Marketers have the burden of becoming smarter and faster – in a never-ending pursuit of creating memorable, high-impact customer experiences using only pixels on a screen and a handful of ideas, and quickly, before the customer loses interest. Most marketers lack necessary skills, budget, headcount and time to keep up with the increasing customer demand for quality moments.

IBM’s 2018 CMO Institute of Business Value study found that CMOs and marketing functions are increasingly using AI to deliver more personalized client experiences and make more informed decisions. In fact, nearly 40% of CMOs are planning to reinvent customer experiences with AI. The application of AI can help transform marketing departments in a variety of ways and allow marketing professionals to rapidly access insights that can assist customer experience design and development teams, as well as customer-facing professionals and engage customers directly in personalized experiences, such as those provided by chatbots or robots.

AI can also have a significant impact on marketers’ productivity. According to Gartner, marketing analysts can spend what feels like, and may actually be, 20 to 30 hours of their work week shepherding, wrangling and corralling their customer data. It’s just not what humans are good at, but exactly where AI excels — AI can help marketers automate manual time-consuming processes to free up time, so they can be more strategic and creative.

Today, we’re announcing Watson Assistant for Marketing, an AI-powered intelligent assistant built into Watson Campaign Automation, IBM’s AI-powered email marketing and digital marketing application.

How Ingersoll Rand Optimized Marketing Campaigns with AI-Powered Watson Assistant for Marketing
Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in industrial manufacturing for creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, is using Watson Assistant for Marketing to quickly gain campaign insights across data sources all in a single view – allowing them to seamlessly improve decision making. With AI, Ingersoll Rand has gone from manually blasting emails to its wide range of industries and segments to running fully automated, intelligent marketing campaigns designed to reach the right audience segments at the right time, while tapping into campaign performance analysis to optimize performance.

“Watson Assistant for Marketing has been a timesaver and created greater efficiency in using the Watson Marketing platform day to day,” said Mark Becker, Web & Digital Marketing Manager, COE & digital demand generation, Ingersoll Rand. “It truly is like having another person on the team. We can easily monitor database growth and mailing performance, and the AI-powered assistant is there to answer our questions.”

Since Watson is embedded into the Watson Campaign Automation application, it is an expert on all the campaigns that have run. This allows marketers to replace lengthy query building and endless spreadsheets with a simple interactive AI-powered conversation and helps teams work smarter with data. Marketers can seamlessly design and build smarter digital marketing campaigns using any behavioral or profile criteria without complicated integrations or other limitations.

“Watson Assistant is really becoming an essential asset to our team. It makes every-day tasks that are unnecessarily complex significantly easier,” said Mel Fox, Digital Engagement Leader, Ingersoll Rand. “Watson Assistant for Marketing has been a game changer for our campaign managers. It helps us get access to marketing performance data quickly, helping us make smart marketing decisions. I have also started to gravitate to Watson Assistant to quickly review e‑mails, e‑mail performance, and retrieve insights we didn’t have access to prior.”

Ingersoll Rand is now well positioned to design automated, data-driven, and personalized marketing campaigns that speak directly to individuals, cultivating deeper dialogues that nurture loyalty and engagement.

Watson Assistant for Marketing is now available with IBM Watson Campaign Automation. Learn more here.

Watson Assistant for Marketing is an AI-powered feature in multiple Watson Marketing solutions that enables marketers to easily analyze the effectiveness of and quickly gain insights to their campaigns. It empowers them to be smarter marketers by working faster, making better decisions at speed, and ultimately delivering more effective experiences to their customers.

Accelerating Businesses onto Marketing Platforms
As businesses strive to create compelling, personalized customer experiences with AI, businesses need to navigate the complexity in leveraging new platforms to be better marketers.  In the last year, we’ve seen more companies take marketing in-house, a trend that is anticipated to continue as data ownership, costs and efficiency playing integral roles in the move. These companies must now replicate agency work, with the right tools, skills and technology put in place to rapidly execute high impact marketing campaigns.

That’s why IBM iX has introduced a set of services designed to help businesses quickly identify opportunities to improve marketing strategies and services, so they can fast track their integration onto marketing platforms, adopt the right technology solutions and maintain a competitive advantage. With a faster path to design, build and execution, businesses will be better positioned to embed technologies like AI and machine learning into their marketing campaigns and activities that will redefine customer experiences.

Our new marketing service accelerators are tailored to help businesses address some of their biggest marketing challenges, including analyzing campaign performance; interpreting master brand campaigns and creating consistent creative for seasonal marketing programs; and maximizing results by optimizing the short-term growth of marketing platform launches.

In a rapidly changing marketplace where customers are easily lost as they are gained, we’re helping our clients modernize their marketing strategy for improved performance and deeper consumer engagement.

Mark Simpson is Vice President, Offering Management and Strategy at IBM