Does your business use customer personas? Before long, you’ll be able to get rid of them for good. It’s not because they haven’t worked, but years ago there was nothing else available. Soon, artificial intelligence is going to do everything for us.
Thanks to machine learning, computers will soon know your customers better than your customers know themselves (it’s actually a bit scary, when you think about it). Let’s take a closer look at some of the changes we can expect to see.
More efficient targeting of new customers
Customer personas have historically been based on demographics like age, sex, and marital status. Eventually, they moved onto behavioral personas, which definitely helped companies define their ideal customers more effectively.
But they don’t follow customers’ online behaviors in detail, something you’ll soon be able to do using software. Browsing habits and social media use are far more likely to tell you what people want, which can help you acquire new customers.
People are evolving constantly
If you offer a product that doesn’t fundamentally change much—like NBN Internet in Australia, for example—would you continue going after the same potential customers year after year? If so, you can bet that you’ll eventually lose out to the competition. Customer avatars should be changed on a regular basis, as people change, but that doesn’t always happen. Computers will do it without you even asking them to.
Machine learning is more cost-effective
One reason why humans don’t update personas is because doing the research is expensive. When machine learning takes over, the cost will drop to almost nothing, even when for large-scale products or services.
That will be a great help to companies involved in markets around the world, as machines can able to keep up with everything on a localized level in every city, regardless of geography.
Customer personas are basically guesswork
The most fantastic avatar in the world is basically just guesswork, so even if your target audience conversion rate improves, it’s likely because you happened to guess correctly.
Computers are much better at guesswork than humans are. In fact, in the medical industry, machine learning has reached the stage where computers can often diagnose cancer more accurately than doctors. Similarly, machine learning technology will be able to effectively guess the ideal customer for your products.
Employees will have more time
How will machine learning affect employees? It will free up more time for them to focus on boosting sales—a big plus for employers.
The job of the marketing team will also become much easier in the future. With machine learning giving team members more time to focus on specific tasks, they will be able hone and sharpen their skills—another win-win.
Only a matter of time
Old-school customer personas worked when TV adverts were a primary marketing tool. But these days most of us spend our time facing a screen of some sort, and money is made online.
To learn more about machine learning, check out Digitalist Magazine’s Machine Learning Perspectives 2017 Series.