Scott Davis, Senior Partner and Chief Growth Officer at Prophet, and Dusty Majumdar, PhD, Chief Marketing Officer at IBM Watson Health, discussed artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will reshape brand-building across industries during their presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in Chicago on September 13. In their presentation, “Building a Relevant Brand in an AI World,” Davis and Majumdar examined Watson Health, its brand and its role in the healthcare industry.
IBM Watson is an advanced AI technology that debuted on “Jeopardy!” in 2011. It may impact the way that healthcare professionals provide patient diagnoses and treatments, Majumdar stated.
“We try to figure out which drugs and which surgeries will work the best for a patient. And there’s always a probability associated with it,” he said. “That was the genesis for Watson Health.”
According to Majumdar, Watson Health had a simple mission: to discover the best ways to drive improved healthcare outcomes. To accomplish this goal, the organization deployed a data-driven approach, one that would lead to the development of state-of-the-art technologies that could help healthcare professionals perform various day-to-day tasks.
“Our mission is to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most-pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights, Majumdar stated. “That’s who we are.”
Watson Health wanted to deliver value to healthcare professionals, as well as all stakeholders along the value chain. That way, Watson Health technologies could provide meaningful results to large groups of stakeholders globally.
“We were looking at the entire value chain, from the patient to the government and everybody in-between,” Davis noted. “Making Watson Health relevant to this entire spectrum was the challenge.”
Although Watson Health had a major opportunity, the organization also faced many challenges.
“Building a brand is ultimately meaningless if it can’t drive demand and lead to meaningful business results.”
The organization was tasked with finding the best way to promote the benefits of its AI technologies to healthcare professionals. It needed to show the value it could provide to healthcare professionals, along with illustrate how the AI technologies would not be used to replace healthcare professionals in the years to come.
“Healthcare has some very unique challenges, particularly in the United States, where we have some of the worst outcomes,” Majumdar said. “So the time was right to let Watson loose in healthcare.”
To highlight the benefits of Watson Health, the organization needed to be “relentlessly relevant,” Davis stated. Watson Health needed to educate healthcare professionals and make it simple for these professionals to understand its potential immediate and long-term impact.
“We needed to look at building the most relentlessly relevant brand in the world,” he pointed out. “[Relentlessly relevant brands] are the most-obsessed brands in the world, they are inspired, they are ridiculously innovative and they are really pragmatic.”
Watson Health reached out to external stakeholders to collect feedback about its technologies, and the organization uncovered three key insights:
- Watson Health lacked relevant use cases. Healthcare professionals did not believe that Watson Health could deliver practical support in real world scenarios.
- Watson Health was not viewed as relevant to the healthcare category. Healthcare professionals failed to see how Watson Health could help them accomplish their everyday goals.
- Watson Health was viewed as a way to replace physicians going forward. Healthcare professionals actually viewed Watson Health as a threat to their jobs.
The distinct challenges of Watson Health required the organization to rethink its marketing approach. In fact, Watson Health needed to ensure healthcare professionals could understand how its technologies could improve their workflows.
“We had to do something that no one else had done. We had to build a brand that combined humanity with AI,” Davis noted.
Watson Health today has the ability to track a wide assortment of data, faster than ever before. For healthcare professionals, Watson Health technologies deliver an ideal blend of humanity and technology, as they empower cognitive, data-driven healthcare.
“[Relentlessly relevant brands] are the most-obsessed brands in the world, they are inspired, they are ridiculously innovative and they are really pragmatic.”
Furthermore, Watson Health illustrated both the opportunities and challenges associated with AI technologies.
On the one hand, Watson Health could help healthcare professionals collect massive amounts of data and instantly analyze this information. Conversely, many healthcare professionals did not trust Watson Health technologies, as these technologies could perform myriad tasks in a fraction of the time of human beings.
Watson Health required an in-depth, data-driven marketing strategy. The organization needed to inform its target audience and ensure healthcare professionals could see that AI technologies would make it easier to perform various tasks. With this approach, Watson Health was able to alleviate concerns about AI technologies and highlight the real world benefits of these technologies.
“The heads of marketing are as responsible for building brands as they are for driving demand today more than ever,” Davis stated. “Building a brand is ultimately meaningless if it can’t drive demand and lead to meaningful business results.”
Scott is the Chief Growth Officer of Prophet and has over 25 years of brand, marketing strategy, and new product development experience. He is the author of 3 books, the latest of which is The Shift: The Transformation of Today’s Marketers into Tomorrow’s Growth Drivers.
His previous work experience includes 12 years at Kuczmarski & Associates (K&A), an innovation and branding consulting company, where he was Senior Partner and founder of the Brand Asset Management™ practice. Prior to K&A, Scott worked at Procter & Gamble, where he focused on a number of top global brands.
He is frequently cited in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Brandweek, Marketing News, Management Review, Advertising Age, and Crain’s. Scott is an Adjunct Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a featured speaker at the University of Chicago’s Executive Program on “Marketing Services Companies,” and a guest lecturer at other top graduate schools, including NYU, Harvard, Notre Dame, Medill, and Columbia.
Scott earned a Master of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Marketing, Finance, and Management Strategy and a B.S. in Marketing Management from the University of Illinois.
Dusty Majumdar is the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson Health team. With 20 years of marketing and leadership experience at GE, Dusty leads all marketing teams at Watson Health and is focused on driving marketing excellence across the organization, building robust go-to-market strategies, collaborating with Offering Management building strategic marketing plans and enabling the commercial teams with value added selling tools.
Dusty has deep domain expertise and experience in Healthcare in leading on all aspects of Marketing ranging from strategic marketing to go-to-market execution working in companies like GE Healthcare and more recently, a diagnostic start-up (Exact Sciences). In the last start-up, Dusty managed strategy, marketing and investor Day/Board presentations as the Head of Strategy/Marketing partnering with the CEO for DNA-based early cancer screening solutions for GI, lung and pancreatic cancer based on next generation sequencing leveraging cancer DNA detection with liquid biopsies via blood. At GE Healthcare, Dusty led the marketing and branding for some of the most iconic imaging scanners launches for nearly a decade which led to dramatic improvement in diagnostic confidence and lowering of radiation dose for patients, positioning GE as the preeminent vendor in the space across all segments.
Prior to joining GE, Dusty worked at the 3M Corporation in their R&D Division. He has over 25 U.S. Patents and 30+ peer reviewed publications across imaging, nanomaterials, health economics and self-assembly in soft polymeric materials. Dusty holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.