Which Latest BI Trends are CMOs following?
As can be imagined in a modern world where data is often dubbed the ‘new oil’ that keeps economies going, there is a plethora of analysis regimes, strategies, and approaches in use by the business community to try and make sense of it all.
A survey report titled ‘Top Business Intelligence Trends 2020: What 2,865 BI Professionals Really Think’ lists twenty BI solutions that companies at large are embracing to ultimately derive actionable information from the vast masses of data in their vaults. Narrowing it down to the marketing space, two BI Future Trends -i.e. predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI)- are such clear leaders that the others pale by comparison.
A subdivision of Advanced Analytics, Predictive Analytics identifies patterns from existing data and makes forecasts based thereon. While Predictive Analytics is a popular way of ‘plotting the future’ in just about every and any business activity imaginable, marketers use it to fathom the probability and potential dollar values of future events in their own space. Few predictive analytics examples are:
- Future customer values.
- Customer success forecasts.
- Prevention of contract termination.
- Potential new business.
- Sales forecasts.
Predictive Analysis is by no means an emerging trend. It is a tried-and-tested, popular BI approach that is stable and separate from the ‘hype and FOMO’ which are commonplace in today’s climate of disruptive innovation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
AI and ML are undoubtedly the stars of the show! In February 2020 Duke University’s Professor Christine Moorman wrote, “Marketing leaders report a 27% increase in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in their toolkits over 2018 levels and expect this level to increase another 60% within three years. These rates are even higher for larger companies and for companies with a larger proportion of their sales through the internet.”
Professor Moorman lists the following top three uses of AI & ML by marketers:
- Content personalization – thanks to the thorough understanding of customers that AI offers, it assists marketers with assessing the ‘right’ data for personalizing content. Statistics and research by Accenture show that misguided personalization causes customer frustration and even mistrust. It caused 41% of customers to switch companies in 2017 alone!
- Customer insights – AI-focused customer insights assist marketers not only to get the content right but also the timing thereof and the chosen delivery channel. In that way, companies can deliver the appropriate offer to the right customer and at the best time. By getting things right it boosts customer loyalty, retention, and acquisition.
- Targeting decisions – by segmentizing customers and markets smartly, AI assists marketers to target advertising optimally and to manage campaigns more effectively for increased market penetration.
Further key AI trends are customer segmentation, programmatic advertising and media buying, improving marketing ROI by optimizing marketing content and timing, and conversational AI for customer service.
While minor trends include next-best offer, augmented and virtual reality, autonomous objects/systems, facial recognition & visual search, and biometrics/chipping.
AI is such an effective and popular approach because:
- Huge datasets can be analyzed in a shorter time.
- It detects trends expertly, also by mining unstructured data.
- Even large-scale personalization is done effortlessly.
- Top influencers can be found in unstructured data.
- Unclear and unfocused data can be mined to determine competitive analysis and identify KPIs and various marketing insights.
- It undergoes machine learning (ML) by working with unprepared data. AI therefore gets ‘smarter’ and ‘better’ the more you use it!
AI is also a favorite by both CMOs and other business executives because it makes marketing results measurable! By using marketing analytics and data, AI can compare actual financial results against marketing KPIs and business goals thereby providing invaluable and actionable metrics to business leaders.
In a world where 90% of the data that exists has been created in the last two years alone, it is no mean feat to try and keep making sense of it all! With unfathomable amounts of data streaming in endlessly from all directions, marketers have a tough job deriving meaningful and actionable information from it.
Furthermore, traditionally data needs thorough preparation before it can be used efficiently. No surprise, therefore, that a significant percentage of marketing professionals are not deriving business intelligence benefits to their full extent.
However, with revolutionary and popular emerging BI market trends such as AI and ML that solve many of the historic industry pains, take-up is projected to skyrocket by a staggering 60% during the next three years!