FOCUS – MAR K E TING: A NE W BR AVE WOR LD
AI is getting more human INFO asks Olivier Njamfa, President and CEO of customer interaction experts Eptica how artificial intelligence is changing the way brands interact with customers
Why is it so vital that brands interact with customers on a
and analyse human language, is a form of AI that can already
personal basis when marketing?
help brands to gather insight about their customers.
Customers expect and demand meaningful conversations with
Today, this cognitive technology is able to understand
brands today, and it is vital for companies to do so if they want
any conversation that happens between an individual and a
to win and retain new business – it’s the key to engaging them
brand, and use that to extract what the brand needs to serve
with your brand. People now expect brands to know what they
the customer. And the more it happens, the more ‘intelligent’
like and want in advance.
the technology becomes. For example, while there are around
Yet, right now, most brands do not truly know their customers. There is a big shift occurring, which will continue
240,000 words in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, our own AI software has a ‘vocabulary’ of one million words.
throughout 2017 and beyond, in companies’ ability to increase their knowledge of their customers: what is their
What is the one thing marketers need to do in 2017?
behaviour, what are they expecting, what are they looking for?
Brands need to transform themselves to focus on their customers – both on gaining new ones and retaining existing
What role does artificial intelligence (AI) play in this?
ones. This means investing in the necessary technology that can
AI is a huge part of it. Natural language processing, where
help your business to put customers at its heart. It’s a big move
software and technology use algorithms to translate, understand
to make, but it will make a big difference. I
Are we heading into a virtual future?
hile virtual reality (VR) technology
report by VR experts ShiftVR.
is still in its infancy, it could
Not everyone is convinced, however.
be used by brands to grow customer
'VR has had all the hype this year, but we
engagement – the Holy Grail of marketing.
are starting 2017 with a lot of questions
After all: no one can deny the power of
still unanswered, despite the media
being fully immersed in an alternative,
hype,' says Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of
virtual world. But will it stick, or is it just a
fad that will eventually die out?
'Brands are getting good PR exposure from playing around with VR at the
What are the potential uses of VR specifically in marketing?
moment, but let’s see if this continues into next year – my guess is that it might
• The ability to recreate the settings that physical products will be used in
die back, like 3D did, and VR will retreat Building these 360-degree virtual
into areas when “getting away from it all”
• Telling powerful, immersive stories
experiences still requires considerable
– such as gaming or pornography – will
using 360-degree video
investment in both time and money,
play to it’s obvious strengths.'
• Giving customers a taste of products
but as the technology refines and
Marketers would therefore do well to
by giving them a glimpse into how the
democratises itself, it has the potential
brush up on their knowledge, but hold
products are used in real life.
to deliver strong returns, according to a
off on investing for now. I JH
32 - info - january / february 2017