Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on September 4, 2017

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Bringing the IBM Watson Brand to Life with Amber Armstrong

amber armstrong on brand

“We want to personify the Watson brand.” But how do you personify a machine? That’s one of the many challenges that Amber Armstrong faces on a daily basis as Director of Digital Amplification, Events, and Demand Generation and Customer Engagement for IBM Watson. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

About Amber Armstrong

Amber Armstrong is an IBM Director, Digital Amplification, Events, and Demand Generation and Watson Customer Engagement. Amber joined IBM in 2006. She is responsible for performance marketing for three of the Watson cognitive (artificial intelligence) brands – Watson Marketing, Commerce, and Supply Chain — leading all aspects of demand generation inclusive of marketing automation, proprietary and third-party events, digital and web marketing, and social media and influencer marketing.

Amber maintains a robust external presence on social by engaging over 110K followers on Twitter. She led the broad social employee advocacy launch at IBM which now has over 4,000 IBM participants amplifying IBM and influencer content. She takes an intrapreneur mentality to bring innovation to IBM social and digital and is passionate about electrifying marketing technologists.

She has served in a variety of capacities including as marketing manager, manager of demand generation for the software and product innovation program, and program director. Prior to joining IBM, she worked in Marketing at LIS, Uniteq, and First Union.

Episode Highlights

As an Iowan, I had to share that my first exposure to IBM Watson was … by seeing Iowan Ken Jennings bested by Watson on Jeopardy!

How to personify the Watson brand. “Watson isn’t a he or a she. It’s a machine. But we want to position Watson as a helper. When you look at the commercials it shows Watson helping. Watson isn’t taking over.” My favorite commercial featured Watson helping Bob Dylan.

How are businesses using Watson? Amber told us about 1-80o-Flowers and their recommendation engine Gwyn, that helps customers select the right gift. Powered by Watson, of course.

Previously, Amber led employee engagement at IBM. Her quick tip? “Find the right tech vendor. I have such a great feeling for Dynamic Signal. The right vendors have been through this before and know what to do.”

What brand has made Amber smile recently? Located in Austin, Amber is acutely aware of the struggles those in Texas are facing with Hurricane Harvey. The Amazon Smile donation program lived up to its name. It made her smile. She also likes that she can allocate dollars to charities she cares about like Austin Pets Alive.

To learn more, go to ibm.com/commerce to discover the three Watson brands that Amber manages.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently, Christa A. Nelson gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode featuring Alan Alda. Thanks, Christa!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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