Phil Kinzler is a Product Marketing Lead for IBM Watson Advertising, and is focused on building awareness and consideration, as well as driving revenue, for data products & solutions, including IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, the flagship weather triggering product powered by the world’s most accurate weather, IBM’s industry-leading AI, and best-in-class data science. Phil is based in Atlanta, GA.
Phil has been working on cutting-edge digital marketing & advertising for more than 20 years. Prior to joining IBM, he has experience with world-renowned brands and publishers, including CNN, Porsche Cars North America, The Weather Channel, Newell Brands, and Cox Media Group, leading award-winning content, marketing, advertising, social media, and digital transformation projects.
Phil received a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.
Let me start out by wishing everyone a good day. My name is Phil Kinzler, and I work for IBM Watson Advertising as Product Marketing Lead for our suite of data-based targeting solutions. In brief, my job is to make sure the advertising industry is using Watson Advertising’s data-based capabilities to reach target consumers when and where it matters most, with relevant messaging that resonates, with minimal waste and maximum efficiency.
You’ll hear those phrases again. But a little more about me:
I’ve been working in digital advertising and marketing for, well, my career is old enough to join me at a bar for a drink. I’ve had exposure on all sides of the industry – I’ve worked for media companies like CNN, Cox Media Group, and The Weather Channel, building audiences, driving awareness and tune in, and generating revenue. I’ve worked for CPG companies like Newell Brands building consideration and driving ecommerce for brands like Calphalon, Sharpie, and Graco Baby. I’ve driven, pun intended, digital marketing strategies and activation for Porsche Cars North America. And I’m currently with IBM Watson Advertising, which – since IBM’s 2016 acquisition of The Weather Company digital products and solutions – is almost like coming home.
All this to say, I’ve found a special joy in the art and science of digital marketing and advertising – one of the few areas where it’s possible to live on the cutting edge of technology, and to connect with consumers both en masse and at 1:1 levels.
I, along with my colleagues across IBM Watson Advertising, have recognized a problem in the industry today. When we speak with our valued clients, partners, agencies, and others with whom we collaborate, we hear loud and clear the uncertainty in their voices about GDPR, CCPA, IDFA, 3rd party cookies … the list goes on and on. We hear about the reluctance to lean into the walled gardens of social and search, to be beholden to bespoke solutions and technology that doesn’t apply and can’t be measured across platforms. Yet at the same time, the inability to escape their ubiquity and the promise of performance is nearly too intoxicating to refuse.
We hear, and we see, that the ad industry is going through a period of upheaval – one that is quite necessary, if I might add – and there is a great and growing void of solutions that hold the promise to confidently and competently reach target audiences at scale.
There is also the heretofore unfulfilled promise of Artificial Intelligence. AI, throughout the industry, promised to revolutionize everything from media placement, to creative decisioning, to reporting and analysis, to conversations and chat. In most cases, it has been a profound disappointment, and brands have accepted the risk and reward, but mostly risk, of incomplete and ill-informed strategies and applications.
Artificial intelligence can change how people work, redefine the way businesses operate, and transform industries by augmenting human thought processes at scale. AI can understand massive and diverse data inputs far faster than any human or traditional platform, recognize patterns to make predictions, and continuously learn and deepen expertise over time. Essentially it should be able to deliver on the exact promise marketers have been anticipating for years.
As one of the world’s largest unstructured data sets, weather is perhaps the best example to test AI’s power and ability to help brands create more trusted connections with their consumers. Weather impacts everyone, influences how people feel, and in turn how consumers act. We know that having weather data is very different from knowing how to use it beyond weather forecasting. Understanding what is going on everywhere in the atmosphere at any given moment and doing so in correlation to other data signals is not easy, but it’s what’s required.
So how does this become actionable, and how does this solve the problem? We feel our IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting solution, which you may be familiar with as WEATHERfx, offers the ideal combination of targeting and scale, in a privacy compliant way, with no identifiers or cookies needed.
Let’s start at the beginning. We found that across all demographics, and all regions, the response we have to weather is universal. That is to say, regardless of what conditions make the weather feel a certain way in your location (because what feels cold in Chicago is very different than what feels cold in Miami) – when any of us feels cold because of weather, we have a very similar emotional and motivational response to one another.
The weather can lead us to be more focused on, or concerned about, other people – or ourselves. It can instill in us a desire for change – to mix up our routine, or it can drive us to seek stability and comfort. Again, behaviors that exist during normal, seasonal weather, and may be magnified during periods of pending severe weather, or even during this uncertain period in which we are currently living through.
That is interesting for quite a few reasons, but one that I find most interesting is that it means the weather can be used to predict our emotions, our motivations, our mindset and our actions. If we can predict our response to weather, then we can also plan for those responses, and consider what that means for the best way to communicate with consumers.
Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, rooted in the world’s most accurate forecast, offers maximum effectiveness and efficiency in digital campaigns, powering campaigns that anticipate consumer behavior, ensuring that ads are delivered at the most contextually relevant time to help advertisers build brands, create awareness, and drive results, with minimal waste – when and where it matters most.
Weather Targeting combines the power of weather’s ability to drive emotion and action with IBM’s Artificial Intelligence and machine learning capabilities to model and train algorithms. This turns the relationship between weather, location, and complex data sets like health conditions, product sales, and consumer activity into actionable, proven solutions, without relying on 3rd party cookie data or other identifiers.
The promise of AI can be truly realized with Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, as we’re able to add structure to that most unstructured of data – weather – and combine with additional data sets like SKU-level product sales, anonymized health data, predictive factors like flu or allergy conditions, and more to enable actionable targeting solutions that use Watson-based machine learning to continually learn and optimize.
In addition, the same AI technology can be used without weather, to enable pure data-informed targeting capabilities like the ability to reach consumers, dynamically and automatically, when COVID-19 cases are increasing or decreasing in their area.
With IBM Watson Advertising’s commitment to open and transparent technology, our Weather Targeting triggers are available on The Weather Channel site and apps, most major DSPs, Google, YouTube, most social media platforms, digital out of home, and OTT/connected tv platforms.
And advertisers using Weather Targeting have seen great success –
● A prescription cold and flu brand saw an increase in performance of over 300% on search,
● A leading auto brand drove a 4% increase in brand awareness
● A Quick Serve Restaurant served a 7% lift in store visits
● An ice cream brand saw a refreshing 26% increase in sales
● And our own The Weather Channel app saw a 50% increase in engagement rate on social
OK, so we’ve talked about IBM Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, and hopefully you now have a good sense of how we use AI to power advertising based on weather’s influence on emotion and ability to predict consumer behavior.
But let’s review.
We’re combining the world’s most accurate weather with IBM’s AI to anticipate consumer behavior.
Weather trends are overlaid with complex data sets to determine exactly what will drive sales, action, activity, or exacerbate health conditions.
The ads are then triggered only in locations where those conditions are present.
Let’s take a look at a specific category. Perhaps cookies will whet your appetite?
As a comfort food, it’s hard not to buy cookies. But if you know the conditions that drive sales, you can help lead your consumers to purchase.
In the evaluation stage of trigger creation, we look at the weather conditions and overlay sales data, and note the correlations. We can then trigger advertising based on when and where those match.
Trigger creation and deployment happens only when and where those conditions are occurring. In this example, if cloudy conditions are proven to drive cookie sales, you can see the messaging will be displayed on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, maximizing effectiveness and minimizing waste
And messaging based on the triggers can appear nearly anywhere online your consumers are – programmatic display on web and mobile, social media, search, video, connected TV, and out-of-home digital signage.
Finally, we can prove out that the cookie trigger activated when and where we expected over time, using our visualization tool, thus providing an extra level of confidence.
Let’s look at one more case study: a quick serve restaurant, who used Watson Advertising Weather Targeting to drive trust, promote its new menu, and increase sales.
Thus, we feel we’ve solved a great industry challenge with a proven product that realizes the promise of AI without the need for privacy-concerning and near-obsolete cookies and identifiers.
And I’d be remiss, of course, to not mention Watson Advertising’s other solutions that harness the power of AI to drive performance and results.
● Advertising Accelerator with Watson uses AI to predict the optimal combination of visual and creative elements within an ad to drive the highest engagement for a given audience.
● Social Targeting with Influential offers AI-powered influencer technology that pairs brands with the right influencers to amplify their message and drive consumer engagement.
● Conversations uses Watson AI to enable brands to have intelligent, personalized 1:1 conversations with consumers at scale in an advertising unit, and helping marketers uncover consumer and product insights faster than ever before.
Each day, we’re building new and innovative products and solutions that allow AI to bring value and performance to the industry.
If you’d like to learn more about Watson Advertising Weather Targeting, also known as WEATHERfx, or our other AI-powered advertising solutions, visit us at IBM.com/watson-advertising. Again, I’m Phil Kinzler with IBM Watson Advertising. Thank you for watching!