Much has been written about how artificial intelligence (AI) will put white-collar workers out of a job eventually. Will robots soon be able to do what programmers do best — i.e., write software programs? Actually, if you are or were a developer, you’ve probably already written or used software programs that can generate other software programs. That’s called code generation; in the past, it was done through “next” generation programming languages (such as a second-, third-, fourth-, or even fifth-generation languages), today are called low code IDEs. But also Java, C and C++ geeks have been turning high level graphical models like UML or BPML into code. But that’s not what I am talking about: I am talking about a robot (or bot) or AI software system that, if given a business requirement in natural language, can write the code to implement it — or even come up with its own idea and write a program for it.
Are you feeling wistful about what online insurance experiences used to be? Can’t remember how to get back to the Wayback Machine? You can indulge that nostalgia by simply shopping online for life insurance.
Beginning in Q3, we looked at 13 websites—nine carriers, two online agencies, and one aggregator—in the US and Canada to get a sense of how easy it was for someone who was interested in buying a basic term life policy to use digital channels learn about coverage options, get an estimate, find and connect with an agent or advisor, and apply (up to the binding process).[i]
What prompted us to explore the digital buying experience for American and Canadian life insurance shoppers? Our data showed that when considering life insurance, shoppers:
Turn to personal connections. The financial dynamics of the family and social networks play an important role in the insurance research process, especially for younger buyers. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans said that they had used friends and family to research life insurance, while 13% of Canadians said that they had spoken with family or friends about the coverage. These personal connections are manifest through comments like, “I bought my life insurance from Company X (or Agent Y). You should check them out”, whereupon the dutiful relation goes to the life insurer’ or agent’s website.
Marketers in Asia Pacific are increasingly investing in social marketing — and they expect great returns on their investments. Our latest report tells how to Understand Social Consumers To Achieve Marketing Success In Asia Pacific and uses Forrester’s Social Technographics® model to better define the right social approach and tactics in the region in three steps:
First, study whether your audience uses social media to interact with brands. Based on social savvy, we categorize audiences into four groups: Social Stars, Social Savvies, Social Snackers, and Social Skippers.
Highlights: Metro Indian (Social Stars) and metro Chinese consumers (just three points shy of being Social Stars) are the most social-savvy and demand social interactions with brands.
Second, find the phase of the customer life cycle in which your audience uses social media. To succeed, focus your social strategies on the life cycle stages where your customers are most likely to use social tools: when discovering, exploring, buying, using, asking, or engaging.
Highlights: China and India are also the two markets where social commerce may have the best chance; each has an extremely high social buy score.
Third, see which social behaviors and sites your audience prefers. The Social Technographics Intensity Matrix reveals the social behaviors your customers engage in and the types of sites where they engage in those behaviors to decide your social tactics.
Most marketers agree that mobile is a strategic priority. However, they fail to appreciate the true power of mobile: its ability to radically improve their entire marketing plan by linking consumer online and offline behaviors.
While consumers use mobile as a sixth sense to digitize the offline world, marketers still think of mobile as a subdigital channel.
Marketers must reconsider mobile’s role in their entire marketing plan. They should:
Link Mobile To Offline To Unlock Its Full Potential
To bridge digital and offline marketing, marketers must rethink the total impact of mobile ads, use mobile to augment traditional marketing campaigns, and apply mobile data to improve overall marketing effectiveness. Mobile data is the new customer gold mine, providing both personal data on individuals and the world they live in as well as contextual data combining offline and online behaviors in real time.
Start Measuring Offline Attribution Now
Marketers must put mobile at the heart of their identity resolution plan and work with data partners to make the most of emerging mobile offline attribution solutions. Given the importance of sales in physical stores, it matters to understand not just if mobile drives traffic to store but the extent to which it increases total sales.
Clients willing to know more, “The Hidden Power of Mobile” Report is available here.
According to Forrester’s mobile maturity framework, less than 20% of brands leverage mobile to transform the entire offline experience. If you want to benchmark your own mobile maturity, take about 20 minutes to answer our questionnaire. We will share back with you the aggregated topline results.
Has the topic of personalization come up within your organization recently? Chances are that personalization not only comes up, it’s also a foremost priority: 68% of the firms we surveyed in our Q1 2016 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey said personalization was one of the most important initiatives for their business today. Why? Because personalization is one of the best ways to contextually engage with customers across a variety of touch points. But many organizations we speak with today struggle to get initiatives off the ground and struggle to prove the business value of personalization.
To help organizations get started on their personalization program, my colleague Ted Schadler and I researched how best-in-class organizations today have operationalized personalization. The most successful firms we spoke with created a four-pronged personalization program that Forrester calls POST:
People – Before doing anything else, successful firms ask and answer this question: Which customers am I trying to reach and serve? In order to implement a successful personalization program, you will need to do the same by researching your customers in their context so that you know which ones to prioritize.
Objectives – The next step to a successful personalization program is to make sure you and your personalization team have an in depth understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. You must keep this simple. Determine what business outcome you are optimizing, the experiences you will personalize, and what data you need to make it all happen.
Congrats. You, like digital customer insights pros in many firms, continue to advance your ability to provide insights about your customers’ digital behavior. However, you’re leaving money on the table. Too many digital analytics teams still operate in separate silos aligned with the firm’s channels and org chart, which means that you're not keeping up with today's device-hopping customers. You need to invest in changes that measure customers wherever they actually are, which is across all of your digital touchpoints. And to do that, you need an effective business case.
A business case is not a blah, blah, blah checklist item. No matter what your firm’s processes may be for budget requests, headcount requisition, or procurement, you need a management tool that tells the story of the business value you’ll deliver with the investment you’re requesting. And that tool is a business case. We’ve done the work to help you pull together an effective one. See the bottom of this post for a summary of the key elements you'll need.
Here’s where you’re heading with your business case. Your analytics must mature to become what Forrester calls “digital intelligence” - a holistic view of your customers that drives continuous optimization of the digital customer experiences that matter most to business outcomes. This integrated approach to your data and analytics technologies and practices reaps value such as growing sales by connecting customer data that lets you see across formerly siloed product lines or channels. Visibility across channels enables insights that can drive improvement in holistic business metrics that matter, such as churn, lifetime value, customer satisfaction, efficiency. Your business case will outline that holistic story.
Lots of my clients are confused. They start a Forrester inquiry with a question about data visualization capabilities, but when I lead them into discussion about business intelligence (BI) platforms, they say "but we already have a BI platform. All we really want is an ability to create and share data visualizations". Is there a separate market for that? If there is, I am not aware of one. Here's my take on it:
If what you are looking for includes requirements for data visualization administration, security, data management, version control, collaboration, etc, you really need a BI platform with data visualization capabilities.
The last time Forrester looked at Data Visualization as a separate capability was in 2012 and even then, as you will see from the URL, we ended up evaluated BI platforms.
In our last (and going forward) Wave on the topic we grouped data visualization and self service BI capabilities together as we see them inseparable.
Pure AI is true intelligence that can mimic or exceed the intelligence of human beings. It is still a long way off, if it can even ever be achieved. But what if AI became pure — could perceive, think, act, and even replicate as we do? Look to humanity for the answer. Humanity has been both beautiful and brutal:
The beauty of ingenuity, survival, exploration, art, and kindness.