I recently read an article from the Huffington Post titled: “Prospecting vs Retargeting: Making the Most of the Marketing Mix”. This article sparked this blog post because as a consumer I become infuriated when I shop online and I purchase an item to later get ads for the same thing I just purchased a couple of days ago. Clearly I don’t need another travel backpack because I just bought one. But hey, why not market some hiking shoes, or sleeping bags or ANYTHING other than the travel backpack I just bought. This is where AI and big data come into play.
Currently there are many other use cases where AI comes into play to make the life easier for marketers. For example, website design, content creation, content curation, search, marketing automation, etc (you can read more about it from HubSpot’s article here). And as a marketer, I can truly see the value in retargeting and prospecting effectively to increase conversion rates using AI and big data, As well as all these other use cases for marketing. However, as AI and big data advance we may see a shift in how people are searching online. With the likes of Google Home, Alexa and Siri, they may now be our consumers online. Hear me out.
Most people in the digital workforce spend their days on their computers, the last thing they want to do is research online for the best flights, car rentals, clothes, dog sitters, you name it. As our “personal assistants” become more advanced, the likelihood people use them to compile all the information they need is very high. All they need to do is say “Ok Google” I want to go to the Bahamas October 13-18, find me flights, hotel and while you’re at it, find me a dress to wear. And now Google Home is searching through all the content online to compile that information. Granted, if money isn’t an issue, the complete itinerary will be fully purchased and summarized in an email with details about the trip. But for those that money is an issue, Google Home will just compile the best deals in one email for them to review and pay. This sounds great for the consumer, as their time spent searching online reduces and that time can be spent enjoying some face to face time with friends, colleagues and family — but what about for the businesses?
In a recent article, Hubspot “surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and determined that 63% of respondents were already using AI technologies — they just didn’t realize it.” Artificial intelligence is growing at such a fast rate, that it is becoming a way of life and people expect technology to advance in a way that is going to make their lives easier. Hubspot’s post talks about the different AI related tools to help marketers, but I believe they aren’t looking far enough ahead for when the consumer who searches online changes from human to bot. These tools are great for now since we still have humans searching online, but these applications will need to eventually shift to target our AI personal assistants — which will become ubiquitous.
As we advance in technology and specifically in AI, I truly believe B2C companies will have to pivot. Their marketing strategies will shift. Algorithms on Google will evolve as AI personal assistants do the shopping for us. There is a lot of innovation for AI in the B2B space, but I believe this will be at a slower pace and B2B companies won’t have to shift as fast as B2C businesses. My rationale behind that is there isn’t as much easily accessible data and their prospects have a much longer sales process instead of a click and buy. If it’s a consulting company or a software company, you’ll have to schedule calls and demos, talk to sales reps, review internally – and AI’s will not be as advanced for that in the near future.
Clearly we still have a long road of advancement before this becomes mainstream, however, I do not believe it’s too far-fetched to think about now. In the article titled “Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the AI Apocalypse”, there is a quote from Mark Zuckerburg where he says, “I think we can build A.I. so it works for us and helps us”, and like his personal assistant Jarvis, we as a population will have our own “personal assistant” robot doing our online shopping for us. As your robots start to learn more about you, their searching capabilities will advance and soon you won’t have to do a single thing besides asking what you want — and oh what a life that would be like!