IBM announced on Monday the launch of Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, a new suite of triggers designed to help marketers make the connection between weather and product sales without the use of third-party cookies or identifiers.
Sheri Bachstein, IBM’s vice president and global head of Watson Advertising and The Weather Company, says the company has been working for years with artificial intelligence (AI) to prepare for a future without third-party identifiers.
“There’s a new era coming and the industry needs a new backbone and I believe that’s AI,” she says. “If you look at programmatic, AI can recognize patterns and make predictions on all this endless data to help marketers make more trusted connections. AI can do this without identifiers and cookies.”
Using artificial intelligence, it relies on 500 advertising triggers with up to six variables per trigger across 42,000 ZIP codes every hour, increasing the amount of actionable insights the company generates for brands.
The targeting solution becomes available across digital advertising, including programmatic, display, social, search, video, email and digital out-of-home.
The advertising industry has not experienced or seen the full potential of AI, she said. AI is used for buying and selling, but that’s about it -- at least until now.
IBM’s offering supports new ad-targeting triggers powered by AI and Nielsen, and is facilitated through the Nielsen Connect Partner Network. The triggers leverage IBM Watson to aggregate and analyze large and complex data sets like weather and product sales while addressing new privacy standards.
As part of their collaboration, IBM and Nielsen will work together to combine weather insights from The Weather Company with Nielsen’s Retail Measurement Services (RMS) data to generate future reports for marketers.
The product addresses Google’s pending lack of support for third-party cookies and identifiers in its Chrome browser, as well as Apple’s decision around the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which is used to track and identify a user without revealing personal information.
Apple decided to delay its rollout until the first quarter of 2021. “Giving businesses time to prepare is the right thing to do,” Bachstein said. “It doesn’t change the opportunity for users to opt-out. They are just trying to make it more transparent.”
She said it’s time for the ad industry to evolve and become more privacy-centric. It has become important to think about Privacy By Design, she said, which is a framework based on proactively embedding privacy into the design and operation of IT systems, networked infrastructure, and business practices.
IBM has been creating a suite of AI-driven products. Another revolves around social. Consumers make buying decisions based on social influencers. It’s challenging for a company to find the correct social influencer. AI can cut through the data to find the correct influencer.