What do Artificial Intelligence, Marketing, and IoT have in common?  A lot! In fact, these technologies promise to bring communication between companies and customers, both in B2B and B2C models, to a new level,  which we could even call “extreme”. Innovations such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are in fact to make their entry into the marketing world and promise, once again, to change the rules of the game.

Electronics miniaturization, data transmission speed, mobile devices propagation, increasing memory capacity, and high computing power – all transferred from data centers and enterprise IT to homes, factories, and people – are transforming the scenarios for every activity, including marketing.

 

The advent of the web and mobility had a strong impact on marketing, giving businesses the ability to communicate directly and individually with their potential and actual customers. In addition, new technologies enable you to discover a lot of information about contacts, identify their habits, preferences, and interests, allowing companies to establish a consistent, relevant, and shared, dialog with contacts in order to propose targeted contents and advertising – in a fashion much more effective than it was just a few years ago.

 

But the tech race does not stop, and we start talking now about intelligent objects and machines capable of “thinking”; this means that the first will allow you to gather more marketing intelligence from the real world and to communicate in a more pervasive way with the audience. While the latter promise to greatly amplify this knowledge by making it predictive and capable of describing complex social phenomena – with all the implications that this may have in creating and promoting new products and services.

 

Artificial intelligence: the state of the art

 

We have been talking about AI for a long time(starting by science fiction) but today, we cannot really talk about creative thinking machines. This branch of computer science has made big strides: the greatest computing power and new architectures allow the implementation of sophisticated algorithms for self-learning, image and speech recognition, as well as the ability to understand the semantic content of texts and to make translations more accurate and even to develop strategies, as in chess game.

But the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence also extend to the multidimensional analysis of unstructured data, and discovery of hidden correlations and “causal links”, thus multiplying the level of precision with which it is possible to describe complex phenomena.

Artificial Intelligence leverages Big Data and manages them in a quick and accurate way, providing information and knowledge that allows businesses to plan and decide more rationally, or to produce with the maximum efficiency. Today we talk about constantly developing “data driven” economy, pointing out that everything is based on data.

In marketing, we are used to dealing with information about markets, contacts, and products, but the AI promises to increase greatly our ability to understand the actual and potential customers’ behavior on the web in order to propose them tailored solutions on the basis of both individual preferences and Big Data which are more easy to sell.

In short, AI in marketing can bring a dynamic profiling and segmentation techniques to a new level, and make personalization and communication even more effective.

 

IoT: what it really means

 

Everything containing a microcontroller or a microprocessor connected to the network in some way – and that it is, therefore “intelligent and connected” is part of the IoT world. However, this does not mean much, unless you explain the ways and the possible areas of application in which you can express this technology.
IoT means Smart TV, intelligent home appliances, robotics, efficient power management and distribution, factory 4.0, smart cities, self-driving cars, traffic control, biomedical equipment, advanced logistics and more – including electricity and gas meters.

Thanks to the IoT, everything can take on new features, collect and transmit information, receive commands, assist people in a number of old and new tasks… In practice, a computer infrastructure with smart devices at its periphery has a kind of widespread sensorial and motor system, able to put it in a direct relation with the real world.

But we do not just talk about robotic warehouses, apartments where lights and heating automatically adapt to the climate and habits of people, or cars that park alone (and communicate continuously with other vehicles and the road itself). The IoT is also a new way to live and work through connected tools that are absolutely new. These devices are lightweight and have a long battery life, and are able to interact with users through devices that are no longer a keyboard, mouse, or touch screen. We are talking about voice commands and displays that overlap the field of view, which can create augmented and “mixed reality” environments; a sort of virtual reality where real and virtual objects coexist in our perceptive horizon by offering us a sort of “extrasensoriality”.

 

AI, IoT, and marketing

 

What we have just said looks like a science fiction film but, incredibly, it is the result of already available technologies and in an advanced experimentation phase in areas such as simulation and training, as well as in the gaming and entertainment industry.
In any case, the IoT produces huge volumes of data that need to be processed to extract knowledge, of course, thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

Marketing implications are regarding not only how Big Data will be used, but also the fact that, especially through the wearable devices, the way we gather user information and we interact with people, will be much more articulate and engaging. But there is more: AI and IoT are “complementary” exactly like a brain, sense organs, and hands: intelligent devices will transmit a lot of data from which you will be able to get the knowledge to make these objects even more “intelligent” and “aware”.

For marketing, this means adding more intelligence and proximity, more capability of listening and making timely proposals in order to prevent customers’ problems and needs, and suggest them more efficient and cost effective solutions. A dream? Maybe.

 

The Extreme Marketing

 

A form of marketing boosted by these technologies could well be defined “extreme” in its ability to seize every opportunity and push consumers to buy, as did good sellers once. They knew their customers and, being also a kind of subtle psychologists, were able to transform the sales process into a favorable experience that buyers interpreted as the best solution for their problems.

But all this has a charge to pay: technology must be assimilated before being applied, infrastructures must be ready and people must be able to undergo the change positively – neither as a threat nor as an imposition or an attack on their privacy.

What can transform the dream into a nightmare is that extreme marketing could become too invasive; not insistent or boring (which should be excluded by its high level of intelligence) but intrusive as it can track every aspect of our life on the web (but also in the real world) – for this reason, we need rules and good sense.

 

Are you interested? Teraplan and SALESmanago can help you successfully implement an advanced Marketing Automation solution.