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IBM, the blue giant of innovation [Interview]

May 9, 2019 11:53:38 AM

The Blue Giant. That's the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of IBM. But IBM is much more. It is a brand with a long history in the world of technology, but it is also synonymous with innovation and cutting edge. This week, we spoke with Álvaro Saavedra López (Cognitive Solutions Leader for Banking & Financial Markets in Spain, Portugal, Greece & Israel). We have debated on innovation, its developments in the field of artificial intelligence and real cases of the application of these technological solutions.

Alvaro Saavedra Lopez - Cognitive Solutions - IBMThe first thing we asked him was how he would define IBM's business: "IBM is a century-old company, a leader in innovation. In recent years we have become a company of cognitive solutions on Cloud platform, where Watson is our Artificial Intelligence platform for companies and IBM Cloud is the leading global platform in the field of the cloud for companies." If one thing is clear, it is that innovation has always been one of the hallmarks of IBM: "Today we are the most powerful innovation platform for companies and our proposal is the key piece of architecture that companies are designing today." says Saavedra.

Partnerships with leaders in innovation, accelerating the development of their business

For any company that wants to be at the vanguard in innovation, alliances with the most leading players in the sector will be a key factor in its business strategy, and that has also been a great asset that IBM has has used to its advantage. "At IBM, we are very used to working with partners, including large business, startups and Fintechs. We have a very important Business Partners ecosystem with which we share clients, with very diverse business models including VARs (Value Added Resellers), Solution Providers, System Integrators, Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and ISVs (Independent Software Vendor)." explains Álvaro.

It is within this context that the relationship between Audiense and IBM began, as Saavedra states: "To capture a new market share and improve competitive advantage, companies in all industries, not just banks, must understand who their customers are and how they think. Audiense had a social marketing platform and we understood that the application of cognitive skills to it would provide a qualitative leap in helping companies understand the affinities of customers in real time."

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When 1 + 1 > 2

Regarding the relationships between technology platforms such as Audiense and IBM Watson, Saavedra comments "Integrating social marketing platforms with technologies such as IBM Watson allows companies to obtain a clear view of affinities with customers in real time. With this information, brands improve their marketing activities and make the necessary decisions to capture new market share and increase their competitive advantage."

At the forefront of new disciplines

Innovation is often a necessary seed for the emergence of new disciplines, as has been the case of audience intelligence, a recently emerged field of research in which developments and integrations such as Audiense and IBM have marked a turning point. "Audiense uses IBM's cognitive solutions to help personalize the marketing activities of its customers. For example, Audience Personality Insights use the potential of IBM Watson to provide deeper insights into audiences and influencers and are an excellent way to understand the intrinsic characteristics of your target audiences to create truly effective messages, ads and campaigns. And while Watson's technology analyzes the personality of users based on three models (Big Five, Values and Needs), Audiense examines the psycholinguistic content of the content and allows their visualization. As a result, advertisers can reach directly the users most likely to redeem coupons or click on an ad on Twitter." explains the Leader of Cognitive Solutions for Banking and Financial Markets at IBM.

The most innovative technological developments for the most innovative brands

"The team behind the Watson Personality Insights API, integrated into the Audiense solution, revealed that Twitter users with certain personality traits are 40% more likely to redeem a coupon and some are even twice as likely to click on the advertising campaigns on Twitter." Saavedra explains.

Developments such as these are what make it possible for the most innovative brands and companies to have competitive advantages over their traditional competitors, and that offer very satisfactory and positive results: "Now, customers can discover and reach those people directly. For example, they can identify and target Twitter users that best match their goals, that is, they are more likely to respond, share and retweet. In the end, this has repercussions in the form of higher response rates and conversions than the competition and makes their level of satisfaction very high."

Data-driven and customer-centric strategies allow the development of highly efficient tactics that drive the ROI of social media activities and marketing in general: "With the use of Personality Insights, they can develop a targeting strategy based on profiles that are more receptive to your content, which improves results and maximizes the money invested in Twitter ads."

Personality driven marketing is no longer a vision of the future, it is a present reality.

Some success stories

To conclude our meeting with the Cognitive Solutions Leader of Banking & Financial Markets, we wanted to know what have been some of the most outstanding success stories in which their technological developments have played a key role.

"Adecco was the first company to use Audiense Personality Insights in their social media advertising campaigns: using social data and artificial intelligence to inform and base their media strategies, identify and choose influencers to collaborate with and personalize their messages to their target audiences."

The potential of innovation in fields such as audience intelligence reaches all industries, from human resources consultancy companies to business in the telecommunications industry or entertainment sector.

"Telefónica with the concept of personality has been able to obtain a deeper understanding of the readers of the 'Think Big' blog. What personality traits do they share, what motivates them, which are more likely to share the content with others etc. With the use of Personality Insights, they were able to develop a segmentation strategy based on profiles that would be more receptive to their content, which in turn improved the results of their campaigns and maximized the money they spent on Twitter ads." explains Saavedra. And he adds "It has also been used to determine how to define the La Liga audience and reveal their personality."

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash.

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