How Vending Can Harness AI and Maintain the Competitive Edge

This week we are delighted to announce that Katie King, well known to many in the vending world for her work with us on social media marketing, has agreed to be an occasional contributor to Planet Vending & OCS. This time and in light of our continuing series of Vending Insight, sponsored by Vianet, she has given us her own insight on how Vending can use AI in practical terms. The article is clear and informative. Click the link here for a PV exclusive offer giving you a 20% discount off Katie’s new book on the subject. Quote Code PLANETVEND20

BY KATIE KING – Author and CEO of AI in Marketing

Katie King

Artificial Intelligence -AI – will undoubtedly have an incredible impact on the vending sector in the future, transforming many different business functions including HR, sales and marketing. Let’s focus on one of those for now – marketing. Recent research predicts a 29% adoption of this new technology within 18 months. It’s already happening now. For example, machine learning can be used to streamline expensive and time-consuming processes such as media purchasing and metrics management. This will help marketers in the vending sector to become more effective in customer service and retention. By analysing huge amounts data at a fast pace, AI will help them to understand consumer behaviour and then tailor or personalise content accordingly.

Should the vending sector invest now?

Early competitive advantage could certainly be gained for those who choose to innovate, move, and act swiftly. As PwC states, the biggest near-term potential economic uplift from AI is likely to come from improved productivity. This centres on the automation of routine tasks, which means augmenting what staff can do, liberating them of these mundane roles to focus on more stimulating work which in fact can add more value to clients.

But this clearly needs to be weighed up against the fact that AI is still in the Gartner hype phase of development, so it’s important to ensure that investment is strategic, and that the AI solution planned is focused on solving real customer needs. It’s important to begin with small proofs of concept, i.e. understand the issue/challenge you would like to address and how the AI solution can provide a solution – to ensure that significant budget is not wasted.

Remaining competitive

To remain employable and competitive, all staff will need to adapt their skills. In fact, we will all be on a journey of life-long learning, and one where augmented intelligence will assist many of the tasks we carry out today. The pace at which change is implemented will depend on whether the company in question is an innovator or a laggard. It will also hinge on the availability of skilled staff to bring the AI-related projects to completion, and the impact of regulations which certain industry sectors will be faced with.

Insights from the book

Packed with case studies and international examples, the book outlines the key advantages of implementing AI-centric transformational change, including accurate market research samples, on-demand customer service, and brand-safe content creation. It also provides the reader with a Scorecard for success, which spans important critical success factors such as mindset, culture and much more.

Don’t forget! Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing by Katie King is now available to buy here. Planet Vending readers save 20% with the code PLANETVEND20.

About the author

Yvonne Reynolds-Young

Planet Vending’s MD and Publisher is Yvonne Reynolds-Young. An island of corporate common sense surrounded by oceans of creative madness, Yvonne is the person to call if your intention is to make something happen. (She controls all the diaries and all the money, FYI). She’s also our Social Media Queen, single-handedly responsible for building PVs presence on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter and thereby driving record volumes of traffic onto the site.

‘Customer service is my responsibility and it’s my job to make sure we’re always ahead of deadlines’ she says. ‘My background in big business means I speak the same language as our corporate clients and understand the particular pressures they face when working in the vending arena.’

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