- Lawn care company TruGreen teamed with IBM Watson Advertising to create an artificial intelligence-powered interactive Watson Ad that offers personalized recommendations and planning tips, as detailed in a Watson Advertising blog post.
- Consumers can use a series of dialog prompts to start a conversation with the AI-powered ad, which provide images, videos and interactive buttons that are relevant to the request. Based on the information provided, the ad will recommend personalized TruGreen lawn plans or information about other TruGreen products.
- The ad can also answer general questions about pricing, plan details, lawn maintenance and more, or connect consumers to an expert. TruGreen's Watson Ad is available on The Weather Channel app, weather.com and across HGTV properties.
TruGreen's ads powered by IBM Watson allow the company to provide better customer service and meet consumers' growing expectations for personalization without putting a greater strain on human staffers. Consumers reward brands that offer useful or educational experiences that can help them solve problems, including for more complex tasks like lawn care and planning, where they're unlikely to have much expertise.
Marketers continue to look for new and innovative ways to interact with consumers, and AI is helping them meet those goals by getting smarter at behavioral analysis and interactivity. TruGreen being able to integrate photos, videos and more into its Watson ads shows how applications of AI in digital marketing are continuing to evolve to include more media-rich formats. Emirates Vacations is similarly piloting ads with AI-powered chatbots that let people type in travel queries and get answers within the ad. The company saw an 87% engagement lift compared to its average click-through on display ads during a 30-day test of the feature.
More brands are deploying AI strategies in the form of chatbots for customer service, sales support and to make product recommendations. Forrester predicts that 20% of firms will use AI to make business decisions and to provide automated communications in 2018.