Digital Journeys 2017: Emily Booth, IBM

Blog | 07 Aug, 2017

Personalised Customer Journeys

Emily Booth from IBM reveals the average person spends 3 hours 8 minutes a day online and shares how brands like Netflix, Uber and The North Face use this to their advantage when creating customer journeys.




Emily: So I'm going to talk today very much about how our customer journeys, in effect, really do affect marketing. Obviously, I work very closely with Jeremy, who is like the AI/cognitive king. But I'm going to talk to you today about, actually, how this affects...ah, thank you. How this affects some of our customers. And I'm going to share with you some case studies about what we're actually doing with some live clients now and we're beginning to infuse some of these capabilities into the platform.


So while I was thinking about writing this...sorry, Lou. I was very late sending my presentation in this afternoon. But when I was thinking about writing this, I want to think about my own experiences as a customer and as consumer. And, how I, personally, interact with brands. Because, ultimately, that's what my role is at IBM. I'm supporting clients. I'm helping them build out their strategies and using some of the most exciting technology in the market. And that's also why I joined IBM. I used to work in an agency, up in Leeds. And I actually then was like, "I want to be where the change is happening." And where better to do that than at somewhere like IBM, which is often called "the world's biggest start up." It's 160-years-old, and it's still developing and getting involved in this really exciting technologies that we're talking, today. And just look at the change that we've seen in the last, even the last couple of years.


The one that really freaks me out the most, is Uber. Remember when you were younger and you were told, "Don't talk to strangers. Don't talk to strangers online. And, definitely, don't agree to get in their car." And now, we have Uber, which probably most people in the room will use. Anybody not using Uber? Uh, you shame me. Because I use it a lot. And when I began to think about why I use it and why it's become such an integral part of my life? It's ease and convenience. These are actually my trips, by the way. Please, don't start stalking me. Because you'll learn where I live, where my boyfriend lives, where I work. And it's ease and it's convenience with everything. And it's not just with Uber, it's how we communicate with all of our brands.


Take Netflix, for example. So Reed Hastings founded Netflix after he couldn't return an "Apollo 13" DVD. He was charged $40 for a late return. So he suddenly saw this niche in the market and so he created Netflix. And, interestingly, Blockbuster had an opportunity to then buy it back off him. And they said, "Nah, we think it's a bit niche." No one's going to, you know, like Netflix in the future. And, now, look at where it is. Again, it's ease and convenience.


Really interestingly, 85% of millennials -- so those born after 1995 -- don't even watch TV. So, again, we're going to see another shift. What's that going to mean for TV in the next couple of years? Well, let's tell that to the BBC, shall we? And it's not just Netflix. Think about shopping. Our experiences with shopping have now changed significantly. Even my mother now shops online and she lives in the middle of nowhere in North Yorkshire. You know, Net-a-Porter, for example, or as my favourite, it's discount sister, TheOutnet. You can order something online, get same day delivery. The driver will wait for you whilst you try the item on. And then you can send it back. Why do people go into shops anymore? Because we've become so lazy. But for marketers, this presents quite an interesting challenge because the shifts have been so dramatic. And on top of this, most customers will use between three and five devices for making any basic purchasing decision -- and I'm definitely a culprit of that. I have a personal phone, a work phone, an iPad, a work and a personal laptop. And I'm sure many people, here, without even thinking about it, will cross devices when they're making a purchasing decision. Whether they're at work and you're on your mobile when you should be working, looking at something you want to buy later. And then you purchase it on your way home, maybe, on your iPad. But the problem for marketers is that we also expect and demand consistency in how we're being spoken to as a brand. Excuse me.


You know, if I'm going on one channel on one brand, I want another channel to still talk to me in the same way. I expect that consistency. And, of course, it's making our lives, as marketers, much more difficult. And on top of it, we waste so much time, you know, multi-screening. How many people will go home after a long day at work, and they've got something on the telly. And they're also, absentmindedly, scrolling on Instagram, catching up with their WhatsApp’s from their mom…this is my life -- Facebook Messenger. We waste three hours, eight minutes a day online. But I'm questioning, are we actually wasting time? Because this has now become so ingrained in our lifestyles. Surely we should be, as marketers, embracing this change in customer behaviour. And one brand that's done that really interestingly is Red Bull. And Red Bull are actually taking that online time wasting, and they've turned it into something that's become a really integral part of their brand. They have a really, really great quote, which is part of their strategy. Which is, "50% of people go online to waste time. So let's give those some really cool shit when they get there." And why not? Because they know their audience. They understand what people are looking for when they go on to waste time. So they're actually going to turn that into something useful.


So Red Bull are an IBM client, and they use...Jeremy mentioned some of our Watson Personality Insight material earlier. And they're using speech to test personality insights. So what they're doing with an agency, actually, is they are analysing athletes' online materials: how they sound on Facebook, how they talk to their fans. And they're analysing that to understand better what responds better with fans. And so what they're then able to do is they're able to then advise the athletes about how to communicate with their brands. How to talk better. How to get a better response. So what that's doing is, rather than Red Bull giving a script to their athletes and saying, "This is how you have to talk about this." They're enabling those athletes to create their own voice, build their own profile, but was also helping the Red Bull brand. And, ultimately, going into their pockets.


And it's a really interesting example of where rather than being freaked out by the change of behaviour, they've actually embraced it. And if anybody goes onto anything on Red Bull, there's so much amazing content. And what they're doing is, you know, they're crunching. They're crunching voice. They're crunching emotion analysis. Some more things that I'm going to be talking about later. Because what I think is really particularly interesting is, what Red Bull have done is that they're responding in the moment.


You know, they know what a fan has done 10 minutes ago. They know what they've done five seconds ago. And we all know that data is really important. And I'm not saying it's not important, and it's a key part, and I'd probably get sacked if I said data's not important. But isn't it more interesting and more important to think what someone did five minutes ago? Or, the mood of a fan? If you know that the fan is upset, or angry, or really passionate in that moment, could that not also be a really useful piece of information for a marketer to be able to work with? And I really like this quote from Bradley Voytek from Uber. He says, "I don't need to know everything about everybody. I just need to know a little bit about a lot of people." And Jeremy mentioned this earlier. If you can get a few bits of information about a lot of people, you can begin to build up a really interesting profile.


Look at the Uber receipts that I shared with you earlier. From that, you'd be able to tell if you look at it: where I live, where I work, where my friends work, my age…probably, my dispensable income. And you can begin to actually plot together quite a lot of information. Now, we're not going to go into it today but, obviously, Uber are also doing a lot of bad stuff, in terms of that collection of data. So we have to always have this moral question as well, of how we use it. But I think if we can begin to build up this picture of a little bit about everyone rather than everything, which I'm sure, a lot of marketers in the room will appreciate. Because, as we've discussed, there are now so many channels, there's so many ways to communicate with your customers. I always knew this was a cult.


So this is my only boring slide, I hope. But I just wanted to…everyone's talking about AI and augmented intelligence and cognitive. And just to clarify what it means at IBM. So for something to be cognitive...a cognitive system has to be able to understand. Understand imagery, understand natural language. It has to be able to, then, reason with it to make hypotheses and theories. It has to be able to continually learn. So our Watson cognitive capabilities is constantly learning. It's currently being worked on by some of the biggest brands -- Coca-Cola, Nestle, etc., etc. And they're training it. Except, they're not actually using it, yet. They're just training it. And, finally, it has to be able to interact with humans in a natural way. So I have got an example later, of a really nice case study where this is actually working. So that's what I mean by cognitive.


Because when we are building up a customer journey, as we can see, it's grown and it keeps changing and evolving as we're getting all this new information. Now, I disagree with this. I think we're already demanding perfect execution, let alone 2020. I know, I am, definitely. But this is what we're looking at. It's a little bit of everything.


You've got the shop. You've got mobile. You've got online. You've got mobile. You've got social. You've got voice and emotion. But 55% of companies don't have a cross-channel strategy, which is crazy. And we all know…because a lot of people here work in large companies where one team doesn't talk to another. You know, marketing doesn't talk to sales. Sales doesn't talk to product. Nobody talks to marketing. That's what I always hear when I'm working with clients. And, so it's about how can we make this journey and this process easier? And the point is we need humans but we need them to be able to work with some of the most established technology.


One IBM client…it actually isn't BMW, by the way. I know that's a BMW car. I'm not like to say who it is but I was just looking for a funky image. So one IBM client is a luxury car manufacturer. And they have 190 stages in their customer journey. Does anybody here have anything like a 190 stages in a customer journey? No? Because it's pretty crazy, isn't it? Can you imagine that? Your budgets are getting tightened and you're told to do journey like that. And, of course, the only way this works is by using cognitive technology. It's by embracing some of the technology to begin to help. And because this is kind of, I guess, the end goal. This crazy single-view of a customer. And so what we're really interested in doing is leveraging cognitive to be able to help with this process. Because nobody wants to go into this, or understand it, or read it, really.


So one brand that we're working with is The North Face. Now, has anybody here, anybody has shopped in The North Face? Yeah, great. It has a really great in-store experience. You go in, the staff know everything about the product range. They know where you've been. They have a really, really good in-store experience. And they felt that their online wasn't as strong and that it wasn't giving the same customer journey.


So the brief is very simple. We wanted to take conversation you might have with an associate in-store, and see if we could put that as a service online. Here is what I need. Here is what I want. Now, I was going to do a live demo of this but technical issues got in the way of that. But, luckily, like the Blue Peter badge holder I am, I have an online video that I've actually done earlier. But you can this, now. You go to, and you can get to this website. So there's no smoke and mirrors. You can literally, go and do this in the break. But I have a video and I'm going to talk you through how this works.


So this is a service that The North Face built with IBM using Watson, powering in the back…in the back to make a sleeker online experience. So it should just play. So when and where will you be using this jacket? So I've typed in "Colorado, at Christmas." So you need a jacket fits those conditions, man or women? And it's all natural language. I'm not using any kind of funny language. So it's pulling information from the weather company, my gender, the kind of jacket that I might want. And then it goes further. So what's it going to be used for? What kind of activity? Hiking? And then it comes up with all of these options. But what kind of rain might there be -- light, heavy? And, again, it's further analysing, it's crunching. And then it comes up with these different solutions. And literally, -- you can go and do it now.


And this has had some really fantastic results. And I hate results slide but I am going to share them. And I want to particularly focus on, "75% of users would use this service again." So it's the actual service that people have found really, really useful. And we're building out with quite a few other clients who want to provide a similar experience. But it's not just retail that this can be used for. So I actually have the honour of speaking with Jellyfish at another event with a pharmaceuticals company.


And, imagine if you're ill and you're looking online. And it's scary, and it's nerve-racking, and you don't want to just go into Google and type, "I have this symptom." Because…never do that, between. Never do that. Or, financial services -- you're looking for a mortgage and you want to have slightly easier approach. This can be used across. This is just a particular retail example but some really nice results.


Now, I thought Jeremy was going to talk about personality insights and he hasn't, so I haven't done the video…he's not looking at me. So, Watson Personality Insights is another really fun gizmo that you can all get access to. And what this does is this fuels a lot of how we are analysing emotion. You can put in any kind of natural text. You can put in your Twitter handle and it will look at all of that. It will take all the analyses, and it will crunch it, and it will give you a personality.


So I can, very happily in the break, give you the link to do this. It's really, really cool. You can put in your company Twitter handle, whatever it is. And it will look at all of those tweets that you have ever been written and it will give you a personality. Like, "You are arrogant," or…well, no. It's actually quite nice.


But Jeremy did this. Am I allowed to...yeah. I'm not typed up. We can do it in breaks. I'll do it in a break. I'll analyse someone's personality in the break. It's really fun. But Jeremy did this for the election campaigns for Trump and Clinton. And looked at exactly the two different campaigns to see what differences came out. Really interesting results but we're not allowed to publish because Jeremy will get fired. But it's really fun, really nice tool. And we used this, again, for another case study, which I want to share with you now, which we did with Unilever. So Unilever have got many, many hundreds of different brands. One of which was Knorr's stock pork cubes. I've been told it's Ka-norr, not nor, by somebody in the know. Now, think about stock cubes. Not many people will have a relationship with their stock cubes, I'm guessing. Don't answer that. They certainly don't know the I will pick up stock cubes on my way home from the local corner shop. They don't have a lot of information about their customers.


And so taking this, they wanted to be able to create an ad campaign. And that's what this is. It led onto other marketing communications. But they wanted to be able to create a really emotive story for their customers. So they used what's in personality insights. And they got a range of people who are not actors to put in bits about their personality. They filled in...they sent in unscripted pieces of information about themselves -- their Twitter, their Instagram. They wrote down the kind of foods and experiences that they enjoyed. And they created this amazing video. And it won a Cannes Golden Lion award. It's got 60 million views online. And it's a really nice example of where, by being…thinking kind of outside of the box a little bit and thinking about how they can really embrace the changes in customer experience and the change of expectation in customer journeys. So they created this really, really great video.


Woman: Open your mouth.


Woman: Hi.


Woman: How long have you been single for?


Woman: Six months, now.


Man: Three years, now.


Woman: Well, I don't know. That's a complicated question.


Woman: How would you define love?


Woman: Passion.


Woman: Agony.


Man: It's that thing that people sing about all the time.


Woman: My ideal partner would be... 


Man: Secure.


Man: I like them to be a combination of elegance and clumsiness.


Woman: What are your favourite flavours?


Man: I like hearty stuff.


Woman: Love fish.


Woman: I love spicy food. I have really high tolerance to spicy food.




Woman: You have to feed each other.


Man: So I'm not allowed to put food in my own mouth?


Man: The whole meal?


Woman: Exactly.


Man: Okay, cool.


Woman: Everything is so me. This is like the perfect dinner for me.


Woman: How are you?


Man: Very good. And, you?


Woman: Yeah, I'm good.


Man: I'm Clayton


Woman: Karen.


Man: Nice to meet you.


Woman: Nice to meet you.


Man: How do I do this?


Woman: You know, what? This wasn't very expensive. You can just ram it straight in my mouth. I love everything that is on this table.


Man: Right. Okay.


Man: I'm really good at this, okay? So you just need to focus.


Woman: Okay.


Man: Whole thing. Whole thing.


Man: That's a good bite, right?


Woman: Oh my god.


Woman: Don't move it away from me, move it towards me.


Man: Sorry.


Woman: Good?


Man: It's very cute when you feed me, you know?


Woman: You like it?


Man: I like it.


Woman: Okay. Just put it in.




Woman: And I'll just be like…




Emily: So a really, really nice example. And Jeremy shared this slide but I'm also just going to leave that up here. So these are some of Watson's APIs. And I want you to really think about…and go away and think how, actually, you could realistically use some of this stuff in what you're doing, right now, in some of your campaigns? So things like emotion analysis, tone analyser. You know, what if you could speak into an app and be able to understand somebody's mood or someone' they're feeling if they're unwell? You know, think about these possibilities because we are really, really excited about being able to integrate Watson APIs into our everyday marketing comms, which is, ultimately…that's my day job, by the way. That is just what I do, for fun. But it's about bringing the marketing communications to life and making them relevant for everybody, and how they actually live their lives today. Whether you're on your sofa, in your underwear, watching Netflix, scrolling. It's about making sure that we can talk to people and bring them some really cool exciting stuff. So I think, now, you can get coffee. Yeah. It is coffee break, isn't it?


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