One of the most talked about technologies today is artificial intelligence (AI). Leveraging AI allows marketers to get more out of their digital platforms while using less effort. Tapping into the power of AI helps marketers easily analyze vast amounts of customer data, discover trends and make smarter decisions about where to spend valuable budget. In short, AI helps marketers deliver personalized digital experiences that help raise customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty.
When we speak of AI, many of us envision science fiction movies such as Star Wars, The Terminator, Star Trek or more recently The Matrix and Interstellar where the robots and computer systems take over. The idea that AI can go too far is good fodder for movies, but for marketers, AI is a powerful form of technology that is predicted to have an increasingly large role in our daily lives. According to the research firm Gartner, by 2020, AI will be used by at least 60% of organizations for digital commerce.
Here are five ways that AI helps marketers create superior digital experiences.
As Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic highlights, there has been tremendous growth in the number of marketing technologies over the past nine years. In 2001, the number of marketing technologies was 150. In 2019, that number has jumped to…7,040!
At the same time the number of channels that reach customers has increased along with the ability to track what consumers do via the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner forecasts that there will be 20.4 billion connected devices by 2020.
What does the convergence of new forms of technologies, more channels and additional tracking of consumer information via the IoT mean? Companies are integrating multiple forms of technology at a rapid pace which creates a very confusing digital ecosystem. This results in increased levels of digital complexity and messy marketing stacks. AI helps marketers prosper by streamlining omnichannel processes so individualized content can easily get to consumers, anytime, anywhere.
One of the holy grails for marketers is to have a holistic view of the customer. The term “holistic view” is used quite frequently and for this discussion I’ll clarify the meaning as – getting a big picture view of the customer, what they like, what they don’t like, what drives them to make decisions and what their preferences are, etc. The way to garner that information is to deploy technologies that capture customer data without putting a burden on the customer. Taking a data-driven approach allows marketers to use customer data to pinpoint key moments in the customer’s decision-making process in order to help facilitate a sale.
Yet for some marketers, this can be overwhelming. According to Forrester, “Marketers have reached a point where their ability to capture data has exceeded their ability to take data-driven action”. So how do marketers break down disjointed data silos to improve the customer journey?
AI easily unifies data sources from across disparate sources and organizations to provide a 360- degree view of the customer. Gathering behavioral data, website traffic data and CRM data helps deliver highly targeted and personalized content in real-time.
The purpose of getting a holistic view of the customer is so that marketers can create more compelling digital experiences for customers. As Gartner points out, “customer experience is the new competitive battleground. After a bad digital experience, a person will tell 26 people about their negative experience. Conversely, a person will tell nine people about a good one.”
Boston Consulting Group (BCG) asserts that “brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for customers are seeing revenues increase by 6% to 10% – two to three times faster than those that don’t. As a result, personalization leaders stand to capture a disproportionate share of category profits in the new age of individualized brands while slow movers will lose customers, share, and profits.” This trend is especially evident in digital commerce, where personalization is a powerful strategy for differentiating online buying experiences for retailers and B2B companies.
Personalization across multiple channels has gained so much attention for marketers because it provides a unique online experience for each customer based on their needs.
One of the key questions for marketers is how to gain insights into what drives customer behaviors. Once those behaviors have been determined, the next step is to design ways to create positive customer interactions that lead to sales. The key is to utilize technology that helps marketers act in real-time.
The beauty of AI is that it helps marketers accomplish those exact tasks. AI powers real-time customer engagements via multiple channels that lead to the right content being delivered to the right person at the right time on the right channel. These micro-moments of influence – which according to Google are intent-rich split seconds when decisions are made and preferences are shaped – are vital for marketers looking to influence customer behavior and gain a competitive edge.
Speed is of the essence when it comes to beating your competitors. Marketers see reducing time to market as a competitive advantage and, when trying to attract new or retain current customers, personalizing content is key. In order for marketers to stay ahead of the competition they need tools that analyze customer data in real-time that lead to actionable insights. AI allows marketers to dramatically reduce time to market for common time-consuming tasks allowing time and energy to be spent on what they do best – strategy, digital experience design, content creation, etc.
AI is a hot topic in many corners of the marketing world because it helps marketers deliver personalized content in real-time that maps to each customer’s unique areas of interest, regardless of channel. By taking advantage of the power of AI today, marketers will go a long way to establishing loyal customers which helps crush the competition.
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