July 18, 2017

Meet Your New Coworker; A.I.

Artificial intelligence has become more than just a computer that can school a human at chess.

A.I. can smooth out logistics, find kinks in assembly lines, and even help marketers…well…market stuff.

In the marketing world, A.I. programs can be used for a number of tasks, but they all boil down to one basic theme: pointing out patterns on a massive scale. Sure, humans can look through  data, recognize  patterns, and make inferences. But we’re slow, inefficient and, most importantly, biased.

A.I. systems look at the numbers, and find dozens of patterns for the human marketer to make decisions  (some systems can even make their own suggestions…creepy)

What does this ability to make sense of massive amounts of data allow the modern day mad men to do? In a word, personalization.  Now marketers can customize consumer experience like never before. 

Additionally AI  has reshaped insights on  customer behavior. For much of marketing history, researchers segmented consumers based on demographics. People from the same background buy the same stuff, more or less.

Now, with AI, marketers can segment and target based on customer behaviors — not just demographics. With more data processed faster, experiences can be tailored to individuals. Customer experiences are no longer based on who they are, they’re based on what they do.

The industry is moving away from broad demographic segments of customers to narrow behavior driven microsegments, and from answering the question “What have they done in the past?” to “What is he/she doing right now?”

So is A.I. the new holy grail of market research? Will you one day have IBM’s Watson as your Creative Director? Probably not. The more marketers attempt to customize the purchase process to fewer people, the greater the possibility for error. As we all know, humans aren’t as logical and predictable as we seem. Unfortunately, there is no data point for human spontaneity.