Adobe’s recent report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and personalisation outlines the opportunities for organisations that make better use of their data.

It found that around 90% of businesses believe that personalised marketing will be essential to their success. However, less than a third felt that they are currently offering the right level of personalisation (see graph, below left).

The survey respondents worked in one of four sectors; financial services, travel and hospitality, retail, and telecommunications and media (see graph, below right).

Too much data

Respondents shared that they collect too much data and have trouble collating and structuring the data in a meaningful way. Processing it fast enough to make relevant use of it was also seen as a challenge.

It is here the report argues AI can help: “[Brands] should be taking advantage of technologies such as AI to dig deeper and unearth relationships, context and insights within that data.”

The idea is that this will make it easier for organisations to provide more elegant, personalised messaging.

Managing the data

One of the recommendations is that businesses should use AI to consolidate the data coming into the organisation. As well as making it easier to compare and analyse, it will help companies identify where their data comes from, how it’s used and how it’s shared. The advantages are three-fold:

  • Data can be used more easily to inform better decision making
  • Data can be used to assist with personalisation
  • Companies can manage compliance better, for example GDPR
When will companies start using AI for personalisation?

The majority of respondents said that they were planning to roll out AI that improves personalisation by the end of 2019 (48%). Only 3% had no plans to do so at all. The chart below shows how AI is being used and the progress organisations are making with it. Most are in the testing phase across personalisation and optimisation.

There were three reasons for doing this:

  • Improving the speed and efficiency of existing processes
  • Identifying new services that can be offered to customers
  • Helping businesses understand their customers better
The AI challenge

The largest issues organisations are facing in terms of implementation are; delivering AI-based solutions quickly to avoid losing competitive advantage, finding the right expertise, and upskilling staff.

It seems many are aware of the potential. The struggle will be getting to grips with the technology so that it can be used meaningfully. Another significant issue will be cultural. The introduction of AI will involve major changes to business practices.

Companies often underestimate the amount of time it takes to introduce change. This is not a simple software rollout but a change to process. It will redefine how people manage and use data.

To makes these kinds of operational changes will take an ongoing process; it’s not something that can be done overnight. There will be a level of natural inertia before even considering staff willingness and readiness. Meeting the self-imposed 2019 deadline may be harder than these businesses think.

For more on AI, read “AI is here in PR (but it has limitations).”

Image by Ander Burdain via Unsplash.

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