Spotify, Apple Music, Air Miles, Facebook, PC Optimum, and Instagram. All of these programs and applications are currently monitoring and tracking your consuming behaviour. These multi-million and multi-billion-dollar companies are using Artificial Intelligence to compute and organize this information so that marketers can further adjust and personalize campaigns.
Retail businesses are also doing the same. However, their main focus is to use the AI programs for online websites to drive up the number of e-commerce transactions with recommendations and a more personalized shopping experience. Inherently, these AI programs will change consumer behaviour and habits.
A research study conducted by Adlucent, a digital marketing performance agency, revealed that 71% of respondents actually like ads that are more personalized according to their interests and shopping habits. Also, it was discovered that 48% of consumers spend more when exposed to a personalized shopping experience, therefore businesses involved in e-commerce have begun developing and implementing more AI programs, whether it be for transactions in-store or online.
With these businesses getting more involved in gathering information on customers’ consuming habits, a new process has emerged: data mining. This is the process of finding patterns and relationships in large data sets which can help marketing teams develop new and useful strategies using the new information that is available to them thanks to AI. Marketers are then capable of predicting consumer behaviour. The data mining techniques allow for observation of, say, which products are most popular among a certain market segment, thereby increasing the company’s efficiency and decreasing marketing costs.
An example of a marketing strategy that could have emerged from the online sharing of a meme about how Apple AirPods are associated with wealth is that, through data mining and AI programs, marketers can discover an increase in Apple AirPods sales since the beginning of this meme. An important AI program that can also be useful is Google Trends. By searching the topic in this website, one can see the peak periods and the interest in Apple AirPods on Google. Essentially, these methods can help marketers personalize and tailor ads to certain individuals that fit the particular market segment of young adults who are active on social media.
Unfortunately, most advancements in technology come with invasions of privacy. This is what concerns most consumers who are active online, and it will continue to do so considering the fact that technological advancements do not show any signs of ceasing. The second anyone makes a move online, it is monitored, stored, analyzed, and it becomes part of the large set of data mentioned before.
More and more consumers are becoming aware of the implications of this privacy breach; however, it does not necessarily mean that they bring to a halt all their social media and online interactions. The AI and the corporations monitoring data have the upper hand in this situation, knowing very well that modern-day consumers are so bombarded with such implications in their everyday lives and, according to recent studies, are so satisfied with personalized ads that they will not act on these privacy concerns.
Imagine what more the technological future has in store for society and generations to come: Will consumers only have to interact with AI programs and not with actual human beings when purchasing online? What about in-store, where jobs may be easily replaced by robots? This type of future seems more and more likely with every day that passes.
Written by: Maria Dryden