Filtering only the best stuff from &THEN, the DMA Annual Event, Content Continuum provides in-depth access to interviews, videos, case studies – and the stories behind them all.


From chatbots to cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the way marketers connect consumers to the most important brands in their lives. And Data & Marketing Association members are leading the way – as some of the earliest adopters of the most leading-edge applications of deep learning being used in marketing today. Welcome to the new age of “Cognitive Marketing.”

  1. IBM Watson: From Game Show to Game Changer

    Most people know IBM’s Watson as the supercomputer who took on the television game show Jeopardy! – and won. Today, Watson is a cognitive system that enables new partnerships between brands, people and computers. In fact, Watson now works alongside people in 45 countries and 20 industries to help businesses work faster and work smarter. Thanks to Watson, marketing professionals now have the power to uncover new levels of actionable insights, deliver impactful and personalized experiences that customers want and value – and discover innovative ideas that provide competitive advantage.

    Watson represents an evolution of powerful systems that can scan volumes of unstructured, natural language data to identify patterns, learn trends and predict future customer behavior. By “democratizing” data in ways marketers haven’t seen before, the cognitive solutions enabled by Watson makes it easier for marketers and digital commerce professionals to access and deploy sophisticated analytics.

    Additional Resources
    You can learn more about AI, cognitive computing and IBM’s Watson, directly from Michelle Pelluzo, IBM’s first-ever Chief Marketing Officer at &THEN, the DMA annual event which will be held in New Orleans from October 8 – 10. Click here for more.

  2. H&R Block: Reinventing Tax Prep

    Since 1955 H&R Block has filed more than 720 million returns, amassing deep insights that inform their recommendations to filers. H&R Block’s approach to tax preparation is rooted in a commitment to securing the maximum refund each client can earn. Doing so means they must avoid the “check-the-box approach”, which can often lead to missed deductions or filing an inaccurate return.

    This year H&R Block reinvented the category it founded more than 60 years ago by introducing a new, exclusive, consumer-facing experience that incorporated cognitive marketing. During tax season, H&R Block’s 70,000 tax professionals tapped into IBM’s Watson to help deliver the best possible outcome for each unique tax situation.This cutting-edge cognitive approach to tax prep was the first in the tax prep industry, and it represents H&R Block’s most personalized tax experience ever.

    Additional Resources
    View the H&R Block/IBM Watson campaign below.

  3. 1-800-Flowers.com: A Gift for Growing Business

    Since its launch in the mid-1980s, 1-800-Flowers.com has transformed itself from a small bricks-and-mortar retailer, to a teleservices operator, to an online powerhouse. Now, with advancements in AI, 1-800-Flowers.com is once again changing the game.

    The challenge they face is to educate consumers about their ability to solve more of their gift-giving needs – than with just flowers. Using sophisticated data, analytics and cognitive computing – enabled by IBM’s Watson, 1-800-Flowers has created an AI interaction with customers that uses voice commands, text and chat apps.

    The system, referred to as “GWYN”, helps customers find what they need while looking across all 1-800-Flowers offerings and brands. This “Conversational Commerce” approach to marketing uses IBM Watson AI to make sense of an increasing flood of data, while answering questions from customers, taking their orders and helping them feel more connected to their brand.

    Additional Resources
    You can learn more about the cognitive marketing approach and GWYN directly from Amit Shah, Senior V of Online, Mobile and Social Media for 1-800-Flowers.com at &THEN, the DMA Annual Event in New Orleans from October 8 – 10. Click here for more.

Data-driven partnerships between DMA Members like IBM, H&R Block, and 1-800-Flowers.com represents the future of marketing. As the data-driven marketing industry’s trade association, DMA is leading the way to protect marketers’ ability to responsibly use data for good and to remove barriers to innovation in marketing and advertising.

Additional Data-Driven Resources for Marketers – from DMA:

  • DMA 360 – An online an on demand intelligence platform. Share and compare with the best that marketing has to offer. Click here to access.
  • 2017 DMA International ECHO Awards – Bold strategies. Brace creativity. And the results to prove it – all at your fingertips. This year, DMA has added an entire category devoted exclusively to AI and cognitive marketing. Click here to access the ECHO Awards site.

For more data & marketing insights, head to the &THEN Blog


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