Worldwide research has forecasted that global spends on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will reach US$ 36.8 billion by 2025. Artificial Intelligence is the new buzzword among businesses throughout the world. In the ASEAN region, Singapore is currently placed third behind Indonesia and Thailand in terms of AI adoption, but the city state is all set to reposition itself as a leader, with the government and businesses working towards it.

Among the notable advances in this direction, is Nadine, the social humanoid built in Singapore’s NTU, who has the capability to greet people, store their faces to memory and even remember conversations. The use of AI in Singapore hasn’t been restricted to robotics. In healthcare, some hospitals currently use Artificial Intelligence tools for a range of tests, including screening for diabetes and detecting certain types of cancers, among other applications.

In the transport sector, self-driving cars are being tested on autonomous cars with the aim of improving public transport. Gradually, this could be extended to self-driving buses. Even in airport operations, the use of AI is being explored for improving efficiency by using facial recognition to board passengers on aircrafts in shorter times.

For several years, the financial sector has been using Artificial Intelligence tools for  tasks, including recognising patterns for easier fraud detection and speeding up the processing of loans through facial recognition, among other tasks. Even in the legal sector, AIcan significantly cut short the time involved in reviewing contracts.

AI for Marketers in Singapore

The large amounts of data available to marketers make it near impossible to study and evaluate all of it, and this is where artificial intelligence can step in to help. It’s obvious that over the next decade, AI will become a part of everyday life. In this scenario, how can marketers in Singapore make the most of the technology to increase their revenues and devise more customer-centric strategies?

Pre-Emptive Marketing

With the large amounts of data that AI analyses rapidly, marketers can identify patterns and trends that can be used to promote products or solutions pre-emptively.

Based on the analysis of data from the past few years, an online retailer can get an idea of the month when customers start shopping online for holiday gifts. Accordingly, they can plan the marketing campaign, advertising blitz and promotional deals to ensure that their customers purchase products from them rather than from the competitors’ website.

Programmatic Advertising for More Effective Targeting

With customers preferring to shop online, digital advertising is a key element for driving traffic to the company’s website. However, deciding where to buy digital ad space can pose a challenge. Based on algorithms, artificial intelligence can predict consumer behaviour, including the time a customer takes to respond to an ad, giving marketers better insight into the platforms and period for which ad space should be purchased.

Programmatic advertising can help in nudging a customer towards making a purchase. For example, using digital ethnography, a travel company might notice that a customer is searching for hotels in Bali. By resorting to targeted advertising that is delivered directly to the consumer’s mobile phone, the company increases the chances of the customer booking accommodation in the destination through their website.

Personalised Target Market Segmentation

Undoubtedly, personalisation is a key factor in building stronger customer relationships. With the use of AI, instead of classifying customers into broader segments based on demographic factors, marketers can understand the online behaviour of an individual consumer and distribute content that is specifically targeted at him or her to engage with them on a personal level.

Earlier, a cosmetic company might have segmented its consumers based on age, and accordingly identified its primary target audience as young women in the age group of 20 to 25 and directed advertising towards them. However, in today’s scenario, based on digital ethnography, it might notice significant interest from a smaller set of older women who make larger spends. Based on this data, it can offer special deals to the latter set of consumers to attract them.

Innovative Strategies for Consumer Engagement

Companies need to look beyond rewards and promotions to keep customers loyal and engaged. In this area, artificial intelligence can present several creative solutions that hold the customer’s interest for a significant amount of time after the last purchase was made besides nudging him towards adding the company’s products in his consideration set for future purchases.

In-store gesture walls based on AI can offer consumers a unique and fun interactive experience, which saves the trouble of trying on many clothes until they find the right look. Additionally, marketers can use machine learning to analyse these gestures to determine the popularity of certain products, the degree of customer involvement, purchase history and other factors based on which they can finetune their product offering.

Virtual mirrors are another innovative trend that allows customers to try on different clothes and makeup. Cosmetic companies can use virtual mirrors to show consumers how a new shade of lipstick or eye shadow will look on them.

Automated Content Generation

Already, a significant portion of sports and finance related content, both of which are heavy on time and numerical data, are written by machines. These articles are often hard to distinguish from those written by humans. It’s only a matter of time before technology advances to allow marketers to use AI generated product content such as descriptions and product line related articles. The advantage is that the content can be generated using specific keywords that consumers search for when they look for a product.

For instance, a home appliance company with a heavy-duty juicer might be using the high speed of the machine as its USP but based on customer searches for low-noise machines, AI generated content can automatically weave speed as well as silent performance into the description of the product, increasing the chances of it showing up in searches.

Enhanced Customer Service

Quick responses to customer queries and complaints are essential for ensuring customer satisfaction, and 24x7 customer service might not always be viable with a human manned response centre. With artificial intelligence, chatbots can replace customer service agents at least to a certain extent as they can be programmed to respond to routine questions.

The customer of a footwear retailer might have a query regarding the availability of a specific size in a city. Instead of calling a helpline and holding for several minutes while the customer service representative searches the in-store stock data to verify whether it is available, a live chat with a chatbot can significantly cut short the response time using AI to review the stock and respond to the customer with details of size availability as well as the address of the specific store.

The growth of AI for Marketers in Singapore

A common misconception among consumer insights professionals and market researchers is that it requires technical skills to use artificial intelligence as a marketing tool. The reality is that AI tools present a simplified solution for gathering business intelligence, providing marketers with reliable information that they can use to devise more effective strategies to increase revenues and customer engagement.