The design and innovation consulting wing under Accenture called Fjord has conducted a study to deduce the key customer engagement trends that will come under the scanner this year. Story telling has for quite some time been a key driver of digital marketing, but there is a feeling that the approach is getting stale. Customers seem to regard expert reviews as inauthentic so instead paying attention to peer based story-doing often involving video sessions. The brand landscape has undergone this shift towards the hourglass shape where brands can be categorized under either of two segments. There is one category of large brands which indulge in several businesses, there is another that caters to specific market niche. The middle brands will either need to identify with one of the two, or simply disappear. Extreme or hyper-customer centricity developed out of algorithms to pinpoint personalized content for market segments. Yet now it is proving to be its own enemy by bombarding excess of such content, perfectly illustrated by the backlash on Airbnb. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now capturing more refined pieces of business intelligence allowing them to conduct greater customer interactions through the use of predictive analytics. Such systems include the IBM Watson, Salesforce Einstein, Microsoft Cortana and Aamazon Alexa.



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