Over the past 10 years, we have seen a complete transformation to marketing driven by the use of more sophisticated tools and technologies. Digital marketing without tools is unthinkable and simply impossible. The next step in the evolution and transformation of marketing is the use of software that will do much of the thinking. This is called cognitive marketing.

Intelligence research firm IDC predicts that by 2020, half of all companies will use cognitive marketing tools for their marketing and sales. What differentiates cognitive marketing tools from other marketing tools is how they process information. They are built to function like human brains, by taking signals and drawing conclusions.

Technologies that helped advance cognitive marketing have been in use for quite a few years, including chat bots, automated audience segmentation, natural language recognition, image analysis, hyper-customized content delivery and marketing automation. In addition, the enormous computing power available via the cloud, combined with massive amounts of data and connected devices and sensors, are key enablers in making cognitive marketing a reality. IBM Watson was the first popular entry into this space, but others are emerging and will continue to evolve.

Automated segmentation

Compared to today’s predictive systems, cognitive marketing systems will have a much higher level of independent decision-making because they are based on neural networks and function more like human brains when it comes to predictions. Current systems are still very much dependent on marketers feeding them information, such as the rules for customer segmentation. Cognitive systems will do these tasks more independently. This will allow marketers to take on more strategic roles and focus on higher-level strategy and decision-making.

Customer segmentation, in particular, will become more sophisticated, as more granular segmentation will be created and managed by the cognitive systems. These very detailed data points will then be used to improve and drive hyper-personalized content delivery.

Hyper-personalized content delivery

Cognitive marketing will result in very sophisticated hyper-personalized content delivery that is automated and integrated across all marketing channels. The need to improve hyper-personalized content delivery will require the creation of hyper-specialized automated agents explicitly designed for very specific profiles and/or customer segments. These automated agents will be able to communicate and deliver hyper-personalized content and know how to best convert you to a customer/sale. While hyper-personalized content is already possible, being able to incorporate this into real conversation is something that is not possible with today’s tools and systems.

Supporting customers in their decision-making

With all this information available and the ability to use supercomputers, like IBM Watson, to draw conclusions, cognitive marketing systems will be able to help customers make decisions and figure out undefined needs, based on seemingly unrelated factors. For example, if a customer is about to get married, the system could make recommendations or suggestions fitting that current life situation. Companies will be able to incorporate this knowledge into their hyper-personalized communication with customers.

The world of marketing will continue to change, and it is probable that cognitive marketing will have a disruptive impact on marketing. Early adopters will very likely be able to gain a competitive advantage and separate from their competition even more. Contact Points Group today to get ahead.

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