Instant gratification, AI and the impact on marketing strategies.
TV streaming services, ‘Prime Now’ Amazon’s one-hour delivery service and Uber eats delivering our current culinary craving to our door, anytime day or night, it’s safe to say we are living in an age where instant gratification, the basic need to fulfil a desire or goal is the norm. No longer the exception and with little need in most cases to delay gratification, as marketers, we need to address this basic human behaviour when planning for successful campaigns and marketing tactics.
Findings from a recent study compiled by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggest that in 2019, globally, our attention spans are narrowing. Unsurprising really when you consider the amount of content being created and the volume of data being generated every single minute. We have far more to focus on, and as such, we spend less time on each thing as our attention span is spread too thin. The report has also shown that trends are no longer lasting that long either, subsiding as quickly as they arise. Another challenge for the marketing department to contend with.
So, in our data-driven, content crazy, instant gratification world how do we ensure that when our promotional campaigns capture our audience’s attention in the first place; (well done, by the way, this is no easy task). With a dwindling attention span and other things to look at, how do we engage our audience through the mechanics of the promotion to complete the redemption process?
Solving that very issue for brands, retailers and agencies was the driving force behind developing our SwiftReceipt platform further to keep up with the demands and expectations of today’s fast-paced consumer and shopper landscape. Proof of purchase remains a critical mechanic for many promotions and finding the balance between a simple customer journey and a robust redemption process is fundamental to a successful campaign for all parties involved.
Adopting AI Technologies
We assessed the technologies that we are using to simplify our lives and to generally assist us in our connected society, to see how they could be harnessed to expedite and improve the mechanics behind the promotional campaigns we work on.
Image recognition (IR) where our computers can ‘see’ through the large volumes of data and can recognise, logos, faces, objects or items is a vital part of the validation process. As an AI technology, it can analyse the data it reads and then learn from it, making it much more intelligent than pre-coded automation, a useful tool to have.
Character recognition scanning is equally as crucial to the response time for validation. The ability of the scanning technology to read words, characters and sentences is far quicker than the human eye, we still end up with the same result, but via a much faster process addressing our need to expect to have everything now, regardless of day or hour.
The combination of these technologies alongside the processing power of a cloud-based solution that facilitates hundreds and thousands of multiple receipt validations at once ultimately results in a simple, efficient, redemption process that satisfies the shoppers need for gratification, within seconds, so they should still be paying attention.
This time efficiency is also a bonus for the brand. After all, depending on the data capture mechanic of the campaign (another article for another time) the brand can begin engaging with the individual participating in the promotion straight away – no need to wait for the end of the promotion before your communication strategies kick in. Too much time passing before communicating could see your previously engaged customers turning their attention to the next new thing and forgetting how they have just enjoyed an authentic brand experience.
Another technology under the AI collective that is rapidly gaining momentum is voice search, and we can undoubtedly utilise this when it comes to being faster and more engaging with individuals. This emerging technology is likely to become an essential marketing principle for brands and retailers in the coming years. Why type out a search or query when you can simply ask Alexa* or Siri* to do it for you? *Other voice-enabled devices available.
We saw a really great example of how voice is being used effectively in the sampling space at this year’s IPM Awards. The consumer, in the comfort of their own home was able to order product samples for delivery to their home by merely using voice to ask their device to do it for them. Simple. It took seconds literally to engage with the promotion and the brand. Instantly gratified? Check. And from a fulfilment perspective where budgets allow you could get those samples out on a next day delivery, and in some instances, potentially on same-day delivery. The options are there and available to us. From an industry perspective, this has opened an entirely new way to execute effective sampling campaigns across a much broader geographical reach and even more compellingly, capturing that all-important permissioned data to start engaging with your satisfied, happy customer.
Technology and human behaviour a partnership that will continue to drive innovation across our industry, we just need to keep up and embrace the opportunities that emerge.