Cognitive marketing: Future of consumer experiences

Future-driven organisations should identify and adopt the ideal cognitive framework to drive their marketing efforts

Updated: Aug 24, 2018 11:46:16 AM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

In today’s connected economy, consumers leave behind ample clues about their identities, interests, and preoccupations. These connected consumers reveal tell-tale signs of what they need over a range of digital and physical sources. As tech-enabled buyers browse the web, traverse e-commerce sites, wander retail stores, or connect on social networks, they tell you where they are, what they are doing, what they care about, and the problem they are looking to solve.

Harnessing this data-rich environment requires a new breed of tech-savvy, cognitive marketer. Armed with this dynamic information, modern marketers are transforming the way they attract, acquire and retain consumers by offering new experiences – unthinkable without today’s cognitive insights.

Today, the buyer’s purchase decision journey is more natural as she’s educated with content and advice she trusts. As a result, they experience less remorse, are more loyal, and are more eager to share their experiences.


Mastering the seven attributes
The road to cognitive marketing requires a new mindset that shifts the focus from mass segments to segments of one. It rests on two pillars: » Produce the right content and experience
» Deliver it to the right people in the right moment

Research shows that customers distrust brands that say, “this is just for you” when what they really mean is “this is for people just like you.” Cognitive marketers become trusted advisors when they personalise engagement and interactions with data-driven, trusted advice that encourages buyers to come back.

Cognitive marketing and the role of smart machines
In the era of cognitive marketing, decision-making and problem-solving will be aided by smart machines that sense, learn, infer, and even think on behalf of humans. Such machines outperform humans in several areas, especially those that involve uncovering patterns that can be used to predict human behavior.

For an automotive client, we used behavioral segmentation to help accelerate their customer journey. This kind of segmentation groups buyers by what they actually do, which creates a tailored, relevant, uncluttered, direct path to purchase. Our behavioral approach extracted raw clickstream data to perform feature engineering. A similar graph was built for clustering to reveal distinct website behaviors. These clusters have a natural interpretability with website interaction and the customer journey. As a result, five distinct customers segments were extracted, with each segment having specific intent that can be mapped in the path to the purchase funnel. For each segment, focused content and product recommendations accelerated the journey path towards conversion.

The ability of smart machines to manage new oceans of data generated by a hyperconnected economy has become increasingly viable, given advances in hardware, data science, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and smart machines. Their greatest value lies in their ability to identify trends that their developers never imagined.

The parting words
Future-driven organisations should identify and adopt the ideal cognitive framework to drive their marketing efforts. The ideal cognitive framework must leverage both, Automation and Intelligence, across the entire journey to align the building blocks of cognitive marketing with:
» Cognitive content which drives richer brand connections
» Cognitive engagement that enables deeper brand engagement and builds propensity to purchase
» Cognitive offers that maximise conversion rates from hyper-personalised promotions and offers
» Cognitive services to drive superior, highly relevant customer service, delivering a smooth post-purchase experience

Modern marketing organisations must strive to establish the right cognitive marketing foundation – one that can leverage data and apply cognition, and offer their customers relevant content, engaging experiences, smarter offers and superior service. After all, that’s what great consumer journeys are made of.

Ram Padmanabha, is the Global Strategy & Consulting Lead, at Publicis.Sapient and Amit Xerxes, is the Senior Director, Technology, at Publicis.Sapient.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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