AI for the Enterprise

How Watson Advertising improves decision-making and reduces costs across the marketing lifecycle

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Key Points:
– The Weather Company’s ad sales business has become IBM Watson Advertising
– Watson Advertising offers agencies and marketers a portfolio of media, data, and AI solutions to help improve decision-making and reduce costs – from media planning through measurement
– Watson Advertising includes four AI-powered technology solutions: IBM Marketing Planner with Lucy, IBM Bidding Optimization, IBM Audience Targeting, and Watson Ads

Explore Watson Advertising


It is estimated that by 2020, there will be billions of terabytes of data produced every day (Source). Yet marketing and advertising professionals aren’t able to fully leverage it because they are navigating an explosion of different tools, facing a lack of transparency, and dealing with walled gardens. Watson Advertising can help.

The Watson Advertising ecosystem is a direct response to the needs of the marketplace. From Carrie Seifer’s perspective, as chief revenue officer for IBM Watson Content & IoT Platform, every agency and advertiser has their unique set of challenges, and they are all looking for something that can seamlessly solve for all of them, rather than having to rely on numerous disparate tools. With Watson Advertising’s offerings, they can customize and layer together the right media, data, and cognitive technology solutions that can help them better understand, anticipate, and respond to the needs of customers.

The Watson Advertising portfolio

The Watson Advertising ecosystem includes three types of solutions: media, data, and technology. Joining the heritage media and data offerings are the following AI-powered services:

  • IBM Marketing Planner with Lucy: This is an AI-powered planning console fueled by IBM Watson that is designed to empower today’s advertisers with the most relevant intelligence to do their jobs more efficiently. The console can improve decision-making across research, segmentation, media planning and beyond – helping save precious time and money for advertisers, brand managers, and agencies alike. The Watson APIs and services utilized include: Personality Insights, Tone Analyzer, and Retrieve and Rank (which allows you to rank data based on relevance, Language Translator, Natural Language Classifier, and Natural Language Understanding, Speech to Text, Text to Speech, and Watson Conversation
  • IBM Bidding Optimization: This tool leverages deep learning and neural networks — the latest advancement in machine learning — to optimize impressions in the real-time bidding process. It is designed to provide a competitive edge for advertisers seeking to drive better performance based on their KPIs. Due to the incredible power of deep learning, IBM Bidding Optimization can help drive superior performance, reducing time spent on manual optimization, increasing profitability, and lowering cost-per-action.
  • IBM Audience Targeting: This tool leverages deep learning with neural networks to analyze relevant data sets, and scores users based on the probability of their taking a particular action (purchase, conversion, video view, etc.). These audience scores are then distributed through the client’s established pipelines. IBM Audience Targeting is designed to drive better performance and increases contextual relevance by de-risking advertisers’ decisions on whom to target, as the tool helps identify the customers most likely to take action.
  • Watson Ads: Launched in June 2016, Watson Ads is the world’s first AI-powered advertising creative that leverages machine learning and natural language processing to make sense of unstructured data sets (like text and voice), and enables brands to have two-way conversations with consumers. These personalized experiences empower consumers to ask the questions that truly matter the most to them during their customer journey — creating meaningful connections with the brand that may ultimately impact purchase consideration and reveal new brand insights. The Watson APIs and services used include: Watson Conversation, Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, and Natural Language Understanding.

This new, scalable, cognitive, and open ecosystem can help increase talent productivity and profitability. These AI-powered technology solutions empower advertising professionals for more confident decision-making, and help them manage and organize data more effectively, so that insights can be uncovered more quickly and applied strategically to create deeper brand engagements.

Getting started with Watson Advertising

Global media and advertising agency UM has signed on as the first Watson Advertising client to leverage IBM Marketing Planner with Lucy. As Kasha Cacy, UM’s U.S. CEO explained, “At UM, we are passionate about the transformative power of big data and cognitive technology. Lucy is a cognitive tech solution which enables us to maximize our data offerings, enhance campaign performance on behalf of our clients, and execute in ways we never have been able to before.”

As Watson Advertising, we are powering new possibilities of decision making, informed by billions of data sources and enabled by the world’s best AI technology. Join us in this journey. Visit for more information.


AI is shaping the future of media and advertising. Discover how Watson can help your business.

Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Watson Content & IoT Platform

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