New Strategic Planning capability
It used to be the case that strategic planning was at best an approximate science, a best estimate. All that's changed, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have combined to offer much greater insight into what's happening with our customers and markets . We have tools to help with the fundamentals of marketing: creating customers and opportunities and influencing behaviours.
We can now predict Customer Lifetime Value, map audiences, track influencers, intermediaries. Our strategic planning capability just became far more informed, more predictable, more accurate.
In many markets the influences and behaviours are very complex, we don't control them and we've been notoriously poor at predicting what will happen next. Our intuition and experience is not enough, we need help, better, more reliable processing, filtering. We need help to understand and decipher complex patterns of behaviour and influence. That's where machines become useful, processing vast amounts of data from thousands, if not millions of data sources, using thousands of variables to create insights that directly affect strategic planning.
Quantification of opportunities
We've been working with a number of our partners to establish better strategic planning, more specifically quantification of opportunity value in specific segments using AI and machine learning. We think there is a clear path to combine several innovative cloud services to map strategic opportunities in a different way.
Accuracy of the models is very high, tests show that predictive capability is above 90%. Opportunities are being identified, even with current customers that would have been missed. Imagine being able to spot customers 'at risk', to quantify the value of opportunities available, assess churn, retention, growth, acquisition, find cross and up-sell opportunities, focus on your best, most valuable customers, understand the behaviours of your target audience, de-risk creative decisions, increase content performance, planning and pricing accuracy.
You might think your CRM systems do all of this - they may not, and they may work on rules, using a handful of variables, not intelligence or learning using thousands of variables and millions of data points from your own systems and many other external sources..
Artificial intelligence is here to stay
Clustering predictive insight around behavioural segments and using Customer Lifetime Value as a quantifier may seem fanciful to some. In fact, we've experienced, push-back and disbelief from people that still they can outperform the algorithms. The truth is that we are not conditioned to manage risk and randomness very well, we tend to be misled by our own perceptions, our own assumptions, out intuition and experience. We're talking about improving our decision accuracy through better, more informed insight.
Used well AI and machine learning are useful tools for strategists and marketers and the need to inform strategic planning with better insight has never been greater. Any quantification, deeper understanding, that's based on provable models is an improvement, any reliable lead indicators can only help.