February 20, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) is destined to change the game for consumers, industry, the workforce and society at large. The promise of AI has massive potential to enable today’s workforce through greater productivity via automation.
AI is still nascent. We face the challenge of complacency, with increased resistance to change. Many companies fear change and the inevitability of digital disruption. Social networks, over the past decade, have opened the floodgates and allowed the consumer to have a stronger voice, an unfiltered opinion, and the opportunity to select, create and be the author of their own stories. AI will only accelerate this as people will seek to increase their social footprint in exchange for convenience, better information and more customization.
Unceasing customer demands will require organizations to be quicker to adapt to market dynamics and leverage AI to improve their understanding of what the market needs. Marketing's role will be at the heart of this disruption to get better at understanding customers, increasing marketing efficiency and improving attribution.
With the troves of data available, marketers can begin to aggregate customer transaction information and third-party data from social networks, news and governmental information to discover influences, customer intent and ultimately predict behaviors in real time. Right now, much of this analysis is left to weekly optimizations combined with post-analysis.
In addition, by leveraging AI to aggregate data sets from disparate transactional, media and messaging information, marketers can leverage response and information to identify more customized media and messaging approaches for individuals or clusters of customers. With machine learning models, this can be readily applied as new customers and new data are introduced. Advertising has taken the step of automating directions for ad buys and media optimization. The marketing function can also adapt by leveraging media and behavioral information to reveal insights to improve conversion throughout the website experience. This also opens the door to gaining insights on how a customer uses information and how their journey inside the store, with a call center, on a website and through a survey—not to mention external events like social media posts, check-ins and recommendations from friends—can influence how a customer makes decisions. This has never been available before now.
Finally, as more marketers seek to improve ROI, AI can enable direct attributions to campaigns more than ever before. Delivering the right message at the right time to the right customer has always been the holy grail. The ability to go beyond clicks and impressions is the promise of AI. Increasingly, connected applications will give us the information we need to provide a much better, more customized customer experience…and that will eventually translate into stronger ROI.
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