IBM has started using its own Watson ‘cognitive computing’ system to buy online media in Europe, it has been revealed.
Speaking at last night’s (25 January) Oystercatchers Club event at London’s Mayfair Hotel, IBM UK and Ireland chief marketing officer Lisa Gilbert said the tech firm was beginning to integrate Watson’s artificial intelligence capabilities into its media buying.
The panel debate was focused on the topic of business transformation and was hosted by Oystercatchers founding partner Suki Thompson. Other panellists included Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Lynda Thomas, Citi Private Bank’s global head of digital marketing Simon Kingsworth and Karmarama executive chairman Jon Wilkins.
Gilbert told attendees she would anxiously await inevitable questions from potential client about how IBM is using Watson in its own marketing, so – upon taking up the UK and Ireland role late last year – decided to kick off a series of projects centred on the Watson technology.
In the case of media buying, according to reports, Watson sits within The Trade Desk’s demand-side platform and learns how best to implement a campaign based on factors such as location, device and time of day.
Gilbert said that, upon joining the UK team, she found a group of “risk averse” marketers, and revealed she has tried to promote a culture of being “bold and brave” – including honouring “epic fails” at the company’s own in-house ‘Bolden Globies’ awards.
Joking about the description of sushi as “cold, dead fish”, Gilbert said she is determined to introduce a fresh approach to creativity, and will next week be sending them on a storytelling masterclass: “We’re a very rational company. I need to turn this whole team into storytellers.”
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