One of the most renowned speakers appearing on SAS Forum next month is Steven Van Belleghem, lecturer on marketing subjects at business schools and author of successful management books. His keynote will mainly focus on ‘the customer in the day after tomorrow’, as he calls it. This customer will be better served than ever, and will therefore become more demanding than ever.
This trend coincides with a technological trend we observe: we are moving from ‘digital first’ over ‘mobile first’ to ‘AI (artifical intelligence’) first. More and more of the customer interaction will be performed automatically by machines, powered with more human-like thinking capabilities than ever before. All digital market leaders are experimenting with this. Just think of Google Deepmind, the machine that beat the world champion at go (a Japanese boardgame even more complex than chess).
The first examples are appearing right now: Dutch air transport service KLM, for instance, is already using Facebook Messenger’s bots to communicate with the customer. Data are crucial in this story: leading marketing companies are already completely switching gear from gut-based decisions to data-driven decisions. Or, as they would phrase it in Silicon Valley: “In God we trust, all others must bring data”.
Marketing is becoming nothing less than a science
Look at Netflix, for instance: they have over 75 million subscribers, and they still adapt their user interface to each of these customers individually, fully aware that this is the only way they will keep their customers streaming. They also discuss every suggestion to improve the business on the mere basis of data.
With the advent of IoT (Internet of Things), the opportunities arising from data are even more impressive. Especially for B2B providers, this is a unique opportunity to get to know their customer better than ever, and better than their reseller. These resellers will probably suffer the most, not only from the above but also from arising technologies such as blockchain, allowing customers to bypass ‘the middle man’.
Yes indeed: the future looks more promising and challenging than ever. Only the ones who are willing to embrace the many opportunities offered by the huge amounts of available data will be around for the customer in the day after tomorrow.
These and other inspiring thoughts can be heard during Steven Van Belleghem’s keynote within the ‘digitizing the customer experience’ track on SAS Forum. Don’t miss this great opportunity!