IBM Drives Ahead on Cognitive Marketing

Advances in cognitive marketing technology will help build the era of consumer personalization for marketing professionals.

For decades, organizations have wanted to achieve one-to-one marketing, seeking the capability to market uniquely to individuals on a personal level instead of to broader demographic groups. Progress toward true personalization has unquestionably been slow, until recently.
— Rashmy Chatterjee

That's according to IBM's North American chief marketing officer, Rashmy Chatterjee, who says cognitive marketing powered by technologies such as IBM Watson heralds "a world of true business to individual marketing, personalized for every stage of the customer journey —intimately and at scale."  

"Cognitive marketing solutions enable us to use the data marketers have and combine it with third party data to uncover relationships, needs, and messages at a greater scale, that we could not uncover manually," she explained in an interview with Vivian Rosenthal for Forbes.

Cognitive marketing involves a machine-learning, data-first approach to comprehensively understanding and anticipating a consumer's needs and wants. By using cognitive marketing technologies, marketing professionals can "improve storytelling, build and optimize relationships, and delight clients at every step of their journey through an intimate knowledge of their needs," according to Chatterjee.

Speaking at a conference earlier this year, Chatterjee explained how cognitive platforms such as Watson draw on the masses of unstructured data available online - social media interactions, images, posts, and so on - to flesh out a fuller picture of an individual.

Cognitive marketing allows a marketer to "put yourself in another person's shoes" and to begin to understand them as a guest to your business and more intimately as a potential buyer, Chatterjee argued.

"When you take this unstructured data and you become cognitive, you get a much better sense of the human and therefore a much better sense of the client."