How AI Is Connecting Consumers to Brands



Marc Blanchard (Global Head Experience Design, Havas Worldwide) and Carolyn Calzavara (Program Director Watson & IBM Cloud, IBM Watson) spoke about their partnership at Social Media Week Chicago.

IBM Watson and Havas might not be a partnership that you would think is natural, but their projects might prove you wrong. Marc Blanchard, Global Head Experience Design at Havas Worldwide and Carolyn Calzavara, Program Director Watson & IBM Cloud at IBM Watson spoke about their partnership at Social Media Week Chicago.

Data is vital to businesses these days and many consumers are willing to provide their data to businesses but consumers in return want three things: to be understood as an individual, make every interaction matter, and to be shown brands are for real. If brands can honor these consumer wants, data can make or change businesses. Blanchard described it perfectly by saying, “Data is like rocket fuel for building valuable experiences”. Companies like Airbnb have proven this to be true, by being the world’s largest accommodation provider but owning no real estate.

AI provides is the ultimate use of data and when brands use it they can provide personalized experiences for consumers. AI has the ability to understand, reason, learn, and interact. To get a sample of what Watson can do, consumers at home can get a personality insight by either connecting your Twitter or uploading a writing sample. Watson’s other services include speech/object recognition, emotion detection, facial expression detection, and relationship extraction along with many more. But you might be asking yourself what are the benefits of utilizing data and AI? It can provide personalization at scale, streamline customer experience, authentic brand expression, content & media efficiencies, and provide insights to drive product innovation.

Two cases where Havas brands connected with IBM’s Watson are Women Interrupted and Con Edison’s chatbot. Women Interrupted was created to shed light on the fact that women are interrupted 2x more than men. Consumers are invited to download the app to their phone and let it record and analyze conversations to count the number of times they were interrupted mid-conversation.

The app turned out to be a hit not only because consumers could connect to the humanized technology, but because they were aware of what it was and how the data was used. IMB Watson and Havas turn to this case as one of their success stories with the integration of AI in marketing and social efforts. From this they created 6 design principles to replicate this success again: be overt and transparent, make it effortless, find your (virtual brand) voice, let the user manipulate her own data, future-proof your content taxonomies, and to be ethical. AI is still relatively new, especially its usage in amplifying brands and business, but if this case if proof to anything, the future of marketing is an exciting one.

Further analysis and commentary from ‘Era of Cognitive Marketing: Social Media and the New Brand Intelligence’ session:

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