Online marketing professionals who stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the field of technology are pondering what the future will look like for their sector now that artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality are starting to become mainstream.
In a recent article published by AdWeek, the potential marketing impact of the three aforementioned technologies was discussed, and the conclusion was that consumers seem to be ready to embrace AR more, are willing to try VR and are doubtful about AI.
With regard to AI, AdWeek asked an IBM director of the Watson supercomputer project about the future of virtual and automated customer service. Even though tech giants such as IBM and Google have dramatically advanced development in the fields of machine learning and AI, consumers are not quite ready to fully rely on virtual contact agents to handle transactions. Since quality customer service has become one of the most powerful marketing tools in the 21st century, companies should not rush to entrust AI to run their customer support processes.
AR is a mobile-ready technology that has already enjoyed success in various trial runs conducted by the National Football League, department stores, and automakers such as BMW. In essence, AR enables marketers to combine the power of tech innovation with the ability to bring consumers closer to products and provide them with additional information. Over the next few years, it will not be unusual for stores to prompt shoppers to point their smartphone cameras at products on shelves so that they can see more information about discounts, special offers or coupons.
VR is still at an early stage, and not all consumers are ready to put on the bulky headsets that video game enthusiasts wear when they want to immerse themselves in new titles such as “Rez: Infinite” and “Doom VFR.” Retail furniture giant IKEA has already experienced success with VR by allowing shoppers to don headsets for the purpose of letting them design a living space with new furnishings and decorations; even though not all shoppers purchase an entire room makeover, they are very interested in the experience and are more willing to spend more time browsing around the store.
In the end, digital marketing professionals should focus on AR for the time being and keep an eye on VR developments, but they should not worry about AI taking over their jobs, at least not in this decade.