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Using intelligence to build smarter connections - my Cannes conversation

We are in the middle of an exciting transformation where advances in increased processing power, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, voice and machine learning, are coming into their own at a time where consumer needs are also changing. Marketers have the unique opportunity to harness this transformation and take ownership of the end-to-end customer experience strategy.
 
AI will change the way people interact with machines.  It will become the invisible user interface that is there to help make our lives safer, easier and more productive. AI is, and will continue to be, one of the most powerful tools born out of search; leveraging both its insights and intelligence to fuel incremental services that help people do more of what they want, the way they want.  It also provides marketers with a new way of understanding and engaging their audiences. According to KRC Research, more than half of Chief Marketing Officers (58%) believe that within the next five years, companies will need to compete in the AI space to succeed.1 The question is - how is this changing the landscape of search innovation as we know it?
 
We are heading towards a time when screen-less interactions will become the norm, meaning consumers will interact with technology directly through a bot, virtual assistant or other agent.  Voice search naturally encourages people to offer up their emotions to technology. When analyzing voice searches, they tend to be more colloquial than written searches, longer and more structurally complex and packed with intent signals. The rise of this intelligence is powering machine learning that is personal, predictive, and enhancing capabilities in exciting new ways.
 
People expect their technology interactions to be increasingly intuitive in other ways.  We recently extended our development of Microsoft Cognitive Services, a collection of APIs that allows developers to use a broad suite of AI technology to connect brands with their audiences more naturally. The infusion of intelligent experiences such as vision, speech, language knowledge and search across 29 Cognitive Services now enables developers to create even more meaningful experiences.
 
While the idea of digital transformation is a relatively new topic, the challenges facing businesses today are familiar: engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and transforming products. Microsoft continues to be at the center of the conversation. At Bing, our role is to help brands engage customers, and we are uniquely positioned to do this, not only from queries in the search engine but also through the power of the intelligence embedded in conversation, bots and cognitive services.   
 
Search is the intelligent fabric that permeates platforms, services and products offering not only valuable connections to people throughout their day, but by providing deep insights on customer intent.  Marketers’ approach to search therefore requires greater attention. Search should be one of the primary strategic considerations when CMOs define how they are going to make the most impact created by digital transformation.

Follow and join in on our conversations at Cannes on our blog and social media channels: Twitter at @BingAds and Instagram at @BingAds.  #BingThere.  

1. “AI-Ready or Not: Artificial Intelligence Here We Come", report commissioned by Weber Shandwick and conducted by KRC Research, June 2016