February 26, 2020
This is the age of information. We have unlimited access to all the knowledge we need, the moment we need it, literally in our back pocket.
For consumers, this means more reasons to be online.
For marketers, this means more data in our arsenal. We can target specific people, at specific times or within metres of a specific location. We can find out what they want, when they want it, and – with advanced tech like pulse-rate measurements and facial recognition on smart devices – it’s only a matter of time before we can measure how they feel when they get it1.
Of course, getting people to share their data is its own challenge. But surprisingly, 61% of Canadians are willing to provide personal data if they know there are safeguards in place to protect it.2
So, where is all of this leading us?
Short story: highly personalized communications.
Longer story: it’s everything we’ve been doing, but with laser precision. It’s direct marketing with even more variable content and programming so that it speaks better to each individual. It’s banner ads and social posts that react to say the right thing at exactly the right time. It’s only showing content that they want to see, at the precise moment they’re ready to see it.
Basically, it’s what I like to think of as a perpetual “smart conversation”. By using data to interact appropriately in real-time, we can simulate emotional intelligence.
Brands have ever taken the form of personalities. Now we’re about to see that concept explode. With AI and smart devices being able to collect information, like vitals, from their surroundings, we’ll soon be able to respond much quicker and better, strengthening these personalities and intensifying the emotional connection they create with individuals.
And there’s no denying that connection exists. Three in eight people can feel more love for brands than their spouses or kids: according to a neuroscience study, brand stories triggered more oxytocin (empathy hormone) production than did the mention of a loved one3. Astonishingly, we have the same ability to empathize with brands as we do with real people.
Perfecting smart conversations will only help us solidify our brand story by adding a realness-factor to its personality. Essentially, brands will respond and interact like real people, and the relationship between them and consumers will reach depths we’ve never been able to reach before.
Wondering how you can start achieving smart conversations? The first step is taking a good hard look at your data. Stay tuned to find out how, with Spencer Henderson’s upcoming blog on tackling your data challenges.
1 Omnivert 2019
The Guardian 2015