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Marketing in the ‘cognitive era’

Technology & Data

Marketing in the ‘cognitive era’


Predictive technology will soon touch every aspect of our lives, says Mailee Creacy. As marketers, the cognitive era is going to help us fulfil our potential.

Mailee Creacy headshotEvery bit of our universe will be captured digitally. The entire lifespan of individuals are now recorded through various platforms, creating a sequence of moments that converge into a complete storyline for each individual. These data elements, coming from a variety of places such as connected vehicles, GoPro cameras, images and videos we post to social media – have thrown us into the ‘age of information’.

It is through the connection of data, technology, and customer experience – that we can unlock the hidden patterns that help us to understand and improve our lives. Knowledge is emerging at a pace that will forever transform how we interact with the world and connect with each other.

The trillions of bits of digital interactions being captured daily require powerful systems to detect overarching patterns that we decipher as meaningful insights (data). These insights lead to an inherent capacity to build solutions that accelerate progress (technology). Solutions that improve our quality of life inherently improve the way we interact with the world around us (experience).

This enables completely personalised experiences that Fjord and Accenture call living services’.

It’s a remarkable time to be marketer. That’s because it’s the best time in human history to be a consumer. Understanding the convergence of technology and consumer behaviour is critical to how we must shape all experiences in the future as marketers.

Think of what excites you about being a consumer – whether it’s stumbling upon new shows via Netflix recommendations, getting to where you need to go more quickly without looking at a map, or having pressing questions answered by an automated representative – these solutions are most likely powered by cognitive platforms – systems that can learn, adapt and optimise outcomes in real time.

The more we can understand how we experience the world, the more capable we will be at solving its biggest challenges. With recent advances in cognitive science we are on the cusp of fully understanding the nature of conscious experience. I use the word ‘cognitive’ in the broadest possible way to describe all algorithms that learn, improve performance over time, and deliver optimal experiences.

As we move into this new period that IBM calls the ‘cognitive era’, companies must be more proactive than merely adjusting to these changes.

As marketers we need to build journeys that deliver the most fulfilling message for the individual concerned. These journeys should be able to intuitively ‘identify’ the potential problem, trigger the most relevant piece of next-step communication according to the cognitive bias encountered, and seamlessly navigate around them to reach the ultimate marketing goal.

The current marketing framework is incomplete, but with these evolutionary ideas, predictive technologies will enable marketers to change the fate of their organisations and beyond. A new class of practitioners and leaders are needed to navigate this new future. Predictive technologists will be the guides on this journey as they are creating radical new ways of thinking about shaping experiences all around us.

Only by understanding the relationship of data, technology, and customer experiences can we create the ultimate customer experience.


Mailee Creacy is general manager at Rocket Fuel



Image copyright: yuran-78 / 123RF Stock Photo



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