Cronin’s 2020 vision: Tech that senses

Oct 25, 2016

The Future of Marketing

I remember as a kid being fascinated by the entryway into my local pharmacy. The minute you’d step close, the doors would open. Walk in, the doors would close.  Hurried adults would rush through those doors, but as a kid, it all seemed like magic. I’d frequently wave a sneakered toe close, or inch further away to test the limits of the magic door. How did this inanimate object see me? How did it sense I was there?

Technology’s grown up a lot in the last few years and in 2020 it’s set to change the future of marketing.

Earlier in our series we talked to you about Tech that Sees and Tech that Does. We spoke about the smart technology that will be changing our homes and offices, the wearables we sport on our wrists, and the virtual devices that are literally allowing brands to welcome consumers into whole new worlds. Today we’ll be exploring tech so sensitive that its “spidey senses” that not only know who we are, and where we are, but also how we’re feeling and even thinking.

Tech that Senses is poised to turn marketing on its head and will allow us to:

Market to Emotion: Artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling marketers to read consumers’ moods in real-time. Apple recently purchased a company called Emotient, which does just this. While Apple’s keeping mum on how they’ll be using the technology, it’s not a stretch to imagine this being put to use in their retail space: helping their geniuses adjust their customer service approach in real time, and judging customer reaction to new products, signage and ads.

Target those who Linger: You’ve seen them before, the consumer who lingers in the aisle, reading packaging and potentially checking their phone for back up information. Until now, we have had to rely on packaging and shelf talkers to persuade that last minute sell in-store. Sensors and beacon technology are set to change that. In 2020, we’ll be able to assign a demographic identity to shoppers, see what else interested them in store and offer up an enticing coupon, targeted ad or some game-changing product information via their mobile phone or wearable to sway purchase.

Be Smarter with our Strategy: It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 75 billion connected devices. All these devices mean we are poised to have access to more actionable consumer data than we have ever had before. Gone will be the days of relying on what consumers say they do. 2020’s marketing game will be centered on what consumers actually do. Wearables are already shedding light on consumers’ activity patterns including when they work out, when they sleep, and how they are feeling. As this technology continues to evolve, the data will allow marketers to more accurately understand, target, and inspire actionable change.

Technology may be changing the future of marketing but one thing remains the same: in order to be successful in this emerging landscape, marketers need to be nimble, smart and ready to change directions at the slightest detection of a frown.


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