Last week, the Data Driven Marketing Association (DDMA) hosted Data Day 2017. And guess what? It was all about data! Digital marketers, big data specialists, data visualisation designers and AI futurists came together. They shared their ideas on how to improve customer experiences with data. Organizations like KNVB, Google, Facebook and Rabobank gave presentations. Our creative director, Bart Fussel, also shared his vision on data in the era of artificial intelligence.
Getting a 360˚ customer view through data
At the event, organizations like KNVB, Bilderberg Hotels, Manutan and Vacanceselect presented their cases. They shared their challenges around tool selection, merging data sources and ways to connect the digital customer touch points. Their goal? Using data to get a 360˚ view of the customer, in order to create engaging customer experiences. Consequently, using data like this also made them achieve their commercial business goals. Communication with customers became more personal, click rates were higher, campaign responses were better and revenue increased.
Everyone agreed: data is your friend. But to get true value out of data, there is more to come...
The era of artificial intelligence
"Will you be able to answer your customers before they have even asked a question?" According to Bart Fussel, our co-founder and creative director, this is the real challenge of the years ahead. The next step in business is to learn, predict and get ahead of the game with gathered customer data. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. AI will give you insights into customer data that you never would've thought of.
Despite AI's promises, the technology may still feel elusive. That's why Sagar Savla, product manager at Google’s Research group, helped the Data Day audience create their very first machine learning model. It was based on just a few rules. Savla also showed how easy it is to retrieve information from image recognition and machine learning.
One of the examples he used was a satellite image analysis of oil tanks all over the world. There is valuable information you can extract from this data. Based on satellite images, you can tell whether oil tanks are full, half full or empty. Using this data and the right machine learning model, you're able to tell how the oil industry is doing even before businesses have shared their quarterly results!
It is easy to copy this method and also see how well McDonald's is doing by analysing bird's-eye view images of their parking lot spaces. Savla showed that you can use this method for any type of challenge: from optimising warehouse flows to exterminating diseases like dengue by targeting the mosquito populations that spread the virus. Pretty awesome.
Getting started: experiment and validate
Whether you'd like to use data, AI, and machine learning for commercial or social impact projects, it takes time to get the proper organizational structures in place. To leapfrog ahead of your competitors, you need to get into the right mindset. So what can you do? Start small and start today. As Savla stated: "Culture is hard to change." So, when you're a digital marketer and you're reading this, start experimenting with customer data projects yourself!
We believe in quick validation and an iterative learning process. Build a prototype, test your solution, learn from your mistakes, and take advantages of a test lab with real customers. Experiment! Validate your concept before you start spending a lot of time and money. Otherwise, you might eventually discover that the project you've been working on for the last few months has zero value for your customers and your business.
Curious how your customer data might help you create engaging customer experiences? The solution is simple: validate your concept in a Design Sprint.
Are you ready for your first steps in AI? We can help you explore the possibilities for your business in a two-day AI Sprint. Interested? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.