The Story Behind Opentopic’s Collaboration with IBM Watson

We started Opentopic to make content marketing easier, more effective and more accessible through content curation. We created a technology that ensured marketers would truly be able to find the best content for their needs and make it easy for them to leverage that content to support their business goals. And, in a short time, our customer base has grown from a select group of early innovators to a broad base of diverse companies, all bringing new levels of efficiency and impact to their content marketing initiatives with streamlined curation. But, the excitement is only beginning.

As entrepreneurs we are constantly challenging ourselves, working closely with our customers to understand opportunities for innovation and success. As a result, we’ve gotten a bird’s eye view into what makes content marketing work and, importantly, what prevents it from being the universally successful concept all of us in the industry want it to be.

One consistent issue is that content marketing is still traveling in too general a way, dominated by expressions like “storytelling”, “authentic conversations” and “thought leadership”. While these concepts aren’t inaccurate, they fail to deliver what marketers need most: a tangible and clearly measurable path to ROI. It’s evident at every content marketing panel; the ROI question comes up, people look at their fellow panelists slightly askew and the answers inevitably become very general. Even the content that’s been crafted to bridge that gap — and there’s plenty of it — lacks specificity and predictability. Yet, though marketers struggle to connect the dots to engagement and lead generation, they continue with content marketing because there’s a collective belief that it should work — it feels like it should work. But in a time where metrics are the driving force behind decision-making, how can we, as an industry, accept such ambiguity?

At Opentopic, we don’t accept it. In fact, we firmly believe there is a road to clear ROI in content marketing and that road is paved by the smarter use of technology. Our first step was to simplify the practice of content marketing, to make content easier to discover and distribute. Then, we put the technology in pace to tie content marketing back to engagement and transactions, addressing the vacuum that exists around its ROI. But even with these achievements, we wanted to do more. We understood that, because the universe of content expands and evolves so rapidly, and because our clients need to adapt to that evolution as well as to their customer base, a true competitive edge would require technology that can also adapt.

Enter IBM Watson.

If you’re not already familiar with IBM Watson, it’s a computing system built to mirror the same learning processes that humans have, through the power of cognition. However, unlike humans, Watson is not bound by volume or memory; Watson can read millions of unstructured documents in seconds, taking in data from all sorts of sources, from research reports to Tweets — all the information humans produce for other humans to consume. Watson then interprets data to expose patterns, connections, and insights and organizes that data to make working with content more efficient.

Now, imagine applying that advanced intelligence and scale to content marketing? That’s what we’re doing at Opentopic — teaming up with the smartest software in the world to supercharge your content marketing.

More specifically, we’ve partnered with IBM Watson to develop Cognitive Content Marketing, an approach to the practice that finally bridges the disconnect between content marketing and ROI/predictable results. With IBM Watson, Opentopic makes measurement of content marketing as easy as any other marketing tactic, be it for ecommerce sites, lead generation or general engagement. Simply put, we are taking the guesswork out of content marketing.

Here is how it works:

· First, you define a buyer persona (or target audience) within Opentopic. Opentopic’s cognitive content marketing engine, powered by IBM Watson, uses this information to make appropriate content recommendations.

· Next, you define a transaction goal (download, signup, etc., and ultimately a purchase) so the system can track the impact of each piece of content against your transaction goal.

· Opentopic’s optimized publishing feature recommends the best channel and timing for content distribution.

· Based on the information you have provided and the performance of the content against your transaction goal, the IBM Watson algorithms, via Opentopic, recommend a refined buyer persona and even more engaging content, thus starting a continuous loop with a better persona and better converting content at each iteration.

With the prescriptive insights generated by Cognitive Content Marketing, marketers will be able to create more precise, authentic and accurate content marketing campaigns for every target audience to achieve results that surpass expectations and investment. Cognitive Content Marketing is intelligent, adaptive, predictable and marks a significant leap forward to truly measurable content marketing. We at Opentopic are proud to be a partner in the IBM Watson Ecosystem to take content marketing to the next level.

Please check out the details at, or reach out to me directly if you’d like to discuss.