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Wunderman - Bienalto

Insight

Machine learning and its new home in marketing

Machine learning is the new frontier for marketers, paving the way for much more meaningful engagements with customers across multiple platforms.

In this new era, we are relying on data and science more than ever before. Now, instead of people developing rules based on previously identified truths, we are turning to machines to make real-time predictions and decisions based on the ever-changing patterns in big data and the environment such as weather and location.

It is an incredibly exciting time, particularly for data-boffins like the team here at Wunderman-Bienalto.

We have always championed the use of data and analytics to guide marketers’ decisions. The rise of machine learning backs us up, and provides us with new and powerful tools to analyse the huge amounts of data being collected from multiple sources. For marketers, it means increased loyalty, engagement and spend.

Just as personalised eDMs and mobile-friendly websites enhanced the customer experience, machine learning is another step up when it comes to delivering on what customers want.

Using machine learning, a single chat experience can be offered on the platform a user prefers. You could build a chatbot using conversational technology that sits across your mobile app, online store and the soon-to-arrive Google Home. This chatbot would give customers a consistent experience across platforms, and could be integrated behind-the-scenes to drive even more intelligent decision-making by the underlying system.

Google Home: The possibilities of machine learning

To put the possibilities of machine learning to the test, we got our hands on a Google Home device ahead of its release in Australia. This device is the embodiment of the new frontier in marketing. It’s the object that people will start talking to at home, instead of tapping on their phone or swiping their iPad.

As with mobile, you can build apps for Google Home that encourage consumers to meaningfully engage with your brand via the device.

So this is what we set out to do. Our programmers built an experimental app for a retailer – transforming this innocuous little ‘home helper’ into a powerful customer conversion tool. Someone standing in their kitchen could ask Google Home what the retailer’s specials were, or get inspiration for the evening meal. They could then generate a shopping list, place an order and arrange to have their groceries delivered – all by talking to the device.

We wanted to tap into the rich machine learning technology – that is, the AI that gives it the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed – that Google has honed through years of search.

The app – in theory, of course – worked. A consumer could engage with the retailer by simply saying, “OK Google”. And away they would go.

Imagine the possibilities for the retailer if they had hundreds, or thousands, of people standing in their kitchens each day using the app. The data coming through would be incredible, and the ability for the machine to predict what customers want would grow exponentially. This is machine learning at its best.   

While Google hasn’t announced a release date for Google Home in Australia yet, there is a very real possibility that it will be launched before Christmas, making it the number one item under Christmas trees in 2017. If it is, will your brand be ready for it?

If you are excited about machine learning as we are, contact us today.