March is a bittersweet month. On one hand, it marks the beginning of Spring. The cold air begins to lift, the days gradually become longer, and you can vaguely see your summer holidays in the distant horizon. On the other hand, the month often marks a time of dramatic change, not least in relationships.
According to analysis of Facebook relationship statuses, March is where loves goes to die. The month where our spring cleaning holds no punches when it comes to dusting off those who don't fit into our summer plans. Your boyfriend messed up the Valentine's Day celebrations (how could he not even think to make a restaurant booking?!) and your friends seem to be having a roaring social life with the help of Tinder and Bumble. It's little wonder that the chances of dumping, or being dumped, in March skyrocket.
If only he understood you better. If he knew the little gifts that would make your day, and the surprise weekend adventures that would brighten your mood. If only he knew that you REALLY wanted those John Mayer tickets.
Unfortunately our partners aren't perfect, and sometimes you have to lay the hints on super thick to really get what you want. This becomes even harder when even you don't consciously know what you want. The art of satisfying your partner's every need involves Sherlock-level forensic analysis combined with a touch of pure guesswork to really get right. It's little wonder therefore that so many relationships fall short at the March hurdle.
The relationship between brands and consumers is fraught with many of the same difficulties. Brands that make assumptions on what their customers want based on crude, third-party data are destined to deliver frustrating and disappointing experiences. Clumsy interactions rarely lead to close and long-lasting relationship.
Consumers drop plenty of hints. The sites we visit, what we buy, listen to, watch, search and share all give signals to brands about our interests. This activity leaves a rich trail of data that paints an ever-more accurate profile of who we are, what we're interested in, and what's most likely to make us take action. The ability of brands to collect and harness these signals and turn into meaningful moments is made possible through the application of artificial intelligence. Brands can now learn from actions to predict future behaviour and in turn brings predictive power to marketing.
Predictive marketing enables marketers to anticipate what will capture consumers' attention, enabling them to create meaningful moments that delight their customers.
Imagine if this level of anticipation was available in our relationships - we could know exactly how to curry favour with our partners without risk of recrimination. Our partner would know that when you said you were happy just listening to Mayer's Greatest Hits, you really meant you wanted front-and-centre reserve seating. Artificial intelligence wouldn't disappoint in this way. It would know with astonishing accuracy based on indicative behaviour, rather than guessing from hints and assumptions. It would know everything that would make the day delightful and magical - from the early dinner at your favourite restaurant to post-drinks with your girlfriends.
While I may need to drop obvious clues for my partner to catch on, artificial intelligence already has this understanding. It has analysed and learned from more than 14 million attributes related to my interests, views, loves, and hates to reveal a depth of insight into my personality that my partner could only dream of possessing.
This is exactly the level of understanding predictive marketing can provide to brands. Through careful application of this data, brands can understand us better and present us with the most relevant content and advertising messages.
So if you're thinking about cutting ties with your beau this spring, try showing a little more understanding. Not everyone has AI on their side.