Industry 4.0: Understanding AI and blockchain

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain, the two key dimensions of Industry 4.0, have rising scope for applications relating to marketing. Disruptive companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb and ride-sharing platforms are now engaging customers in a targeted fashion offering tailored products and services.

They have huge data on customers’ behaviours, preferences and purchases and these data analytics have enabled companies to do customer specific targeted marketing and hyper-personalised advertisements. Data analytics driven decision making can replace long-term marketing campaigns with one-to-one engagement programs. Marketing indeed is becoming more of a science.

Traditional companies still talking about the 4 “P”s and think digital marketing should be sufficient to grow their business might get disrupted if they don’t disrupt themselves. Companies must plan on digitalising their business and start with a Digital Vision. They should consider building a business canvas leveraging AI and Blockchain. To get to this point, marketing professionals must first understand the complexities of AI and blockchain.

For non-technology related people, it can be daunting to learn about these technologies but they should at least strive to comprehend the jargons, terminologies, techniques and most importantly the applications.

Companies who collect large amounts of unstructured data can leverage on AI to optimise their dollars and engage with customers very differently. With blockchain, they can even eliminate intermediaries and acquire better insights on where their advertisements appear. This drastically enhances transparency.

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To name a few, AI and Blockchain technologies for marketing include:

  • Chatbots and Videobots to answer common customer queries. FAQ type of “fake” bots are not cutting it anymore.
  • Decentralised click tracking that can cater to affiliate marketing will lower fees and fasten payment process
  • Traditional customer campaigns often don’t reach potential purchasers and are too generic. Customer Clustering using AI can redefine target segments and AI algorithms will decide which customer segments should or should not receive your marketing messages. Then AI can create personalised messages for every customer.
  • Probabilistic Data Modelling to infer what a particular customer profile will probably like and market to that profile accordingly. This is way better than creepily monitoring and stalking customers. Another highlight – Highly reliable probabilistic cultural correlations can be formed. Example is how Netflix can use AI to learn anyone who watches a specific genre of movies is likely to shop at Best Buys. Imagine the cross-industry revenue stream possibilities. With Data Privacy Policies prohibiting telemarketing in several markets, probabilistic data becomes a very viable option.

Blockchain technology decentralises holding of data so that no single body owns all data. Customers can be issued private keys to their own data in public domain and might be even issued tokens to companies to let them see their tastes and preferences.

It’s imperative that marketing professionals acquire basic understanding of AI and Blockchain, familiarise with the tools, techniques and available platforms (without needing to come up with huge budgets for this), learn what other disruptors and competitors are doing in their domains and craft an AI and Blockchain powered Marketing Plan.

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