save a lot of time and energy. The deliver benefits in terms of profitability, credibility, competitive posture and business growth.

Developers can embed Watson Discovery News Service into several digital interfaces including websites, mobile apps, business processes, workflows, and data visualization dashboards to add more value to their products and services, and increase engagement. The service can be built into websites, mobile app, business processes and workflows and dashboards. With new features and integrations, Watson Discovery News improves upon its industry-leading predecessor, AlchemyData News.

How can an API that retrieves and analyzes the world’s news add value to your business? Where does this service fit into your software solutions and IT operations?

Connect your sales team with the pulse of your industry

Sales and marketing experts generally agree that cold calling without a strategy, and untargeted marketing campaigns are no longer effective. Equip your sales team with a dataset of enriched news content, configured to notify them of prospective customers with needs for your products and services. It’s an investment which will pay dividends for as long as you subscribe to the Discovery News service. It can be integrated into just about any app you choose, so even non-technical staff can take advantage of insights gained from breaking news.

Let’s say you are a senior broker in the commercial real estate industry, and you are representing a client with a serviceable property for sale in an industrial area. Watson Discovery News has been configured to deliver articles related potential high-value investment opportunities in your region. While having your first coffee of the day, you find an article on your intranet news feed identifying a cloud services company looking to build a data center in your area. Your colleagues managing this listing are alerted by way of your workflow rules, and you receive a calendar invite from your colleague to meet with executives later that week.

The same scenario could be lucrative for telecommunications service providers, architects, construction companies and recruiting companies that serve the high-tech industry. It’s a matter of “telling” the Discovery News service what to look for in high authority news resources, integrating it with the applications and devices your company uses most, and setting up the workflow to ensure relevant information is delivered to the right people in your organization.

The real estate firm in the scenario above would benefit from cognitive features like entity extraction and concept tagging that helps them be more confident about the relevancy of article alerts. By separating the signal from the noise, they would spend more time pursuing the lucrative business opportunity, and less time sifting through raw search results.

Watson Discovery News is already being used successfully across many industries. Consider the success that predictive marketing firm Rocket Fuel has achieved by embedding Watson Discovery News into their platform. They create personalized “Brand Moments” to inform consumer buying decisions by using cognitive computing. A multi-step news enrichment process with the added scrutiny and intelligence of filtering aligns advertising with what it determines as content that’s relevant to the consumer’s preferences and buying signals (based on their digital navigation history). Further, it makes judgements on page context to ensure advertising isn’t presented adjacent to negative content about the brand and its celebrity spokespeople or influencers.

One practical application of this service is for companies to find prospects for their products or services. It can also assist companies that are looking to acquire niche players in their marketplace to expand their product set, or the breadth of their service delivery capability.

Get informed with emerging stories as soon as they happen

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball to know when and where important news will break about a prospective customer? Or for media outlets, a newsworthy event is about to unfold? The greatest technology can’t predict the future with absolute certainty, but cognitive technology can help to constantly search, retrieve and analyze the world’s news sources.

As soon as a relevant story is made public:

  • A professional sports team can send a scout out to evaluate a promising amateur athlete. Competing scouts, relying on word-of-mouth or their own research could miss out entirely.
  • An investment advisor can inform their clients of a lucrative opportunity (or if it’s time to exit). Their peers without Discovery News could miss the window of opportunity, and their clients could buy or hold until it’s too late. And possibly suffer significant financial loss.
  • Law firms can identify people or companies who will need their representation. Injury lawyers won’t have to “chase ambulances” to find clients, they will be informed of cases involving serious injury. Attorneys that specialize in copyright law can “catch wind” of pending litigation involving intellectual capital or creative ownership and act in the best interests of their clients before it’s too late.

Much like other aspects of life, the biggest events seem to happen when you least expect them to. Trusting a simple alerting service to uncover strategic opportunities for your business is like taking a knife to a gun fight. It’s not nearly powerful enough, and you don’t have much chance of surviving by relying on such limited functionality.

Gather insights about your business and competitors

Corporate executives need to keep a close watch on their company’s own reputation with recognized influencers, industry press and existing clients. A simple company name alert service might run into a “cry wolf” obstacle with too many repetitive results. If McDonald’s set up their enriched news feed to flag every mention of their company name, they’d be overrun with every mention of things owned by people with the surname McDonald. The same holds true for companies like Apple, (especially in the fall) and Ford. It becomes problematic when the alerts miss indirect, or subtle references to their company. Beyond specific company mentions, an employee, product or partner might be maligned in the in the digital realm.

Watson’s targeted sentiment analysis can determine how positively or negatively specific competitors are being talked about, even all within the same article. Learning how your company is discussed by industry press can help your business to target your marketing campaigns at specific demographics . Instead of “spraying and praying” with sales and marketing activities, you can specifically target prospects with a defined need for your products and services.


You might need to clarify your own messaging to change the conversations people are having about your company, and its products and services. Damage control can take many forms, but finding out about misinformation or rumors which can damage your reputation is a big step in the process.

It’s also wise to keep tabs on competitors – in case they announce a new product, put a talented player on the trading block, or make a strategic acquisition which could alter your competitive position. If your closest competitor has to recall their products for safety reasons, it could be a great opportunity to promote your own quality and security.

Building authority by sharing key learnings

Maybe your business develops software, and you embed a news feed in your application. Or you might be a video game developer, with a loyal audience of avid gamers competing in an MMORPG universe. Agri-food companies could use services to inform farmers about weather and pest control through a mobile app, or best practices for irrigation, seeding and harvesting.

Watson understands and classifies news by which general topics are being mentioned in the article as well, so you can find relevant news for your industry by a combination of broader topic or by specific named entity mentions. Watson’s understanding of the individual articles will result in more targeted content that fits your needs, without the noise.

In these scenarios, you have users that you can advise on the latest business and tax laws, provide guidance on how to stay healthy, or provide your gamer community hints on how to level up their character. All these scenarios are opportunities to build authority in your industry, deepen existing relationships, and earn referrals in the process. An enriched news discovery service can automate the content curation process, while building your authority and credibility with your audience.

Keep pace with the most relevant world news, sports, politics and entertainment

The internet, social media and various broadcast channels have made the world a much smaller place, and we have unprecedented access to events like war, natural disaster, protests and political activities. The news agency which first breaks the story often gets the most credit, and can set the tone for the coverage that follows it. In some cases, the initial reporting may only tell part of the story, and journalists that are “tuned in” beyond the standard news wire feeds have the opportunity to research, conduct interviews with witnesses, stakeholders, and subject matter experts.

Discovery News crawls major news sources every 60 to 180 seconds. A cable news anchor runs across a story with the President of the United States and the President of China in the headline when she’s preparing for her newscast that evening, as it expands upon her top story of the evening. Using Discovery News, she can share an alert with an assignment editor for immediate review and assignment to a journalist who can jump on the story and “flesh it out” with further investigation. Before you had access to news enriched by Watson, you might have missed an article that calls the president “POTUS”, or valuable articles might have gotten lost in the noise of false positives.

The same could be said for confirming who the villain will be in the blockbuster comic book movie next year, or clarifying whether a popular pitcher from the Yankees really will be traded to the Dodgers for a veteran shortstop leading the league in RBI’s. The Yankees could use an enriched news service to crawl leading news sources for articles on the player’s injuries, or use it to check out their farm system to see if there is an up-and-comer who can fill the role longer, and spend less time on the disabled list.

Timely information you need from sources you trust

Whether you receive a newspaper like USA Today or the New York Times on your doorstep every morning, or digital access to the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post, you get a lot of news that you don’t necessarily care about. Discovery News is like gathering articles of strategic value from high-authority sources around the globe, and delivering them to you, your customers or your partners through a familiar, intuitive interface.

Enriched discovery news services offer innumerable benefits to a broad set of industries and use cases. They can be leveraged to increase sales in the field, improve a sports team on the field, or even improve a crop yield from the field.

Is your company looking for ways to generate more insights about your customers, your industry, and how your business is perceived in it? Try a quick demonstration of Watson Discovery News here, or visit the service page to learn more, here. See how easy it is to access valuable content which would otherwise go unnoticed.


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