The new arena of competitive differentiation is consumer experience. With more than six billion smartphone users and 50 billion connected devices estimated by 2020, Artificial Intelligence would be the cornerstone of next-generation consumer experience. In the age of the consumer, personalization, intelligence and immediacy are the new buzzwords. Enterprises that adopt AI solutions will have a considerable advantage over the competition in delivering cutting-edge consumer experience.
There is little surprise, therefore, that the market of AI solutions is booming. Along with numerous startups and internet giants pursuing AI technologies, there has been a sizable increase in investment in the field and in adoption of these technologies by enterprises. IDC predicts nearly six-fold increase in the AI market, from $ 8 billion in 2016 to more than $ 47 billion by 2020. Forrester Research forecasts an increase in investment in AI solutions in 2017 at more than thrice its level in 2016. According to Narrative Science Survey, 38 percent of enterprises are already using AI. The same study predicts this would increase to 62 percent in 2018.
For many years, consumer experience has been at the heart of conversations on engagement. The objective is simple–to connect with the consumer through the most relevant communications at the right time and through the right channel. It is the key to creating growth and engagement, building a brand and fostering sales. AI technologies lie at the core of the answer.
In the information age, the lack of data is not the issue. It is the surfeit of it. Mountains of data can complicate things to such an extent that the impulse is to abandon it and go by instinct alone. This is where AI solutions come in. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can not only analyze, segment and filter big data sets, but also derive meaning from them. This can enable micro-segmentation all the way down to consumer’s interest and purchase patterns, to developing hyper-personalization and hyper-contextual content that fosters deep interest, meaningful engagement and drives sales.
The success of any marketing strategy today hinges on the implementation of segmentation and targeting. Marketers agree. Nearly 80 percent believe personalized content scores over “un-personalized” content, according to a 2016 study by Demand Metric. Segmentation can accurately identify the audience to match the brand’s services, persona or products. Target audiences can be extremely specific and offer opportunities for customization and personalization through a combination of multiple criteria. AI solutions in digital marketing today centers on the notion of ‘segment of one’ to effortlessly personalize every consumer’s need in the market.
From making decisions at the speed of the organization, enterprises need to adapt to making real-time decisions at the speed of the consumer. To illustrate, if a consumer chooses to disengage from an online offer, she/he can be pitched a suitable alternative in real-time based on the data available on the individual including attitude, propensity and values, and new contextual information like location and the device used. To meet expectations of the modern consumer and maintain relevance in increasingly competitive and disruptive markets, the need of the hour is for enterprises to set up framework that enables them to take better micro-decisions at such crucial moments during consumer interaction. This is the litmus test for a truly personalized and relevant consumer experience.
Consumers desire ease, consistency and relevance while doing business. They expect enterprises to value them as individuals, understand their preferences based on previous engagements and transactions, and make optimal use of data they make available about themselves. Broad-based segmentation approach based on demographics and rules are no longer in sync with changing times. Enterprises now need to get to a segment of one. Making analytical decisions at the speed of the consumer, based on in-depth understanding of each individual consumer, is central to delivering superior consumer experience demanded by the modern-day individual.