Real-Time Marketing & AI

Real-Time Marketing has been an ongoing trend for the past couple of years, where marketers monitor incoming consumer data constantly and react accordingly in an instant.

Google Adwords, domain supervisors and even Facebook have their own systems to show each company who, what and where their campaign is going. The goal of real time marketing is to connect consumers with the product or service that they need now, in the moment.

With the novelty of real-time marketing wearing off (because companies now have a myriad of information to draw from), a new and less intense form of marketing begins to take shape. Superbowl advertisements, valentines day gifts and halloween costumes are all early forms of this phenomenon, but now other companies have begun to take notice.

Why bake the same cookie all year round when you can bake halloween cookies, valentines day cookies, or even “International Chocolate Day”-cookies? Companies with previously unrelated products show up around holidays, even made-up ones, to ride the wave of consumers rushing to the stores to celebrate.

This trend was quickly dubbed “right-time marketing” to show that even without constant monitoring, age-old consumer trends can be exploited in completely new ways. While it may seem ridiculous to buy a Valentines day toaster oven, future generations might come to associate buying these products with long-standing holidays, earning the toaster oven producer a nice profit for years to come.

Speaking of new trends, AI (Artificial intelligence) is a scary, terminator-sounding term that has us thinking about robots and all kinds of sci-fi. The truth is that it is already all around us. Marketers have many tools at their disposal which gather information for them at record speed, and algorithms that single out customers based on their interest.

Even your search terms and quick comments through google accounts are subject to being gathered. All of this allows marketers to shape a picture of every single customer and put this in the context of a customer segment as a whole. Manually this is a process that would take decades, and when it is finished it would be outdated again. AI makes this process near instantaneous.

Of course, data are never perfect and marketers' interpretations of patterns found in data by machine learning and AI analytics systems are still subject to bias and could mislead. However, we have never had so many opportunities for truly data-driven marketing. 

Earlier I wrote about a marketers’ tools. Many of these tools are separate programs, not suited for integration and cooperation. AI can act as a bridge between the tools, learning to use them all simultaneously and interpreting the data from both to show us a more complete image without skipping a beat.

Many people speculate that AI eventually will be able to almost read our minds through our digital actions, giving us the exact stimuli we want before we even know we want it. The above sounds very intimidating, but we are not quite there yet. Meanwhile, a empathic touch is still required to know the needs and wants of our fellow humans. It is just less guesswork now than it used to be.

I’ll be back.

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