CBInsights recently published a great article on how big corporate executives have laughed off and dismissed emerging technology and disruptive service providers. From Amazon to Salesforce to Netflix, they point out the folly of what happens when you misread an important market trend.
While CBInsights was covering business overall, it got me thinking, what are some of the major trends in MarTech to which we should be paying more attention? In January I wrote about 10 investment trends for 2018. Here are two I would like to expand upon:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Conversational Web
In both of these areas, there is a convergence of natural language processing and machine learning that is transforming the customer experience and how companies engage. The communication method for AI is natural language processing, which utilizes natural language to communicate with intelligent systems. Using machine learning techniques and statistics, technology can now easily understand sentence structure and meaning, sentiment, and intent.
“By 2020, voice-activated search will be the number one source of initiated inquiry.”
By 2020, voice-activated search will be the number one source of initiated inquiry. As marketers, how do we communicate effectively through such a ubiquitous channel? No more banner ads, infographics, white papers, video or blogs. No more email. Just a conversation. The “Minority Report” concept is really here. This is going to require companies to get serious about truly understanding their prospects and customers. Data management and governance, privacy, preference management and AI all converge. In 2020, a transaction may look something like this:
Jeff: “Alexa, who are the top 3 payroll companies?”
Alexa: “Jeff, are you evaluating payroll companies for The Pedowitz Group?”
Jeff: “Yes, we are trying to determine options.”
Alexa: “Can I look at the data for your current payroll and benefits?”
Jeff: “Yes, please proceed.”
Alexa: “This will take a minute – there is a lot of information to process.”
Jeff: “Ok, I understand – please let me know when you are ready.”
Alexa: “Ok……I am ready. Based on analysis of your annual spend and benefits, I recommend the following companies – ADP, Paychex and Gusto. I have compiled an analysis of fees, service options and customer evaluations and am sending to you now to your company email address. Shall I arrange for a meeting or demonstration with each provider?”
Jeff: “That’s great, thank you. No, just send the analysis for now and I will let you know about next steps.”
As more systems become cloud based and interconnected, AI will be able to look for patterns and relationships and then present them in context of business and personal decisions. These trends will significantly impact the course of business over the next ten years. Don’t be the executive that dismisses this. Start thinking now about how you can prepare your business to harness these emerging technologies and move to the front edge of the wave.