AI emotion detection among next big things in marketing: Zenith

A Zenith report tips AI-powered emotion-recognition technology as one of the top trends to watch out for in 2017.

AI emotion detection among next big things in marketing: Zenith

Emotion-recognition technology is emerging as one of the top AI trends this year, enabling brands to build on consumers' emotions to deliver customised services and products, according to a report publishd by Zenith. 

According to the report, Artificial Intelligence: Powering the Consumer Journey, the mood-sensing devices that consumers carry in their pockets—smartphones—and the continuous progression of customised triggers enabled by emotion-detection tech will allow brands to make more emotionally relevant recommendations and enhance programmatic advertising.

Bentley has used such technology in the Bentley Inspirator, an app that concocts a Bentayga SUV for order based on a consumer's reaction to a film. The report also cites the ability of IOT household devices (such as Amazon's Alexa) to deliver services and recommendations tailored to consumers’ emotions. 

"Human decisions are heavily influenced by emotion," said Hugo Pinto, IBM Interactive Experience's innovation officer, in an interview published in the Zenith report. "With AI, we can develop a deeper understanding of unstructured and dark data to derive insight into the emotional drivers or triggers behind these decisions to bolster customer engagement at every touchpoint in the journey."  

Other notable trends mentioned in the report include service robots in retail stores and smart VR. While industrial robots are valued for their efficiency and precision, service robots allow more time for human staff to interact with consumers thanks to their trove of stock information. Their algorithms also enable them to offer customers specific discounts, reviews and suggestions.

Service robots are already taking off in the hospitality industry in China and Japan. However, the report cautions that consumers may be disturbed by robots with overly human qualities. The LCD screen on service robots may, however, be another screen for branded content and advertising. 

Meanwhile, mobile devices are expected to be the main driver of VR experiences. The report suggests that brands should link up their mobile VR content with in-store experiences to create a consistent consumer journey. 

The report also discusses chatbots, dynamic pricing, search prediction, cross-device marketing and shoppable content as important AI-driven marketing developments.

"The breakthroughs in AI for marketing will come from automation and the complete integration of these techniques at customer level," said Ian Liddicoat, global head of data and technology at Zenith. "This will result in a vastly superior customer experience for the consumer, as every touchpoint and customer preference is connected and mined by machine-learning techniques that optimise each interaction based on any given KPI."

The report suggests several steps for brands to redefine their organisations in order to benefit from AI:

  • New organisational structures
  • New skills and better ways to attract new talent
  • Redefined technology platforms
  • Automate supply chains
  • New pricing, remuneration and reward structures driven by genuine consumer needs
  • Link data about brands to finance, distribution and product development
  • Open new market and distribution channels
  • Convergence

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