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Exploring Personalized Experiences With IBM Watson

Earlier this year, I watched Inhi Cho Suh, GM at IBM Watson Marketing deliver an inspirational keynote in San Francisco that resonated with me. Shortly afterward, I caught up with her to learn more about how technology is transforming multiple industries.

One of the breathtaking stats delivered during the keynote by Inhi Cho Suh was the fact that 92% of purchases are now influenced by social and digital engagement. Make no mistake experience is now the product.

Although data is the new currency, she also warned that acting with integrity is a call to action for every business. However, what stood out for me was the line, “Don’t use your competitors as the bar against which you measure yourself. Ask yourself, what was the last best experience your customer had? Regardless of where hey had it. That’s your bar.

I quickly became fascinated by the transformation of IBM from a traditional tech corporation to a multichannel marketing powerhouse featured recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. After the keynote, I sat down with Inhi Cho Suh to discuss how IBM marketing is using technology to uncover actionable insights to also deliver personalized experiences that customers not only want but value too.

Neil: In your own opinion, what's the future of digital marketing and how do you think it's radically different from what it is right now?

Inhi Cho Suh: Great question. I think it's a challenge for all marketers as well as the vendor. There are probably two areas where I see digital marketing driving forward more and more. The first is hyper-personalized experiences that require a fundamental understanding of both your customer and customer data.

Businesses need a learning platform that enables them to not only understand the signals but the interaction patterns so that they can dynamically update messages, dynamically update interactive experiences and dynamically tag capabilities.

For example, the Watson content hub has the ability to tag images as you load them automatically. It will also republish automatically the sizing of the images for whatever media you are using. Something that would usually take months to do can now be completed in minutes.

These new abilities transform the empowerment marketers feel about being able to do their job at a level of specialization and speed that they haven't been able to do before. So I believe in hyper-personalization with AI along with customer insights and behavior platforms.

Neil: You are at the heart of innovating with AI, machine learning and blockchain. So I've got to ask you, what excites you about working with these emerging technologies and also getting to grips with understanding the actual all of the possible?

Inhi Cho Suh: What's fantastic about Watson is we have it operating in 45 countries across 20 different industries and what's exciting about it is the only limitation of it is the limitation of each one of us. Our imaginations for what's possible to recreate our own jobs, roles, and workflows. The variety of applications that our customers are developing themselves has also been incredibly exciting.

Businesses are really thinking about transforming their entire business models too. It's pretty exciting, and I think about the future, not just through that lens but also through new technology pieces too such as blockchain for smart contracts, cybersecurity, and quantum computing. There's a lot of different areas where reinvention is possible because of having a cloud and AI platform that is focused deeply on the enterprise.

Neil: If possible I also wanted to explore blockchain technology too. Can you tell me more about Stella's partnership with IBM and how that fits into your vision?

Inhi Cho Suh: Well, let me talk about blockchain because it rather than the cryptocurrency, because I know there's just a general excitement about the category. When I think about blockchain, the technology, the potential is huge.

For example, my team is innovating on adding blockchain is a shared ledger to an existing supply chain business network platform that we have. So today on our platform we have about over 6000-7000 clients who have distribution channels and partners with over 400,000 partners around the world, and we manage over 20 million transactions a day in terms of the trading partner network.

As you can imagine, this is very complicated for each individual and each enterprise. There's so, so much opportunity to think about when something like blockchain for visibility, governance, and trust for reporting. Not to mention, things like resolving invoice, resolving the date of when something was shipped or resolving billing aspects.

Blockchain represents an opportunity and potential for every industry. We're excited about every use case. I mean there's from food to research and drugs to commerce, to financial. We are seeing many use cases and adoption.

If you would like to hear the full conversation with Inhi Cho Suh, you can listen to the podcast episode below.

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