Digital marketers, accustomed to using software that helps them think about marketing, are now transitioning to a time when software will do much of the thinking. It’s called cognitive marketing, and research firm IDC expects that half of all companies will use this emerging generation of computer intelligence for their marketing and sales efforts by 2020.
IDC Research Manager Gerry Murray predicts that just a year from now, the current group of several dozen applications employing cognitive computing will become “hundreds.” Such applications, he told me, utilize “processes akin to the human brain, [by] taking signals and drawing conclusions.”
The converging drivers — massive computing power, massive amounts of data and a booming population of connected devices and sensors — are of course instrumental in delivering this new kind of marketing. Equally important is the ability to deliver cloud-based services, as most marketing services do these days — except that the cloud occupant here may well be IBM’s Watson supercomputer, or an equivalent, communicating through an API to the operational platform, also in the cloud.
Not who, but what the who do. We’ll watch this space for you.