Vanishing Point

How A.I. is Ushering in a New Era of Segmentation

Posted by Darin Powers - Feb 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Artificial IntelligenceWe live in a hyper-connected, data rich, knowledge ecosystem in which technology is as likely to shape human behavior as the other way around. In this environment, customization and personalization have overtaken traditional market segmentation as innovation drivers.

 

As organizations seek to hone in on key targets for customer or threat capture, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a driving force. It is the third leg of an innovation platform built also on connectivity and data generation. With the incredible filtering and associative power of cognitive technologies, the ever-growing volumes of data can be honed and engaged on an individualized level.

  

Identifying the Segment of One

 

Innovations in mobile technologies and big data kicked off cycles that have merged in the marketplace. As their applications and use have grown in scope and significance, they have produced greater knowledge and power for the organizations using them. Constant access to customers and a virtually self-populating bank of data intelligence about who is most valuable and what they want most are game changers for the businesses that are using the tools and insights.

 

Hyper-connectivity and the immediacy of access to services and products have changed the nature of customer service and interaction. Customers know that businesses have the intelligence and resources to customize service. Fueled by innovation and market demand, the segment of one approach no longer is limited to categories like luxury brands or loyalty programs.

 

This new level of customer expectation for individualization means that traditional market segmentation (e.g., generational, ethnic, economic) has waned in usefulness. Each person is his or her own market, with unique implications and requirements. Integrating AI into the innovation cycle has the potential to leverage connectivity and knowledge to demassify key target groups with greater precision than ever before.

 

With its inherent ability to learn, AI has the ability to turn expanding volumes of micro-data into actionable insights for organizations to use to pinpoint their approach to engaging with key targets at the exact right moment.

 

The Segment of One in Customer Experience

 

One of the most clearly useful iterations for the platform is the customer service environment. For example, a hotel chain could engage AI to use data from a traditional ‘opt-in’ marketing mechanism and customer history to personalize the entire hospitality experience – not just the hotel stay. Imagine a customer is flying from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. He is diverted to Chicago due to weather. The hotel uses the customer data to meet their immediate needs by connecting every point in their revised agenda:

 

  • Modify the reservation proactively, securing a room in Chicago
  • Engage a driver to take the guest from the airport to the hotel
  • Provide a correct style and size winter coat for the guest to wear during their stay in Chicago
  • Send an email to the guest instructing them where to meet the driver, options for a late night meal reservation, and instructions for the next day
  • Arrange to get the guest back to the airport and on the way to San Francisco the following morning

 

Without a phone call or a request from the customer, the hotel is able to engage the intelligence available about this customer to proactively create an ideal alternative scenario. Because of the interplay of connectivity, big data, and AI capabilities, the process is automated, accurate and immediate. What could be a stressful and unpleasant experience for the traveler becomes an incredible opportunity for the company to build brand loyalty.

 

Wider Implications

 

The accelerated pace of change demands that companies consider how to use AI to identify segment(s) of one proactively and accurately. Beyond targeting customers, personalizing marketing, and building competitive advantage, it represents new opportunities for organizations engaged in security and protection. The same approach to using AI to hone in on customer information can also pinpoint threat actors for the purposes of monitoring and building protection strategies.

 

Whether used to pinpoint a key client or a lone wolf, the process of using artificial, deep learning, and cognitive AI for the purposes of demassification is driving organizations into a new future. Toffler Associates is enabling organizations to understand how to engage orthogonal thinking and new cognitive capabilities to build useful segment of one profiles and claim a role in the new knowledge ecosystem.

 

It is time to take personal to the next level.

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