The Ultimate BBQ Grill: How Artificial Intelligence Shapes Customer Expectations

Has BBQ season already begun where you live? It has for me. In fact, I got the idea for this blog while having a get-together with friends over the weekend. This time, my friend Stefan was in charge of grilling burgers for a total of six guests. As he was cooking, I began to think about what requirements matter important to me when selecting a BBQ grill. I realized I have an ultimate list of requirements for a BBQ grill, so I thought I’d share it here:

My Ultimate Requirements List for a BBQ Grill

  1. Power: Gas, charcoal, pellet or electric (this discussion can get heated)
  2. Type: Would  you prefer direct or/and indirect
  3. What you plan to grill: Fish, meat, vegetables
  4. Speed: Do you like fast and convenient or slow and celebratory?
  5. Accessories: Plethora of them (about 15 accessories for 2017)
  6. Cost: Expensive or budget friendly
  7. Space and Size: Select depending on the available

What do you think of my list? Did I miss anything you consider crucial? If so, let me know and I will gladly update my list.

Artificial Intelligence Shapes BBQ Grill Expectations

As I thought about the list, I realized that both data and machine learning change customer expectations, in particular when selecting household items like BBQ grills.

How? Let me talk about laundry and washing machines first. I am not kidding. Listening to Electrolux during the Informatica World Tour in Stockholm, I learned that they are using data to help each house find the right washing machine for their household need. In order to do so, in-store staff or configurators on the web, asked questions like: How many people live in your household? How many adults, how many kids? What fashion do you wear? What sports do you play?

Another example from JLL is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. “Data is the fuel of our organization and our differentiator in the marketplace. Empowering clients, building managers, and revenue-producing partners to paint a picture or tell a story with information has been the biggest and most important change Informatica has helped us make”, said Mike Hart, Director, Research- VP, Data Management & Operations, JLL Inc.

You must be wondering, what does this have to do with your BBQ grill? Would it help if you would know things like,”this grill fits 6 steaks, 4 hotdogs and 8 burgers at once”, instead of reading it on a website “the primary cooking surface measures 25.6-inches wide by 18.5-inches deep”. Which information helps find what you require for your family and friends?


The story behind the scenes

You may wonder and question how this works. The story of the washing machines shows that enterprises can match buyer persona with products for better targeting and better service. Transforming a grill surface measurement into the average sizes of burgers, steaks and sausages can be automated by machine learning and automated data processes in the context of master data management, called MDM.

In today’s world brands, manufacturers and retailers manage attributes of the products and services like size, speed or similar attributes. Today, enterprises standardize their data to make sure you are able to see only in-stock items, for example see all red polo jerseys when activating the red color filter. In future, this will be augmented by transforming these values into a more customer friendly message making life easier for the client, which turns into better conversion and customer loyalty.

And there will be more use cases of how AI can lift up the product categorization for omnichannel commerce, but I will tackle this in future blogs.

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