Fat media has warned that businesses face an increasing challenge to the way they market themselves, as technology continues to evolve. With AI and smart technology growing in popularity, they are in danger of being left behind.
Alexei Lee, head of social and PR at digital marketing company Fat Media, said: “The machine learning aspect of AI is setting a growing challenge to businesses and how they can market themselves in an incredibly competitive environment. AI-driven recommendations now have a major influence over our purchasing decisions, with machine learning predicting our preferences and directing us to certain choices.”
Lee cites Amazon’s Alexa as one example; it is one household product that has led to consumers becoming ever more comfortable with certain aspects of their choice set being outsourced by machines. He believes this will make it increasingly hard for businesses to ensure their products are part of that choice set.
He also believes that IoT will pick up pace, and that as a result, “Clever brands will leverage this new form of AI-supported, conversational shopping to create distinction from competitors.”
Another challenge, from Lee’s perspective, is ad blockers which can influence buying behaviour – or lack thereof. “The battle of the blockers will continue in 2018. With ads already being filtered out at scale, we could also start to see a new generation of web browsers using machine learning to predict what content the user is most likely to prefer. This will create yet another ‘filter bubble’ that marketers will need to infiltrate to reach their customers. Those who currently rely heavily on content marketing and online advertising will be the most affected.
“In addition, dynamic pricing (changing pricing according to demand online) will change how people buy products. Larger retailers are adopting AI-assisted ‘on the fly’ pricing. Without access to this technology, smaller businesses will struggle to respond and may find it even harder to compete cost-wise against bigger businesses.”
So what is likely to be the overall impact of these technologies? Lee concludes: “While where are some huge new challenges out there, the one advantage for businesses is that all companies are looking at how they can embrace this new technology, which means at the moment the businesses which are fastest off the market and investing in digital skills can potentially find they are leading their industry quite quickly.”