Nov 29 2018
Basis Technologies

What Smartphone AI Means For the Future of Business Intelligence


As a digital marketer, you know that in order to truly succeed in digital marketing, you need to understand the needs of your audience, target them at the precise moment of purchase intent, and deliver a relevant message that helps them convert -- easier said than done. Historically marketers have relied solely on traditional business intelligence to strike the right balance between this complex mix of elements in order to achieve their campaign and revenue goals -- a feat nearly impossible in today’s fast-paced digital world. But looking ahead, that's where smartphone AI will come in.

These days more than ever, consumers rely on their mobile devices as a tool to fulfill their shopping and product search needs. Thus, as technology has continued to evolve and adapt to consumers' changing needs and behaviors, smartphone AI has emerged as a viable tool for businesses, helping them drive insights to deliver the right marketing message to the right audience at the right time, while unlocking new potential targets, buyer intent and other relevant opportunities that promise a major win for ROI.  

The State of Today’s Business Intelligence

Safe to say, business Intelligence (BI) has grown exponentially in sophistication over recent years -- a development driven by increasing amounts of available consumer data. What’s more, today’s business intelligence capabilities are incredibly advanced, with the potential to drive more actionable insights than ever before.

The most common type of business intelligence marketers use today is descriptive analytics. Leveraging first party data directly from your business, descriptive analytics essentially summarizes the performance of a business in the digital market. Data sources include on-site behavior, your brand’s social media mentions, performance of your internal sales teams, advertising market share, which, when combined, can drive data insights to help make better business decisions.

The next step in business intelligence capabilities is predictive analytics. By strategically utilizing a combination of advanced statistical algorithms, first party data and external third party intent data, predictive analytics can project future performance of your marketing and business efforts.

As such, most marketers who adopt predictive analytics do so to forecast the trajectory of their campaigns and other marketing efforts based on their advertising investment and other strategic factors -- and its applications are numerous. For example, in addition to basic annual and quarterly forecasts, predictive analytics can perform sentiment analysis based on data from social media conversations and online forums. It can also make generalizations about how people feel about your brand by performing text analysis.

Yet even in light of these advanced capabilities provided by regular business intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can still, in many ways, surpass these insights. And when combined, both technologies complement each other to offer unique advantages and unprecedented lift to your PPC campaigns. And the businesses that take full advantage of it are primed to increase business growth and stay ahead of the competition.

What is Smartphone AI?

Contrary to popular belief, AI doesn’t refer to one specific technology, but an array of potential digital capabilities that mimic cognitive human functions. Thus, any computer with the ability to adapt and learn from surrounding conditions and solve problems has artificial intelligence.

As you might already know, mobile devices today include internal AI engines that leverage a user’s personal data, as well as information from mobile device sensors, to analyze and make decisions on the device itself. Here are a few of the many applications of smartphone AI today:

  • Facial recognition
  • Enhanced image processing -- In the future, consumers will be able to search for products they want to buy using image recognition. Simply snap a photo of the product and find it in ecommerce stores online.
  • Intent prediction  -- By processing phone and chat conversations and performing local analysis, AI can predict a person’s behavior, or what they intend to do, then make recommendations to assist them.
  • Data encryption and phone security
  • Handwriting recognition
  • Natural language translation  -- Improving the basic speech recognition capabilities of smartphones.  
  • Predictive interfaces  -- Including things like parental controls, content censorship and user workflow.
  • Augmented Reality and AI vision
  • System management on device

Perhaps not surprisingly, smartphone AI not only offers a myriad of benefits for consumers, it’s changing the way they interact with their mobile devices. The combination of advanced natural language processing and intent prediction now makes it possible for mobile assistants to become intelligent chatbot interfaces that can both understand the relevant information that people need when they ask for it, and also infer intent through natural conversational language. In many ways, they have the potential to become as helpful as a knowledgeable friend -- with the added benefit of search engine access -- setting the stage for conversational commerce that holds the potential to be the next big game changer in app marketing.

Most importantly, AI is changing the mobile advertising market. As the majority of marketers know, mobile devices aren’t primarily used for making phone calls -- they’re the main purchasing tool for many eCommerce shoppers. And, thanks to AI, they can potentially be used by consumers for buying recommendations for an even greater, more personalized shopping experience.  

AI and Mobile Advertising

Similar to keys or a wallet, mobile devices have become everyday tools for consumers, who regularly use their phones to communicate, navigate, research potential purchase decisions, and shop. As a result, mobile devices provide an extensive amount of relevant, actionable consumer data that organizations can use as part of their business intelligence efforts -- data that only increases in value as more people rely on their mobile devices to make everyday life decisions.

That said, the wealth of new available consumer data also presents a problem. Businesses simply can’t process it quickly enough for it to continually drive marketing insights and create additional value. That’s where AI comes in.

AI can help drive advertising strategies by:

  • Improving eCommerce opportunities
  • Improving user experience when users interact with a brand
  • Providing better targeting options for advertisers
  • Making product/service offers more relevant and targeted for consumers
  • Allowing marketing campaigns to better focus on localization

It goes without saying that using AI technologies makes it possible and easier to analyze large amounts of consumer data. It can also help predict which kinds of consumers to target in order to reach your marketing goals. By making advertising campaigns more efficient and effective, AI can simultaneously reduce your necessary advertising budget while improving ad performance. It makes sense, then, that its capabilities be incorporated in the tools that consumers most use -- their mobile devices.

But while there are already a variety of tools and technologies on the market designed to help businesses improve mobile advertising with smartphone AI, adoption has only penetrated a small group of competitive marketers -- largely because the rate of AI adoption has been generally slow. Currently, most businesses are often too focused on gaining insights from their regular business intelligence capabilities -- which have significantly grown in value in the recent year --  to explore and consider more sophisticated options.

Matching Business Intelligence to Smartphone AI

The truth is that business intelligence and smartphone AI aren’t mutually exclusive advertising growth strategies. While, AI can mimic the cognitive functions of real human decision-making, ultimately it’s your unique business and marketing priorities that drive the choices you need it to make.

Business intelligence capabilities such as descriptive and predictive analytics can tell you a lot about current and future performance potential. And businesses that combine these BI capabilities with smartphone AI can often create sophisticated, efficient and effective advertising strategies that can often outpace competitors solely relying on just one of these technologies.

Mobile is the Priority

In  2016, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time, and the gap only continues to become ever wider.

Since the future of internet will be mobile, businesses are starting to make it a priority. Google itself has made several major algorithm changes to prioritize mobile-first indexing, as well as launching its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to improve the speed at which sites load on mobile devices.

Mobile prioritization affects all areas of search engine marketing (SEM), including SEO and PPC advertising. The landing pages you create for your PPC ads need to offer a good mobile user experience, as this affects your Quality Score and other advertising outcomes. Users are also much more likely to bounce after clicking on your advertisement if they find landing pages difficult to navigate, further underscoring that mobile will need to be a priority for a successful, long-term SEM strategy.

AI Can Unlock Intent

Most businesses today build their buyer personas based on demographic factors and what they imagine are the needs and pain points of their target audience. But with smartphone AI, it’s possible to gain an even deeper understanding of what people really want and why by conducting intent-based marketing -- nearly impossible to do properly without using advanced data insights. Among other things, smartphone AI has the potential to process phone and chat conversations, as well as draw on location-based data to specifically understand what a person has the intention of doing or buying.

And businesses that use smartphone AI insights in combination with their own business intelligence tools can optimize their mobile sites to deliver the kind of content audiences really want -- because they have the power to really know. As more and more businesses adopt this advanced targeting strategy, it will becomes increasingly challenging for the competition to keep up. 

Right Message, Right Place, Right Time, Right Audience

Targeting your audience with the right message during these micro-moments is essential for business success. And Smartphone AI makes it possible to better understand a user’s intent so you can deliver a targeted ad or marketing message at the time and place they can benefit from it the most. Google calls these micro-moments, intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur through the entire consumer journey. Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company's message influences their perception of a brand.

In addition, the user experience will also have to be prioritized as smartphone AI becomes more prominent. Marketers will need to create concise, targeted landing page copy that easily enables users to make quick purchase decisions with the click of a button. It will also become important to prioritize mobile ease-of-use, while also reassuring users on your page copy that they’re making the right decision.

Machine Learning Can Streamline Optimization

When you make marketing decisions and advertising campaign adjustments based on business intelligence insights, it’s always a process of trial and error -- in order to stay optimized you need to constantly measure results, adjust for market fluctuations and retarget your strategy consistently.

Machine learning provides a solution to help simplify this process for advertisers. Among other things, machine learning can analyze consumer behavior, see how audiences interact with your ads and marketing message, then help you make necessary decisions to improve your targeting -- all of which boost smartphone AI's capabilities that provide deep insights into customer intent. Machine learning also has the ability to analyze large amounts of consumer data and recognize complex patterns that regular data scientists wouldn’t be able to discover.

The Bottom Line

Managing reams of business intelligence data is daunting enough as it is and ostensibly, adding smartphone AI into the mix could be perceived as yet another obstacle for your marketing teams to overcome. But in reality, with the increasing reliance on mobile devices as a tool for shopping and searching, leveraging smartphone AI is an investment that not only makes sense but promises sustainable ROI over the long term.

As a digital marketer, you know that the industry doesn’t stand still for a moment. Competitors have are always finding new and creative uses for business intelligence capabilities in an effort to gain an edge in the market.

That’s your opportunity to leverage a tool that your customers are already using. Marrying smartphone AI to your existing arsenal of business intelligence capabilities will only work in your favor -- whether it's unlocking buyer intent, applying new predictive behavior technologies, or creating a better shopping experience -- that will give you the leg up you need to leave your competitors behind.