Amazing things happen when data and creativity intersect. When organizations truly know their stakeholders, they can build rewarding experiences for them which don’t feel like advertising.
In the past, consumers were bombarded with broad messages that they often didn’t relate to, for products that they might never be interested in. Today as we move through applications and online searches, we generate massive amounts of data in our wake. It’s staggering really, every time we search Google for example, we kick off around 40 experiments that are recorded and used to refine our next search or similar searches by similar people.
I witnessed a fascinating panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence with Katy Yam, Marketing & Communications Director at Element AI, Chris Laver, Distinguished Data Scientist, Machine Learning & AI with RBC and Anita Chauhan, Head of Marketing at Zoom.AI. In this discussion the panel touched on the benefits of AI and also its limitations.
In classic rules-based decision making, we try to find the reason for an anomaly by using relevant historical data to build a new rule for the novel condition. Now that we have big data, we need a powerful tool to work though it all, find patterns and generate solutions. This is where machine based learning shines. AI can process massive amounts of information in order to solve a problem using data that we may never have taken into account before. The best part is that AI can refine this “dynamic decision making” over time, enhancing its own accuracy.
Chatbots are a common application of AI in everyday business. They can greatly reduce the burden on a customer service team by handling common inquiries and grow smarter with each conversation. By 2020 approximately 85% of customer interactions will be with bots although more complex questions will still need human interaction. A particularly fascinating aspect of AI is its “black box”. There is a mystery as to how the more advanced algorithms of AI systems work. There are examples in which machines are able to learn without much human direction at all. No one is sure which algorithms are guiding them. Without this clarity we are not at the stage where we can completely trust AI decisions without applying our own common sense.
We now have processing power to realize a hyper-personalization of data which can enable targeted and relevant marketing without precedent. Jeff Miller, Global Head of Creative Strategy: Snapchat, gave some incredible examples of immersive brand experiences through the application.
Jeff describes Snapchat as a “best friends network” in which content is not curated and is shared with a highly engaged audience. Brands can fit well with this environment by carefully targeting their messages by demographic but also by location as the app is mobile based. They have to focus on building better experiences as most people will only stay on neutral content for 2 to 3 seconds.
The best campaigns make use of the engineering might of the application making the user part of the story in novel ways. Some highly successful initiatives have involved AR in which the consumer can play games, share augmented selfies and 3-D models of celebrities and products in their own environment. Reaching and engaging the right audience leads to high click through rates and even in-app purchases.
New technology is exciting and companies don’t want to feel left behind. The advancements I witnessed at DX32018 could greatly enhance many brands but only if there is a good fit between brand, their consumers and the innovation. Even in this fast paced era there is still a place for strategic thinking and a solid business case.