Extreme Marketing—Personalization and AI

girl-320262_sizedConsumers are inundated with content as company after company seeks to garner their business in one way or another. But, there’s a limit to how much one person can take in and respond to on any given day. As a result, today’s brands must take extreme measures to make any headway with key targets. So, which of their marketing strategies is proving most successful at gaining buyer interest, engagement and loyalty?

The answer is personalization—personalization of marketing messages to the nth degree. 

Personalized marketing takes target marketing up a notch. Its aim is to reach consumers with the exact solutions they seek, and to speak one-to-one with each buyer. Addressing key targets with this amount of accuracy and detail requires big data about a particular customer or group that must then be converted into marketing action. Due to the abundance of information available, converting data to action is exceedingly complex.

This complexity has created a market for software solutions that can help organizations derive insights from all the information collected from customers and potential customers on their websites, social media platforms and contact center channels. Think 1010data, Actian, Amazon Web Services, Cloudera and Hortonworks. These big data analytics platforms and others are helping businesses grapple with huge quantities and varieties of data. The outcome is that most brands nowadays can personalize their messaging to consumers in advanced ways, including these three approaches:

  • Proximity marketing: Employs smart beacon technology to serve customers on their mobile devices with ads based on where they are geographically. It’s the ultimate in real-time local advertising. This type of marketing targets buyers based on where they visitoffline, allowing for a deeper understanding of the buyer’s wants, needs and patterns of behavior away from the computer.
  • Programmatic marketing: Converts all the information that has been collected on a buyer into action, specifically, the purchase and display of the right ad at the right time in the right place. Marketers can set specific parameters to guide the process, and integrate CRM data to deliver an even greater level of personalization.
  • Retargeting: Uses cookie-based technology to follow buyers as they visit online resources, storing dataabout their visits, like which pages they reviewed and how long they stayed. When they leave one site to visit another, the cookie triggers programmatic software, retargeting the consumer with ads relevant to the information with which they recently interacted, i.e., pertaining to their wants and needs.

Artificial Intelligence

There will likely come a day when modern personalization marketing tactics such as these move even a step further down the technology evolution path. Could big data analytics software, in fact, be just the start of the de-humanization of personalization? It seems like a contradiction in terms. Yet, artificial intelligence (AI) may one day take over from humans entirely when it comes to packaging a product to appeal to consumers.

Consider, for example, the first ever movie trailer created by IBM’s Watson.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJEzuYynaiw&w=640&h=360]

Fox approached IBM with the request that Watson analyze and automatically generate the marketing clip for its new AI horror-thriller “Morgan,” which opened in theaters Sept. 2. The computer was put to the task with results so satisfying that the trailer was released to the public to generate interest in the movie. What Watson did was extract salient moments from the movie by modeling the scenes visually to determine whether the scene was scary, tender, happy or sad.

Zef Cota, filmmaker at IBM Research, did need to augment Watson’s visual arrangement of the trailer’s scenes with a human touch to get the creative aspects right.

While Luke Scott, the director of “Morgan” did acknowledge the superior ability of human beings to judge the mood of individuals, he also pondered the possibility that an AI might develop those same instincts over time.

Marketers should keep the future in mind, and realize that, even now, robots can be given information about customers—from their moods to their interests, preferences and needs—that can add value to marketing campaigns. Anticipate and welcome the development of AI as an opportunity to more effectively attract consumers. After all, robots are here to do our bidding; let them help you deliver results that bring customers to your brand.

PegAs with her writing and editing, Peg brings her finely honed attention to detail and her adherence to high-quality standards to bear in her role as managing editor of Content Boost. As team leader, she encourages her staff to strive for excellence in the copy they craft and in the relationships they forge with clients, striving for an optimal customer experience. She caught the marketing bug after seven years as an editor and supervisor at Gartner Inc., the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, and was drawn to the spirit and talent exhibited at Content Boost. Tracing back to her early days working local beats as a journalist, Peg consistently digs deep for insights that bring value to her writing. Outside the office, Peg loves to read when she’s not trying to keep up with her cycling buddies or the weeds in her garden. She can be found enjoying the local scene in her hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.