The Digital Customer Experience Blog

Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

MIT Predicts The 10 Breakthrough Technologies For 2018

breakthrough-technologies

When you talk about the future of technology, you have two different approaches. The first one is to look into the distance the way Sci-Fi writers do, working with the imagination to push the boundaries of what the human mind can create.

The second approach is to aim at a closer target, looking at what is already going on. This is exactly what the MIT does with its annual prediction of the 10 breakthrough technologies that will lead the evolution of business and society, starting from today.

The list has been published in the recent March/April release of the MIT Technology Review magazine, the reference point for everyone interested in knowing what’s coming next. This top 10 includes the technologies believed to make the most impact over the next 12 months.

"This is our attempt to alert our readers: These are the technologies that you really need to or should pay attention to next year, and also going into the next few years," MIT Tech Review's editor David Rotman told Business Insider.

What does it mean ‘breakthrough’? Scrolling through the previous 17 editions of the list, you can find a few key benchmarks for defining this term: mass commercial use, foreseeable mass commercial adoption and, most of all, the profound impact on our lives.

With the words of Gideon Lichfield, editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, “our annual list of 10 world-changing technologies invariably defies attempts to find an overarching theme. But a look back at the past few years shows a trend: we’re including more and more advances in artificial intelligence”.

There is no doubt that the AI will play - and is already playing - a huge role in the development of many aspects of our lives: the way we communicate and build relationships; how we work and find jobs; the strategy of businesses and organizations; how we take care of our health; the way Brands personalize the customer experience to appeal people's uniqueness.

3D METAL PRINTING

While 3D printing has been around for a while now, printing objects in other materials than plastic has been quite a dream (an expensive one). Now we are moving towards the ability to create large, intricate metal structures on demand; something that could revolutionize manufacturing, a new era for the 4.0 Enterprise.

ARTIFICIAL EMBRYOS

With the embryos, we face a topic hotly debated for its ethical and philosophical problems. And yet the research is moving faster than legislation and political debate. For the first time, researchers have made embryo-like structures from stem cells alone, without using egg or sperm cells, thus providing a new understanding of how life comes into existence.

SENSING CITY

For years we have heard about the smart city, but it is now time for an even smarter smart city. In Toronto, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs are already implementing sensors and analytics in order to rethink how we build and live cities. Sensing cities could make urban areas more affordable and citizen’s friendly.

AI FOR EVERYBODY

Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing in technology; there is no doubt about that. The only brake to its full application has always been the high costs of development. But now cloud-based AI is making the technology cheaper and easier to use, opening the market to many more companies.

DUELLING NEURAL NETWORKS

Right now the Artificial Intelligence can learn and identify things based on the processed data, but what if it could also have an ‘imagination’? Companies such as Google Brain, DeepMind and Nvidia are now matching two AI systems that can help each other to create original images, and generate something akin to a sense of imagination.

BABEL FISH EARBUDS

Google's omnipresence in this list shows that the company is not ‘just’ a search engine anymore. The Pixel Buds show the promise of near-real-time translation. The technology is still young and clunky, but it could help overcome the barrier of communication in an increasingly global world (in the wake of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

ZERO-CARBON NATURAL GAS

The brand new smart city requires a different approach to energy supply and distribution. The answer could be in a new approach to natural-gas plants, made to efficiently and cheaply capture carbon released by burning natural gas, thus avoiding greenhouse emissions.

PERFECT ONLINE PRIVACY

The most urgent issue of the digital era is the use (and abuse) of personal information. As shown by the Cambridge Analytica affair and the GDPR legislation, the road to the perfect online privacy is still long, but blockchain could help to make it faster. Computer scientists, in fact, are perfecting a cryptographic tool to carry out transactions without revealing any more information than necessary.

GENETIC FORTUNE-TELLING

Our destiny is written in our genes. This is science, not science fiction. The study of the genome can help scientists understand and predict diseases and human traits. DNA-based predictions could be the next significant public health advance, but will also pose an ethical problem. Will the next evolution of discrimination be based on genetics?

MATERIALS’ QUANTUM LEAP

What is the next step in the evolution of computing? Quantum computing seems to be the correct answer, as recently shown by the use of a quantum computer to model the electronic structure of a simple molecule. Understanding molecules will allow chemists to design more effective drugs and better materials, but the prospect of a new wave powerful computers comes with a question: What should (and could) we do with so much power?

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Neosurance Recognized Twice Among the Best Startups in the InsurTech Industry

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Neosurance, the startup founded by Neosperience and Digital Tech, continues its journey of revolution in the InsurTech world, bringing home two prestigious awards that confirm it as one of the most appreciated players, not only in Italy, thanks to the recent opening of the American headquarters in Sunnyvale .

The 2018, in fact, opens under the banner of the first prize in the "Intelligent Automation" category, won during the MF Insurance & Previdenza Awards 2018, organized by Milano Finanza and Accenture.
Neosurance has been rewarded thanks to the product "Al Volo", a micro insurance solution developed by Axa Italy and based on the Neosurance platform, in which is accumulated the technological experience of the DCX consolidated in a decade by Neosperience.

"Al Volo" comes as a further step in a collaboration born in 2017, when Axa Italy and Neosurance laid the foundations for an ad hoc product for Tiassisto24 - an app that offers car concierge services - offering travel insurance that covers medical expenses for the 25 thousand users of the community.

After being included in the Insurance Factory 2018 Trend Report, on the April 13th came a further recognition of absolute value, with the inclusion in the list, drawn up by StartupItalia! and The European House - Ambrosetti, of the best 10 + 1 startups that have the potential to innovate the FinTech world ecosystem from Italy.

Neosurance, born from an idea by Dario Melpignano - CEO and co-founder of Neosperience, the first Digital Customer Experience Cloud - and Andrea Silvello - CEO and co-founder of Digital Tech - attracted the attention of the most important FinTech players, always looking for innovative solutions.

The technology of Neosurance, in continuous development, is based on artificial intelligence and dedicated to communities and insurance companies, allowing the sale of micro policies in "push" mode. The fulcrum of the value proposition for customers lies in the ability to build a digital customer experience based on contextual, behavioral and emotional information, used in a "learn by doing" approach.

In 2017, Neosurance was selected by Plug & Play to participate in the "InsurTech" acceleration program, and was invited to the important event of the Expo Demo Day in Silicon Valley. The presence on the news continued thanks to the Insurance Nexus IoT Europe Award and the MEDICI Top 21 - InsurTech Award.

Neosurance's path only confirms what has been certified by the Wall Street Journal, which has defined InsurTech as one of the sectors of greatest interest for venture capitalists who want to invest in innovative startups. Even in Italy, where the industry is still young, the recognition of the value of this startup shows - if still needed - the importance of the digital transformation that is revolutionizing the insurance market.

Photo by Caleb Whiting on Unsplash

A Culture for Psychographics in Marketing: Neosperience Vision

psychographics vision

 

Photo by Ryan Pouncy on Unsplash

How Mobile Has Rewritten The Rules – No More Idle Micro Moments

mobile moments

A few days ago, while waiting for my turn at the post office, I have witnessed the definitive disappearance of the downtime. Do you remember how boring was to carry out some dull activities only ten years ago?

Well, we have now said goodbye to the idle moments. The smartphone is the key to unlock the potential of those moments when we have nothing to do but waiting and waiting. The queue has never been so exciting.

Mind you, we are not saying that we will not be stuck in the waiting rooms in the next future. The digital disruption has changed a lot but, at least till now, we still have to face the boredom from time to time.

What has changed is the quality of these experiences. The random unattractive magazines stacked on the table of the doctor’s waiting room have given way to the smartphone. Thus, we have the whole world in our hands.

We live in the era of the Micro Moments and no idle moments are allowed anymore. Google has tackled this important matter in a recent article published on Think With Google. The post, titled “How mobile became a power tool in idle moments”, starts from the awareness that:

“The smartphone has become indispensable in getting things done. In our latest research, we found that 75% of people say their smartphones help them to be more productive. But it’s more than that. Productivity has an emotional impact as well. Fifty-four percent of people say their phones reduce stress and/or anxiety in their lives.”

And we all know how stressful it can be to stand in line waiting for a turn that never comes.

Mobile quickly delivers results when they’re impatient, provides inspiration at their fingertips when they’re curious, and gives them a personalized experience when they’re demanding one.

Google researchers have identified five typical scenarios when people turn to their phones to fight boredom.

A SPARK

This happens, for example, when something either just pops into your head or you are triggered by something you see.

AN URGENT NEED

This happens, for example, when you suddenly realize that you need something and you don’t know where to get it.

IN-STORE ASSISTANCE

This happens, for example, when you are strolling through the store’s aisles and use the smartphone to look for info, discounts, reviews.

MICRO-PRODUCTIVITY

This happens, for example, when you are stuck somewhere and scroll the list of things to do to move forward.

PLANNING AHEAD

This happens, for example, when you use the phone to plan the next moves in your life, from weekend trips to important purchases.

This is the story from customers’ perspective. What about your Brand? What about your marketing strategy? How can you exploit these micro moments to engage your customers and win their loyalty?

We leave you with a pretty interesting video, highlighting how mobile is impacting the opportunities and challenges for Brand and marketers.

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Improve Your Personalization Strategy with AI-driven Psychographics

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Consumers are hugely empowered. There is no room for mediocre” said Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, at the last European Forbes CMO Summit. “We now have the opportunity to understand people on a one-to-one basis – to get down to that individual engagement.

Marketer's challenge for 2018 and beyond will be to hyper-personalize customer relationships. Which means, creating relevant interactions to capture customers' attention, evoke an emotional connection and secure their loyalty.

The days of one-size-fits-all targeting and seeing ads for things we’ve already purchased are finally coming to an end, as the power of personalization today gives brands a real opportunity to deliver one-to-one experiences at scale. This requires a data-driven approach and, with the massive amounts of data that brands have access to today, the question is: What's more important? What really matters?

Though we are in the Age of the Customer, most of the knowledge in the science of persuasive communication is primarily focused on the "sender", rather than the "receiver". The profile of the "good seller" has been studied a lot, and so the traits and qualities of successful salespeople. For example, they are achievement-oriented, curious, and conscientious. They have a high self-efficacy, are less gregariousness and show a lack of self-consciousness.

We know much less about the characteristics of the recipient, although the real meaning of a message is what the recipient makes of it. How individuals respond to different types of communications, in fact, is strongly linked to their personality.

Think about how much easier it is for salespeople to be effective with a customer that they know personally, compared with a new customer they have never seen before. Well, this kind of knowledge, previously limited to the offline world, today extends also to the digital world.

Let's see some examples.

Extroversion and Introversion

Extrovert people are outgoing, sociable, optimistic, and talkative, while introverts tend to be reserved, quiet, and independent thinkers.

Communication tips

While extroverts respond more positively to online ads that contain persuasive appeals, so that the communication is more free and easy, with introverts you have to prove credibility, for example using objective indicators of excellence. When dealing with an introvert user, you also have to avoid hype and exaggerated information: just get to the point and use high-content samples.

Open-mindedness and Closed-mindedness

Users of the first type are more open to new information, which they evaluate based on what they see or hear. Simply put, they make up their minds based on what you show them. closed-minded users, on the other hand, tend to be more skeptical and less receptive to new information, that they judge as related to what they already know.

Communication tips

With open-minded users, you should highlight the innovativeness, novelty, and customization features of your product. With closed-minded users, it's better to focus on proven effectiveness, and your message must include demonstrations or getting them to take part in product trials.

Need for Cognition and Need for Affect

Need for cognition reflects the extent to which a person is inclined towards effortful cognitive activities, such as information search processes. Need for affect indicates one's motivation to approach or avoid emotion-inducing situations.

Communication tips

It has been demonstrated that people with a high need for affect and a low need for cognition are more attracted by affective-based messages, such the sensory experience of trying a sample of a pleasant-tasting drink. Conversely, a cognitive-based message such as reading a list of strong and positive attributes about the drink is more powerful among individuals who are high in need for cognition and low in need for affect.

Today, with the explosion of customer data that Brands can access from all digital and physical touchpoints, moving from complexity to action requires giving a new meaning to existing data and choosing those that provide the most useful insights.

To win this challenge, Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning enables marketers to understand their customers better by overcoming obvious factors such as demographics and purchase history and getting psychographic elements from web usage patterns and social profiles. This allows to tailor persuasive appeals and provide targeted recommendations based on users' interests, attitudes, lifestyle, and personality.

How good sellers do when they are familiar with a customer, now Brands have the opportunity to offer hyper-personalized customer engagements and experiences than ever before.

What are the key psychographics to understand your customers better? How would you use them to enhance your personalization strategy?

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Must-Know SEO Tricks To Improve Your Digital Presence [INFOGRAPHIC]

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SEO is dead, long live the SEO. Every now and then, the critics of search engine optimization scream their apocalyptic manifesto for a SEO-less world. You don't need optimization anymore, they say, because the engines evolve so quickly that everything you do is immediately obsolete.

Yes, the evolution of technology every year brings developments to the industry, but does this mean that you don't need to optimize anymore? The answer is clearly 'No'. You still need SEO; it's just not the SEO you were used to, as shown in the following infographic.

To quote the words of Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author and co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics:

"
The Internet has gone through several iterations over the past 30 years, and while SEO tactics have certainly changed, as long as search engines exist, ranking in them will be important.

New technology may change the way we interact and explore the Internet, but search engines will always be a factor, and optimizing your information for these constantly evolving algorithms will never go out of style.

You probably know where I’m going with this article.

SEO is not dead."

New times require new means, and the new digital and mobile ecosystem requires a whole new approach to SEO. You always have to appeal two different targets - the user and the engine - but both have been deeply disrupted by that tiny (so to say) device called smartphone.

You face a new generation of customers - always connected and willing to receive information in real-time, whenever they are - and a new generation of AI-driven algorithms - they learn from their interactions with the user, and can also process real speech patterns.

Google gets over 100 billion searches a month and handles at least 2 trillion searches per year. 89 percent of customers start the buying process using a search engine. Customer experience management can not do without SEO, and if you think that being there at the right time is not relevant for your Brand, well, think again.

The metrics don't lie: The digital presence is more crucial than ever. And that means that you need to employ all those SEO tricks that will help you improve your strategy in the online and offline worlds.

If you need further proof, check the recent research from Milkwhale, first published on Entrepreneur, in the form of an enlightening, long-sighted infographic (click on the picture to enlarge).

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The Digital Customer Experience Blog

This site, published by Neosperience, overviews the advancements of digital customer experience in marketing, technology and society. Neosperience Cloud is the technology platform to create engaging experiences for your customers that drive ongoing loyalty to your brand, and faster paths to purchase. It is the choice of the best companies in the world, Winner of the most prestigious global awards across many industries: Automotive, Communications, Media and Services, Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution, Fashion, Luxury and Beauty, Financial Services, Healthcare, Utilities, Government and Infrastructure, Travel and Transportation.

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