Artificial intelligence will allow brands to delivered personalised, tailored experiences direct to customers’ doors.
ith scaremongering tabloid headlines telling us robots are set to steal all our jobs there has been hesitancy by some, to embrace technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).
However, if you are an innovative marketer, then you will understand that AI is going to be a fantastic augmentation of the industry’s capabilities, enhancing the way in which marketers understand, listen to and engage with customers.
AI is no longer the stuff of sci-fi dystopias or some far-off future technology. Instead, we are already surrounded by it as we interact with chatbots in our daily working lives, or request entertainment options with Amazon’s Alexa when we’re relaxing at home.
It is now becoming essential for marketers looking to make significant business impact in 2018 and beyond, to include AI in their plans and see it as a friend rather than a foe.
The AI impact
Many believe the advances in the technology are going to make some roles redundant. In reality, the net gain in jobs created directly by AI over the next decade will, in fact, be huge.
Gartner predicts that, by 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching 2 million net-new jobs in 2025. By 2021, Gartner also predicts AI augmentation will directly create $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.
These are, of course, only predictions, but even the most conservative business technology experts will agree that the next five to ten years is going to see an explosion in the use of AI technologies across most industries.
Making sense of big data to deliver positive customer experiences
Marketers, in particular, are very well placed to benefit from the many new applications that will use AI technologies in order to convert big data into ever-better and more authentic customer experiences.
Personalised, contextual marketing messages that are delivered to customers using the best quality, most relevant content, sent at the optimal time are going to be one of the major advantages that the marketing industry can capitalise on.
AI has the ability to process billions of interactions per second, drawing out patterns and trends from customer behaviours like never before. This gives the innovative marketer the opportunity to talk directly to customers in ways that they previously couldn’t imagine.
Whether they are shopping in store, online or on mobile, today’s consumers are continuously creating more data about themselves, their needs and their desires. So, with companies under increasing pressure to develop cost-effective, creative ways of reaching their customers, AI is going to allow marketers to draw correlations and to make connections from multiple different touchpoints.
Authenticity is key to the customer experience
Customers want brand experiences that resonate with them on the channels that they prefer. They don’t want intrusive ads selling them products that are of little interest to them and they are also harsh critics and will immediately disengage if they feel a brand is in some way inauthentic.
In our latest piece of research, The State of Engagement, we found that 67% of all consumers believe engagements with brands and businesses are still primarily transactional and irrelevant content is the number one reason consumers don’t engage with brands.
AI leverages machine learning to maximise the ability of marketers to accurately predict what the next most productive consumer engagement or interaction is going to be, based on what it has learned from previous behaviours.
The more data that AI has on customers, the more precisely it can engage with them in ways that they feel are meaningful and authentic.
The exponential explosion in the amount of consumer data that new e-commerce technologies and digital channels are producing is creating billions of customer interactions, which require AI to make sense of the data. Without the use of AI, humans would simply not be able to extract actionable insights from such huge and complicated data sets.
Yet with the help of AI, marketers can continue to optimise and hone campaigns, directing the most relevant and appropriate content at speed across multiple channels to customers, delivering to each individual the most impactful targeted messaging possible.
The next step forward in AI will help marketers to identify new potential audiences and customer journeys, allowing brands to communicate far better with their customers. AI will help us all to do more, in far less time, which is where the competitive advantage lies.
With major regulation changes, such as GDPR and e-Privacy, the customer is firmly in the driving seat. They will dictate, more than ever, the terms relating to how and when brands communicate with them.
And it will be AI that will allow the most forward-thinking brands to deliver exactly the types of personalised experiences at scale that engage the customer and impact revenue.