While the world’s leading marketers are investing over US$2 billion in emerging technologies, opportunities are still slipping through fingers of marketers.
According to a study by independent consultancy R3, the spend which is over the past three years is indicative of the opportunities that the technologies present to marketers, helping them to create brand awareness, customer engagement and measurable personalised experiences. As such, with the capabilities of location-based programmatic technology, capturing a person’s attention and directing them to an offer has “never been easier”, said the report.
Opportunities are many
Advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence have also led to the ability of chatbots to understand hundreds of different languages and fully converse with the customer. Meanwhile, better marketing data and neuromarketing can help marketers better understand their customer’s biases and create more personalised experiences.
Retail especially, is seeing a transformation with the advent of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. From brick-and-mortar stores, retailers now offer online checkouts and virtual universes, allowing customers to “try” before they buy and journey to destinations if there is travel involved. This creates higher levels of recall and emotional engagement as well as virality, highlighted the report.
On the procurement front, blockchain technology also brings greater transparency, while creating systems that require fewer internal resources to achieve more transparent outcomes. Procurement teams in marketing can use it to share information about manufacturing and provenance, and track purchasing orders and receipts. All in all, new technologies marketers should take note of include artificial intelligence, augmented reality, blockchain, chatbots, Internet of Things, live video, neuro, programmatic, and virtual reality.
Challenges to tackle
However, according to the report by R3, more work remains to be done for most marketers to fully harness those technologies.
For instance, marketers have to established a “single view” of the customer.
“Call it profiling or identity linkage, but having clear customer personas based on real data is essential if the technology is going to be effective. The more developed a profile is, the higher likelihood that the technology will generate a unique and relevant experience,” explained the report.
While the advent of the Internet and emergence of social channels in the past three decades have led to a data bloom, most of the data available are still relatively new. Thus, while companies have access to a large volume of data, the onus is on them to ensure its quality and match them the right way.
Meanwhile, companies will also have to build up the necessary capabilities to meet the demands of the new technologies. As many of them require information in real-time to produce personalised and relevant communication, marketers gave to ensure that their digital assets are accessible, compliant and secure. Doing so will provide a clean data stream for any of the platforms or devices connected to the system.
With complex technologies, hiring talent with the right experiences and expertise is also key. Otherwise, companies can also consider investing in the necessary training and work with technology partners.
For the study, R3 reviewed hundreds of technology companies, of which 40 were selected for making a real difference for their clients. A key criteria was practical application – through case studies, R3 scored and rated each firm based on insights, strategic thinking, creativity and innovation. These companies cover 12 broad categories, including artificial intelligence, AR/VR, blockchain, chatbots, digital transformation, future consumers (Gen Z), future of retail, internet of things, live video, neuromarketing and programmatic.