welcomeThe use of new, fast, and frequently advancing digital technology to solve problems is inexorably changing one industry, proving that the so-called digital transformation is far more powerful and disruptive than anything seen before. We are living in an exciting but challenging time of unceasing digital changes and new developments.

Around 50% of all people on the Internet today haven gotten used to a variety of great services in the digital world and their expectations are constantly rising. Hence, the quality of digital services will be what ultimately determines whether people stay with a brand or not. Since it is possible to get in touch via the Internet with everyone anytime, anywhere to buy products, digital services play a key role in shaping the identity of a company. Today, the emotional experience is created by the digital operating and usage experience, while advertising and brand stories create the context - for short, that is the challenge brands are facing.

Their goal should therefore be to develop intelligent products and services to constantly expand and perfect all contact points with customers: providing a convincing ad hoc user experience is a must and there is possibly a “lock-in effect” which means there is no longer any reason for the user to choose another provider. In short: the physical product is no longer solely decisive for sales, rather, the use value of the product that has been expanded through digital services.

Certainly, artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play here by helping to make autonomously interpreted knowledge automatically available to many recipients on demand. Artificial neural networks that use optimized methods, such as deep learning, to learn from data and to continuously help them develop even smarter services that make the user experience more relevant, personal, or simply more meaningful. Programs can already very reliably recognize the meaning of complex content such as texts, images or videos and then start actions autonomously. The fact is:

  • AI algorithms are already integrated into most digital services and e-commerce platforms that we use today. Scenarios with both existing and new data are relevant so that the AI can be trained and then actually generate added value for the user. Machine learning can improve the customer experience by making it much more personal or dynamic, as content is displayed tailor-made for the target group, resulting in a significantly higher conversion and consequently more sales. Data is the basis for all of this and the task in digital marketing is to set up this marketing automation functionally. In short: the trick is to use the data in connection with AI in such a way that intelligent and tailor-made offers are created for personal customer experiences.

  • Conversational interfaces, simple text-based chatbots, have long been used in customer support, simply because they make sure that the company can be reached around the clock. Unfortunately, they are often still based on manually configured rule sets and appear relatively unintelligent during the interaction. AI-powered chatbots that can conduct a very personal dialogue with customers and find the best solutions faster are therefore more interesting. With the ability to learn, the conversation gets better with every given dialog. Combined with predictive analytics, the chatbot can anticipate customer requests and proactively make the right suggestion and decision.

  • Blockchain is a new basic technology on the Internet. With its infrastructure, encrypted data and access rights can be exchanged in a trustworthy manner without a central intermediary. To make a long story short: each entry is a digital block that contains immutable information about a particular transaction and the blocks form an inextricable chain - a blockchain. That way, useful services can be offered much faster to customers, due to the fact that e.g. when a contract is concluded, personal data is stored securely in a blockchain, no more complicated filling out of forms, no annoying self-disclosure. The advantage for providers, on the other hand, is clearly that data no longer must be checked labor-intensively, simplifying administration significantly. This results in lower costs, lower prices, better service. The blockchain becomes a convincing duo in marketing in conjunction with a conversational chatbot, not to mention that blockchain technology can help prevent advertising fraud and generally improve the effectiveness and measurability of online advertising. In fact, it can make ad fraud, advertising traffic artificially generated by bots, a thing of the past. Since everyone involved along the value chain can reliably see whether and by whom the advertisement has been seen and which actions triggered it, transparency is guaranteed.

Clearly, AI and blockchain will play an essential role in fulfilling customers’ expectations and remaining competitive in the future.

By Daniela La Marca