When I first started to work in marketing back in the 90s, data was already seen as gold. We could use data to understand better our prospects. We could use data to target potential customers and finally we could know our customers profile.
Data has since evolved and now we are faced with limitless potential using data.
As the world has gone digital since then, we have traces of everything online.
We go from one place to another? GPS tracks us, mobile phone tracks us.
We use connected devices? We leave a trace – Internet of Things
We buy on line? We leave a trace.
We answer an email? We leave a trace.
We play a game online? We leave a trace.
We leave our email address on a site? Guess what????
We communicate using messaging services, mobile phones and social media…. You got it!
What is very interesting is to see that not only data has evolved and now represents a limitless amount of 0 and 1 but also more and more, it is converging.
Online and offline data offer unprecedented power when used together. On top of your online activity, your offline activity will also bring a much more precise view of your behavior or activity. This will mean personalized customer support like no other. This will mean an increase in revenue for companies who will master their data best. Why? The company that knows its customers best will serve them accordingly, they will plan their customer’s desire well in advance by reducing or eliminating the delay in ordering the products they would want to order as it would have been scheduled. They will be able to offer special discounts at the right time for their customers because they would have noticed customers order cycles (for example after an annual bonus or period of savings and therefore feel more comfortable spending money at those times).
What makes it even more powerful is the explosion of cloud technologies and open data. Anyone can use these data and create, innovate and analyze anything their imagination desires at anytime and anywhere on demand.
Companies also recognize the benefits of data. Today’s marketing focus is to help companies transform their activity into a digital one. They realize that with a digital transformation they can optimize all their activities (making them cheaper and faster), they can optimize their processes (from HR to technical departments and all others) and they can better serve their customers. In fact, they can always be available to their customers 24/7 on all channels favored by their customers (social media, mobile phones, blogs, forums…), the service is becoming totally personalized, fast and optimized.
Artificial Intelligence is about predictive analytics and behavior analysis. AI today is based on a neuronal architecture (copying the human brain) but it now uses more than before all data available to help build analysis around behavior. AI and data together are the assurance of great quality of data, great analysis and very precise tasks like we have never seen before.
Once we have the base structured, and data is no longer sitting in silos databases, we can address all type of activities in a company:
Logistics: all logistics activity will become much more precise. Professionals will be able to predict customers’ needs and suppliers’ requests.
Marketing: professionals will be able to address prospects and customers needs in a more proactive way. All products will be positioned in an optimized cost-effective manner.
Customer support: will be able to answer customer need in a pro-active way and use past data to ensure a faster support.
Sales: sales executives will optimize their CRM tools and with predictive analytics will be able to contact a prospect or a customer at the best time, through the best channel and for the right product or service.
Finance: will be able to close financial information in a much more effective and timely manner because all data are together and easily accessible.
Human Resources: The HR market, function and departments will also see a major transformation in their activity. The cross analysis between all available data (including social networks) will allow them not only to verify the facts on CVs, it will also show them how the person has performed tasks in the past and based on big data and AI it will show them predictive behavior of the applicants. This will ensure a good match for the jobs and a much higher success rate in every application. When somebody will be chosen, it will be the right person and for the right length of time as data will show when people get bored in their jobs and therefore are more likely to leave.
As all data is now used for analytics, companies will know better how to serve you, how not to make you wait – have products available even before you think of it and how to optimize your wallet by displaying special offers to you at a time when you have money to spend. Look at Amazon, they have mastered all angles of this.
In conclusion, companies can better serve their prospects and customers allowing a stronger ROI on all activities thanks to cloud technologies ensuring all data is available ubiquitously. Companies can predict better what you wish and serve you better ensuring you do not wait long to get your products, solution or services. We have started to forecast that very soon ecommerce sites will see more bot to bot activities than human to bots (hence the new phrase B2B standing for Bot 2 Bot – communication between robots ordering for you).
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