The mobile-first era hasn’t passed us by. It’s just a given at this point, but what’s not a given is the rise of artificial intelligence and the role it will play in not only consumers’ lives but how marketers interact with them. As users move from touch to voice interaction and from seeking out to receiving from, there are some potentially serious implications for marketers.
Imagine an age where a consumer doesn’t need to open a laptop or pick up a phone to do a search, but the answer is just given to them, instead. Or when a product the consumer regularly gets is just sent to them before its even asked for, taking away the opportunity to conquest that user purchase.
Devices are getting smarter. Interactions are changing. Ad blockers will be the least of marketers' worries when people have fewer reasons to go online and interact with websites when information and products are just delivered to them without an intermediary.
Google’s preparing for what it calls an “'AI-first, era, in which Google products will help people accomplish tasks in increasingly sophisticated, even anticipatory ways.” It’s not just Google. We’ve seen the beginning of this with Siri, Google Home and Alexa, which is quickly becoming a hub for the Internet of Things. Google is preparing for consumers to skip the search bar and search by voice or even with a bot that understands what they want and can give it to them.
AI for Brands
The fact that Google is still contemplating what it can do through bots, voice and other forms of artificial intelligence should be a call for brands to do the same. That doesn’t mean just creating a chat bot to interact with people. Success with AI is going to come down to truly providing value to consumers as they engage with AI in their every day lives.
Finding where that value lies comes down to a basic consumer understanding:
- In what context is your brand’s product(s) used? If a brand is going to use AI to provide value, it needs to understand how the product is used. It’s there that AI can enrich the experience and make the product more fun, easier or more convenient. Maybe your hands are dirty while using the product, and the AI can read instructions or bring in demo videos to guide the experience.
- In what context is your brand used? Context is key because it’s in moments that AI provides its value. And it’s in moments where a brand could be of value. For example, a CPG brand may be mentioned as an answer while building a meal plan for the week. Brands can start understanding how people are using voice search now in Google Analytics.
These are simple questions every brand should have a deep understanding of, but they are the basis in which AI can both provide value and position the brand as a suitable vessel for that value.
It’s still early days. There are going to be questions, answers, failures and successes along the way. The future is unclear, but what is clear is AI as the facilitator between brands and consumers is coming. Marketers should be watching.