Trailblazing Consumer Engagement with Data, AI, and GenAI

On 26th April 2024, Artefact Singapore and our Tech Partner, Treasure Data, a leading solutions provider of Customer Data Platform (CDP), held a panel discussion where digital and data experts from various industries gathered to delve into the topic of consumer engagement (r)evolution, as well as the key ingredients that go under the surface of such transformation.

Consumer engagement extends far beyond surface-level interactions

Consumer engagement operations are akin to icebergs. Above the surface, we see captivating examples of engagement—vibrant social media interactions, personalised customer experiences, and innovative marketing campaigns. But beneath the waterline lies the true engine of success: data governance, integrated technology, coupled with the synergy of top-tier talent, and well-defined processes.

Despite the diverse backgrounds of our panellists spanning food & beverage, travel retail, and healthcare, a consistent theme from their insights is the essential role of data and AI in facilitating personalised consumer engagement and operational effectiveness.

Data – In any industry, be it luxury or consumer goods, local or travel retail, B2B or B2C, a robust consumer data strategy stands as the unequivocal cornerstone of success

In the beverage industry, there’s a notable shift towards investing in value exchanges with consumers, such as personalised bottles from Coca-Cola, despite the absence of a prevalent mature 1st party data strategy. This strategic move aims to not only acquire consumer data but also enhance long-term consumer engagement and establish a more equitable relationship with retailers and distributors.

In healthcare, where regulatory constraints often pose challenges to data collection and activation, companies are leveraging partnerships to pilot and refine engagement programs. These collaborative efforts navigate complexities while enhancing the overall patient experience.

Similarly, in the travel retail sector, characterised by abundant foot traffic but fragmented consumer journeys, integrating 2nd party data (from retailer partners) alongside 1st party insights (from local businesses) is imperative. By gaining deeper insights from multiple sources, businesses can orchestrate personalised experiences that resonate across various touchpoints, transforming engagement into a seamless, continuous journey.

AI & Gen AI – In any industry, AI & Gen AI are no longer uncharted frontiers but relentless forces driving competitive acceleration at varying speeds

In the beverage industry, AI implementation is relatively advanced but faces challenges in scaling. While tools like recommendation engines and lookalike modelling are mature, GenAI introduces hurdles, particularly with manual validation of generated content, limiting scalability. Moving forward, the strategic focus will be on defining data utilisation processes, driving change management, and elevating consumer experiences.

In healthcare, many businesses are at the start of the AI journey. Popular use cases address marketing operations and patient experience, transcending traditional brand segmentation. Many businesses look to develop a more comprehensive understanding based on unmet needs, profiles and behaviours. Looking ahead, strategic initiatives will focus on data acculturation through lighthouse use case pilots and scale progressively.

Similarly, AI implementation in travel retail is also at a nascent stage. While there’s a noticeable shift towards digital transformation and upskilling teams, the actual implementation is cautious. For example, there’s a focus on identifying and unlocking potential partnerships and conducting trials to leverage the power of 2nd/3rd party data. Overcoming implementation barriers to drive AI adoption in the sector is a priority for the future.


Finally, the consensus among all panellists was clear: whether it’s devising consumer engagement strategies or embarking on data and AI transformations, the crux lies in people and change management. The key to effective transformation lies in prioritizing the human element within the organisation. This entails a multifaceted approach, encompassing everything from upskilling and acculturation to leadership development and operational refinement.

As organisations strive to innovate and adapt, from reimagining customer journeys to leveraging AI-driven insights, the event sheds light on actionable pathways. These pathways are crucial for organisations navigating the digital frontier, offering guidance on how to deliver exceptional consumer experiences in an increasingly complex landscape.

A big thank you to our esteemed panellists for sharing their invaluable insights:

  • Caitlin Nguyen, Head of Digital and Customer Engagement at Abbott,

  • Fion NG, General Manager Kiehl’s/Helena Rubinstein/Biotherm/Takami – Travel Retail Asia Pacific at L’Oréal,

  • Devendra Shivhare, Marketing Technology Executive, Asia-Pacific, Beverage Industry,

  • Sean Anthony Valencia, Marketing Manager, APAC at Treasure Data.

For more information about consumer engagement, feel free to reach out to Kevin Cheung, Senior Data Consulting Director, Artefact Singapore via

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