Using technology to anticipate customer needs can predict and solve problems before they exist

Jack Blog

January 7th, 2019 By Damian Ferrar

Forget the fixed, static environments of years gone by. ‘Smart’ spaces anticipate the needs of people and invite interaction; sensing and adapting to how they’re being used. In fact, advances in smart-sensoring have been so rapid that it’s actually kick-started a whole industry.

anticipate customer needsThe global race is — without a doubt — on, as the world battles in developing new ways to use technology to solve urban challenges. China is certainly taking its spot as a leader for the smartest of smart. It currently invests heavily in sensors and infrastructures in several of its cities. Their ‘ET City Brain’ is proof of this with its mega system gathering mega amounts of data (logs, videos, data stream) from sensors. Supercomputers and algorithms are then spitting out solid solutions to congestion problems, emergency service response speeds and traffic accident detection.

Amsterdam’s, Co-ReUs, project is a smaller scale, but still people-friendly, ambition to make their town squares feel safer in off-peak hours. They’re looking at ways to use the same interactive and responsive technology used in cultural activations like the Amsterdam Light Festival — light, sensors & sound — to apply it to public spaces so it adapts to different user needs.

And the good news is that all technology — when applied in ways that enhance the way we interact with the world — can be adapted and changed for the different places people find themselves in. As we accelerate into exploring the impact technology has on brand experiences, we’ve been discussing what we consider to be some of the most exciting landscape shifts in responsive tech:

Shift 1 / ‘Zero UI’ drives more natural interactions

The era of touchscreen dominance is being challenged by a new wave of user interfaces, powered by voice, gesture, touch, facial recognition, smart objects and more. These more ‘natural’ interfaces are delighting audiences thanks to intuitive ways of engaging with content. User expectations and behaviours are changing at a rapid rate: ComScore reports that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 and Google reports that 62% of users plan to make a purchase through their smart speakers over the coming month.

Shift 2 / Sensor and analytics networks boost measurement capabilities

Measurement has been a long-standing challenge in the brand experience industry. How can we ‘close the loop’, demonstrating the correlation between brand experience and purchase?

Deploying sensor and analytics networks is a major step in that direction, providing us with a big-picture view of how people engage with a space at scale.

Bain & Company predicts that the combined markets of IoT will more than double by 2021, with a worth of $520B compared with $235B in 2017, with data centres and analytics the fastest growing segment.

Shift 3 / Creating more effective avenues of testing and iteration

Responsive is also about being agile and effective in how we work. We’ve signed an exclusive deal with an augmented emotional intelligence platform, built on a data set of over 1.6 billion emotional reactions, that enables us to anticipate the emotional responses of audiences to both content and physical spaces before they go live. This gives us a platform from which we can quickly respond and iterate — without employing expensive and time-consuming focus groups.


This is an exciting time for both agencies and brands. New technologies are breaking down longstanding barriers and enabling us to embrace more agile, transparent and intelligent ways of working. This will ultimately deliver more responsive experiences that offer greater value for your brand and your customers.