Personalised Marketing in an era of cognitive

By | December 16, 2015

Over the last few weeks I have been dancing in a world of new content, individual perspectives and concepts and inspiring stories, shared at events and engagements.

Today is the day for me, to stop and reflect, to learn and evolve .

Cognitive. What does this mean to me as a marketer?

Cognitive is a way of describing an organisation that is built on a foundation of data and analytics, one in which leverages all forms of data including external data, and in addition, it is an organisation which adapts and learns. As a marketer, this means the ability to personalise content, and provide amazing customer experiences. Let’s discuss.

Built on a foundation of data and analytics

Organisations built on a foundation of data and analytics consider every interaction, every opportunity for the collection and response to data. When you think about the data you are creating in every interaction you have with a brand, both in person and online, it is not hard to get absolutely overwhelmed and super excited with the possibilities on how you can improve the customer experience with your brand.  I personally love the story of Ivy, an app developed by GoMoment which is designed to ensure that every guest at participating hotels has the ability to receive near real time conscierge service, as and when they require it. No more standing in line for long lengths of time, to only be met with a person not empowered to fix the problem. This is about being able to have your requests for restaurant and entertainment recommendations tailored for you immediately, to be able to have your order for drinks delivered to you no matter where you are in the hotel, and to be able to deal with complaints as and when they arise. It is about connecting the hotel service and delivery by ensuring data is collecting, and information shared to those who need it at the point of connection. The result has been that hotel requests are now addressed within 3 seconds.

As a marketer, this is exciting – it is now possible to understand the client experience being delivered – and perceived – at every point of engagement with the brand. Through insight and understanding, it is possible to turn negative experiences into positive ones, and use positive experiences as a competitive advantage.  And as someone who loves travel, I have to say my expectations are raised. There are no more excuses for a lack of response or long waits in line for  room key which may or may not work. There are solutions that exist which will delight your clients and allow the marketer in your organisation to really shine.

Leverages all sources of data

Over the last few years I have observed more companies looking to incremental sources of information to augment their enterprise data. From telecommunications companies using social and weather data to understand the reason for client churn (rainy days drive people to consider alternative options) , to a fast food restaurant using social data to understand the exact location to stores with high levels of complaints regarding soggy fries which allowed them to therefore pinpoint the cause (it was a faulty fryer), to the grocery store using weather data to identify that spikes in sales for strawberry pop tarts were linked to hurricane season. Curiosity + external data = closer to the truth

When you bring this back to the marketer, it means you can listen and engage with your clients, in their channel of choice. You can create an honest view of your client and their likes and dislikes, not just from historic data, but also from their social and online behaviour, comments and engagement. Customer insight at its most raw and honest form, with the assistance of technology, can help you make more informed decisions, moving from responding to customer feedback to sensing and predicting actions and outcomes. So cool!

Adapts and Learns

Wine4.Me. At Insight this year in Las Vegas, the founder to Wine Sleuth, Amy Gross discussed how she had discovered a gap in the market – every day people who were trying to find the perfect bottle of wine for the weekend, a night out, to share with friends, but were intimidated by the language of wine. And asking an expert meant that they would lead you down a path to the wines that were in vogue at the time, and dazzle you with descriptions like blackberry undertones….  So she launched Wine4.Me which helps to recommend the perfect wine for you. A little jaded by admission, I downloaded this application, and entered in my preferences. A list of wines, not at all relevant to my likes and dislikes, appeared. So, I love Chardonnay and French Champagne. Riesling is never an option. Ever. And here it appeared as one of the recommended wines. But in listening to Amy speak, she emphasised that this application learns about you and adapts and learns over time. So I continued. Turns out that once you start rating wines, providing feedback and “loving” or “dumping” wine choices, suddenly the recommendations become more personal and more relevant to you and your language of wine appreciation.

Now as a marketer, think through the implication of this. Latests stats tell us that whilst people download on average 24 apps every month, 80% of time is spent on just 5 apps! To cut through, the mobile app needs to be personal and engaging. Cognitive provides the ability to provide a mobile experience that is personal to the individual. And this means of course, that as the app provides true individual value, the willingness to provide and update data is increased. The more data entered, the more data you can collect – meaning you now know more about your customer than ever before. And for supply chain management this is just as exciting. It is possible to understand community preferences for particular products and services at a location level, to ensure that the needs of your customers are met. Chardonnay. Yes Please.

What’s ahead

As a marketer, an era of cognitive is so exciting. It represents an opportunity to truly get to you know your customers and prospects, in almost real time. It represents a way to transform the customer experience so that it is personal to the individual. And what’s more it can be done with ease, right now !