IBM says its analytical approach differentiates it from its marketing cloud competitors like Oracle and Adobe.
“There are companies that are about data itself or the creative process, but IBM is and always has been about helping clients gain insights from analytics, which is why we’re laser focused on cognitive,” said Steve Mello, VP and business leader for ecommerce and merchandising for IBM Commerce.
Although cognitive marketing may be a couple of years out until it’s adopted at scale, IBM was laying the groundwork for what it perceives as a major market opportunity.
“We bought Weather because it was an amazing platform that can merge together millions of transactions and events, not just for the fact that it was the no. 2 app after Google for global positioning,” Maria Winans, CMO of IBM Commerce, social and mobile, told AdExchanger.
Winans said the lifespan of a new product or capability typically takes about 18 months to get from ideation to a ship-to-market stage.
“You’ll start to see us embed cognitive capabilities, such as Real Time Personalization,” she said, “where [weather data] may be [one data feed] and where we come up with visual recommendations for ads.”
Buyers seem excited about the IBM's "cognitive" pitch, particularly the intersection of location-based data and advanced analytics.
Tessa Horehled, VP and group director, digital and social strategy, at DigitasLBi, called the current predictive modeling solutions that are in-market today "heavy" and "conceptual," but thinks IBM's ability to combine location data and cognitive learning will be much more tangible for marketing use cases.
"A huge theme at IBM Amplify this year is the customer journey - gaining full visibility into the omnichannel journey," she added. "For example, a brand can leverage IBM’s Universal Behavior Exchange within the IBM Marketing Cloud to capture behavioral data from sources such as e-commerce, marketing automation, web pixels, and mobile SDKs, move the key behaviors into the social marketing solution, Sprinklr, and apply this data to their new paid social ad campaign."