Artificial intelligence (AI) is perfectly poised to become the norm for market segmentation. Bojana Deskov, marketing insights and data specialist at digital engagement software Squiz, explains how AI can supercharge your marketing efforts.
A.I’s ability to translate tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as decision-making, visual detection and analysis, or speech recognition, makes it the logical next step to help marketers divide broad target audience subsets.
Ten years ago, marketers used techniques such as targeting and segmentation to understand their customer base and launch campaigns. But in the last few years, the explosion of data-driven marketing has seen AI shed its associations with science fiction to play a growing role in the future of business.
Although AI is still in its (relative) infancy, it can allow marketers to automate processes and identify patterns and problems invisible to the human eye.
Here’s how AI can supercharge your marketing efforts.
Changing the face of segmentation
Constant access to customers through big data and mobile technologies is changing the face of market segmentation.
The immediacy of access to services and products, particularly through smartphone apps and conversational commerce, has made the customer more sophisticated. They know that businesses have the ability to deeply customise services and don’t hesitate to leverage this knowledge to their advantage.
As such, micro-segmentation of audiences, which involves unique one-to-one interactions, is no longer a tactic restricted to industries such as luxury fashion. Integrating AI into your brand’s processes will divide your customers into smaller brackets than ever before, meaning that the way you can approach segmentation shifts entirely.
Highly personalised customer interactions
Unlike traditional forms of segmentation, which rely on placing customers into ‘buckets’, AI can identify the inconsistencies in customer behaviour and spark a level of personalisation that would be otherwise impossible to achieve.
This extension of customer service to the roles of personal concierge or virtual assistant, will have lasting impacts on the way marketers design, measure and execute their strategies. This is because it will involve activities beyond the consumers’ conscious involvement. It can service market segmentation by a hyper-personalised take on customer relations which will turn segmentation from broad groups based on demographics or interests, to individual service.
For instance, AI – which draws heavily on Big Data and the Internet of Things – could help a footwear retailer anticipate a customer’s ideal pair of shoes before they even enter the store. Or if a customer was running late for a dinner booking, a restaurant could use AI to reschedule until later, notify the guests, and modify the menu, given the customer had opted in.
The dawn of deep learning
With such huge amounts of data being generated from all aspects of business, generating insight through AI to improve performance will be crucial.
Deep learning, a strand of AI that uses algorithms to scan everything from sound and text to images and videos to solve complex customer problems, could turn marketing segmentation on its head. This fast-growing component of AI allows marketers to perform image recognition and extract data from the countless photos, videos, and messages shared on social networks. They can then use these insights to drive real-time decisions. AI can also make predictive targeting much more accurate.