We Are Only at the Beginning of Individualization
Everything you do throughout your day - going to the bank, grocery shopping, making coffee, driving to work—all are relatively easy processes that require a very slight amount of work from you personally. When we think about "futuristic" technology, we jump to autonomous cars and virtual reality—but significant advancements in technology are incremental, and a truly disruptive technology is subtly shaping the way we do things entirely.
Over the course of several years, adoption of the internet and social media has subtly changed the way the world of marketing and consumer behavior works. This new wave of technology has already changed our lives for the better—we can filter information so that we're only presented with content we care about, and businesses have the opportunity to cater experiences explicitly for our individual preferences. Because of that, where broad, thematic promotions once worked well in inspiring interaction, people now crave content that specifically relates to their own interests and experiences at all times.
We are only at the beginning of individualization. The technology that's currently used to create experiences in social media (and Jetlore's personalization technology) won't just suggest content, it will be the intelligent personal assistant at the center of every experience throughout your day. Every aspect of your life will be improved because of the added benefits of individualization—so let's take a look at individualization in the far off year of 2026.
The Past and the Rise of the Lower Funnel
Before we look to the future of individualization, let's reflect on where we've been. Until the arrival of the internet, communication between businesses and consumers was very one directional.
In the early 1990's, you most likely received information from marketers and news outlets in one of three ways:
- Direct mail (snail-mail, catalog mailers)
- Multi-media (TV and Radio)
- Print ads
Brands and retailers would distribute discount related or thematic advertisements hoping that something will relate to you and inspire a purchase.
Then, the internet arrived—retailers could send frequent, high volume content at low cost through email.
In the early 2000's, Amazon created the first recommendation engine for e-commerce. Amazon's early recommendation engine introduced the split between lower funnel (where users exhibit specific intent) and upper funnel (where there's no actionable user information) communications. During this time, the upper funnel was managed exactly like the legacy channels—manually produced thematic content that was meant for a large, diverse audience.
The evolution of the internet and rise of social media has shaped the way people communicate and purchase in surprising ways. Social media allows us to filter the information we choose to allow into our lives, and prioritize what we signify as relevant. When you hit a "like," or "follow" button in a social feed, you're telling the platform that you want to see content with similar attributes, which is curated and promoted in following interactions. As soon as you log in, you see content that you have expressed a specific interest in.
Social media naturally has a very "upper funnel" focus. Because everyone has access to contextually relevant information at all times, we've grown to expect that kind of experience across the board without having to search for or contribute information.
Let's Look at Individualization in 2026
According to Forrester, "Personalization is slowly evolving to individualization: engaging customers as a “segment of one” in real time by listening to, capturing, measuring, assessing, and acting on the customer’s intent across every enterprise touchpoint." —Forrester Report Predictions 2017: The Line Between Digital And Physical Retailing Will Vanish
E-commerce is already well on its way toward individualizing experiences in every online channel. The next generation of web technology will automatically build a new experience for each customer based on preference. Rather than maintaining and updating a static site, content teams will upload content into an intelligent platform that can select the appropriate content for each user. This is the only scalable way of individualizing experiences for each customer at scale—and this is not exclusive to e-commerce. Banks, Insurance, media sites, video—every web experience will have a full, dynamic bank of content that appeals to wildly different users, who each require an individualized experience.
In 2026, "every enterprise touchpoint" will consist of a much broader spectrum of activity than just online experiences. Our lives will revolve around subtle A.I. that optimizes every technology we rely on, and every experience we have, without the need for human intervention. Every service will be cloud based, and every function will utilize some form of machine based automation.
For instance, A.I. will be able to infer the amount of inventory that retail stores will need on a specific day, and automate the ordering and logistics process; stores will never run out of your size again!
But let's go a step further. In the future, the Internet of Things will evolve into a personal A.I. assistant that guides you through your day with excellent personalized experiences.
Imagine you've just parked your car at your favorite department store on Black Friday, 2026. As you walk into the entrance, your A.I. will recognize your location and communicate with the store, hunting down the most relevant products, discounts, and services for you specifically. A list of curated products populates on your phone, ordered specifically by price, size, and availability.
You choose the top promotion, which gives you a 25% discount on your favorite brand of jeans; you're given specific walking directions to the section of the store where the jeans are available, and an assistant has already pulled them from the shelf and prepared a fitting room.
As you walk in to the fitting room, a small screen on the mirror populates recommendations for items that will go well with your jeans: "would you like an assistant to bring these items to complement your current selection? Would you like to order coffee while you try on clothes?" You press on the mirror and order a cup. As you leave the store to pick up your coffee, your A.I. automatically pays for your jeans without the need for a checkout line.
Right now, all of the technologies necessary for this particular experience exist. In fact, Amazon recently released their plans to create a convenience store that communicates with user accounts via cell phone and uses machine learning to re-stock inventory. Geo-fencing/geo-location, dynamic pricing, and push notifications are all currently available—we're just waiting on the ability for these technologies to communicate with one another.
Jetlore is the first step towards the age of A.I. driven individualization.
A.I. Individualization is the future, and all of this will become possible with the evolution of forward thinking CRM technologies like Jetlore. Our Artificial Intelligence technology already recognizes and understands user preferences completely; we understand what each individual person needs in size, style, fit, color, brand, and cut. Because of that deep understanding, we can immediately respond to those preferences with incredibly specific, individualized content within email, on-site, and mobile app channels. We share this vision for the future of individualization, and are constantly working to become the A.I. driven CRM of the future.
Would you like to learn more about our technology, or our vision for the future of individualization? Schedule a call with a Jetlore team member here.