Cognitive Computing and the Rise of Intention Marketing

Heralding Cognitive Computing is like heralding the Fall after Summer. It is coming. So with that, here’s a simple summary to whet the appetite.

What is Cognitive computing? Aka the 3rd Era of Computing.

If we consider that the first era of computing was tabulating systems (1900), and the 2nd the one of programmable systems (1950), then Cognitive computing is the 3rd era of computing. While the programmable era will continue perhaps indefinitely and certainly underpin the next era of computing, cognitive systems represent a whole new approach to solving complex data and information analysis problems that goes beyond just computing.

Cognitive computing is a revolution in thinking models and our relationship with computing. Cognitive systems “suggest” answers. They refine results based on their interactions with end users and help them understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience.

These new cognitive systems will help us think. They will relate to us and answer questions using the language we humans use every day. They will learn from their interactions with data and with us, basically adapting their behavior automatically based on new knowledge.

A simple, broad example of how it works with a customer interaction.

Before cognitive, a business tried to push to us a product or service, sometimes by trying to identify who among us were the best “targets” for the product or service. With cognitive systems, retailers and marketers will try to understand our need and build a response. In terms of marketing it’s about moving from attention marketing (trying to grab people’s attention to sell them something) to intention marketing (trying to understand the intention to come with a custom-made solution).

Let’s consider the potential for cognitive within your company and world. Cognitive computing will bring with it significant market and human disruption and first-movers will have a significant advantage with regard to opportunity. Cognitive services will be largely available via cloud and mobile devices which will have a significant agility to market. This is particularly the case given the focus of cognitive and machine learning solutions being directed at individuals. Many of the businesses and processes within the 3rd wave ecosystem will be disrupted. We will see major changes for corporate workforce and culture to say nothing of the impact on employment for not only blue collar but white collar workers.

Very exciting and disruptive times indeed. The potential is massive but timing is key!