The proliferation of new technologies has created substantial opportunity to understand and serve customers with a level of unmatched personalization. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such technology having the ability to transform marketing and giving brands and retailers the opportunity to connect directly with customers. This personalization through AI—tailored messages and direct engagement with customers in a scalable manner—shows that a hyper-relevant option of reaching out to people is possible.
Changes in person-to-person targeting, however, are nothing new. For example, the shift in use from landlines to mobile phones brought with it a change in lifestyle and accessibility. When you called a location, you weren’t sure who you were going to get on the other end of the line. Now, when you call a mobile phone, you can reach the person no matter where they are, and they can decide if they want to pick up the phone. AI provides a similar opportunity. When marketers create a digital marketing campaign, with AI they can identify their customer and tailor the message in real time. This will enable them to move away from the increasingly antiquated notion of audiences, which does not reflect the true intent of the individual. Using a combination of personalized data from anonymous tracking, and the various possibilities of AI, a hyper-personalized, hyper-relevant message is delivered. This creates an optimal user experience making the customer much more likely to engage and convert.
Reducing Marketing Waste
With the Indian digital advertising industry, slated to see a growth at 32% CAGR to reach Rs 18,986 crore by 2020, according to a report by Dentsu Aegis Network, consider what would happen if the advertising wasted could be reduced significantly. AI has the ability to spot microtrends, and even predict trends, through which marketers are able to make strategic decisions about where they can allocate their budgets. Personalized marketing engages individuals based on their unique interests and preferences and yields better relationships with consumers. The reduction of waste in the ecosystem means more engaged customers, and a stronger bottom line.
Personalization through AI can leverage extremely fine-grained data that is fully relevant to the business objective. Manual approaches often use coarser data which not only is less precise but can also exhibit strong biases such as sensitivity to gender, race, religion, or political opinions. An AI-driven objective analysis based only on directly relevant data can create a view of the customer with little to no bias. Of course, there are a few hurdles that must be crossed until the industry is ready for AI to be widespread. The heavy computational cost of AI was a significant hindrance until just a few years ago when GPUs and cloud computing made AI tractable to most. And as many companies open AI labs around the world, they face a dearth in skillset.
The fast pace of AI advancement is a challenge to traditional training programs, and companies are required to innovate in the domain of personal development. This is creating the need for a creative, and even aggressive, approach to hiring the best talent.
The advent of the next generation of digital advertising technologies will transform the industry and be a boon to both companies and customers. The data-driven world of marketing will open new opportunities and avenues of communication amongst the two, perhaps leading to a more open and collaborative environment.