Most people have heard of IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence software. Watson has come a long way since winning Jeopardy and is being used for a variety of applications. Brands and marketers face more competition than ever before and are awash with data they are only just beginning to use. Watson can parse through that data and provide actionable insight to help brands make lasting connections with consumers.

1. More Targeted Promotions

The holy grail of advertising is being able to sell the right product to the right consumer at the right time. Traditionally, advertisers paid for spots during television shows or sporting matches to reach a particular portion of the larger viewing audience. Over time, advertisers have been able to drill down to more granular target audiences and tailor their messaging accordingly. IBM Watson takes targeted advertising a quantum leap forward. Watson can target even more specific subgroups and offer dynamic advertising based on a variety of factors. For example, IBM is partnering with personalized data marketer Jivox to craft real-time contextual ads. If the weather turns cold, customers can be presented with ads or coupons for nearby coffee chains; ads can even include animated snowflakes if it begins to snow outside. Weather is just one of many data points that can be used to power data-driven digital marketing campaigns that boost sales.

2. Live Testing Advertisements

Another area where IBM Watson can support marketers is analyzing reactions to live testing advertisements. Normally, marketers and brands test early versions of advertisements in a simulated environment and then make adjustments based on feedback. This could be focus groups or other small test environments with a small number of subjects. Live testing involves analyzing reactions to marketing messages in real time and make adjustments automatically. For example, a car brand wants to develop a marketing campaign for a specific vehicle. The brand might make dozens of versions of the advertisement highlighting specific aspects or selling points. IBM Watson can test combinations on Facebook or other platforms and zero in on the most successful combination, creating an ad that is more likely to sell cars.

3. Predictive Analytics

Collecting data doesn’t mean anything without the tools to parse through that data and find relationships in the numbers. Watson’s Predictive Analytics tools help marketers identify those relationships and develop actionable insights. For example, a fast food chain wants to determine the attractiveness of offering a 20% off coupon during the fall. Watson can parse through spending data from previous quarters to determine which customers are most likely to respond to a coupon. That analysis can be based on previous behavior with coupons, income levels, and the length of the customer relationship. Watson can even determine when during the fall such a coupon would be most effective. This allows companies to maximize their marketing budgets and get the most bang for their buck. Predictive Analytics is also iterative; the longer the relationship with a customer, the more accurate and effective a promotion becomes.

Marketing is increasingly becoming data-driven and marketers need the tools to parse through data and make actionable insights. Watson gives companies the ability to better understand their customers by finding those quantitative relationships. Whether it’s trying to understand which customers to target or what marketing messages will best resonate, Watson is changing the face of modern marketing.