Find all the latest marketing trends on the J&C Blog.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been in use since the late 1990s. Although always a fascinating topic, it never amounted to much more than discussion. Today, we are in the midst of the AI boom. So why now? The short answer is the exponential growth of cheap, fast, scalable and interconnected computing and storage in the cloud. The horsepower and data to efficiently run AI algorithms is now with reach of everyone.
AI has been embedded across almost every product category in marketing technology. Most big data platforms, such as IBM Watson, are simple general-purpose technologies being harnessed in the service of marketing. It’s much more interesting to look at products like Equals 3 which leverages Watson behind the scenes to deliver marketing research, customer segmentation and media planning services. Products like these can help marketers create multichannel campaigns specifically tailored to their target audience by using data collection. Knowing what exactly artificial intelligence can offer is important. Here is a list of ten tools that AI can offer digital marketers to help automate and improve their marketing strategies.
Online Browsing Data
Some of the most useful data collected by AI is the browsing habits of your target customers. That includes the websites they visit, products and services they review — even how much time they spend researching a product before purchasing. All of this information is real-time, which gives you an up-to-date browsing profile on any potential customer.
Knowing your consumer’s next move can help you plan customer experience touchpoints to guide them to your product. AI can calculate subjective probability that a prospect or customer will engage in a given behavior. You can find out when and where they are researching a product and what exactly they want to hear about the product or it’s brand. This data can be the cornerstone of your customer experience journey thanks to AI.
The modern consumer is no longer cutting out coupons before they head to the store. Mobile devices have become a crutch for shoppers — whether it’s looking for savings, researching a product or simply picking a store to visit. All of those behaviors and locations can be tracked and utilized by AI. Companies can now send coupons to customers while they are shopping in a competitor’s store or send digital ads to mobile phones within a certain radius of a new store. AI can even help target specific lecture halls at universities that fit a target demographic.
Along with collecting information on potential customers, AI has become a valuable part of customer service, especially in the financial industry. AI powered chatbots use customer transactional data to identify various requests, process them, and display the results. This includes balance inquiries, spending habits, and general account information. In fact, according to a study done by IDC.com, financial services companies will spend around eleven billion dollars on AI in 2020.
Thanks to AI, one of online shopping’s biggest benefits is having a multitude of product recommendations at your fingertips. At the bottom of every product page are at least five more products that you may like more than the one you are viewing. Better yet, companies like Amazon use AI to recommend product combinations that previous customers have purchased together. This allows companies to display more offerings to a potential customer while still acting in the customer’s best interest.
No matter how many ads you send their way, some customers are more unlikely than most to purchase a product. More often than not, these customers are not “in-market” for that product, either because they have no need for it or they recently purchased it. AI can keep you from spending your budget on these customers by keeping track of purchase history and calculating a “likeliness to buy.” For example, mothers with teenage children most likely aren't buying diapers anytime soon. However, new grandmas are a potential target customer for those kinds of products. Knowing if your customers are “in-market” is key when choosing where to spend your time and money.
Whether it's social media, product review websites or a simple Google search, every consumer has their preferred channel. Finding out those various channels is one more tool AI provides. Knowing who uses which channels can help you integrate that preference into your marketing team’s workflows, processes and outreach. Targeting potential customers based on their preferred media channel streamlines the customer buying journey and your advertisement’s efficiency.
Creative Treatment Selection
AI can use the results of previous advertisements to provide the best messaging, offer, images, and efforts for specific customers or prospects. Along with A/B testing, this data can help you understand what version of an ad works the best and most effectively with your customers. This saves you time during the creative process and keeps you from sending customers ads that won’t resonate with them as well as others.
“Cadence” is often confused with frequency because it considers how often you communicate with your customers. However, it also asks a more customer-centric question: When should you be communicating with your customers? Just because you email your customers five times a month does not mean they open or read those emails all five times. AI tools can give you specific times and days that your customers are more likely to open and act on your emails/communications. Communication with a purpose is always more important than frequency.
Coordinating a multichannel marketing campaign can be challenging. Keeping the messaging, customer experience, and accessibility consistent across all channels is extremely important. Using insights collected across every channel, AI is able to do that and more for you. AI tools can keep customer interactions relevant, timely, and consistent, all based on the context of the customer situation.
If you want to learn more about how you can use these tools and more to boost your digital marketing efficiency, contact J&C — experts in the science and the art of customer engagement.