Today, we’re at an inflection point in how we engage with customers to better meet their needs. According to a PwC report, 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Yet only half of the U.S. consumers say companies are meeting their expectations. In this experience-driven economy, companies who understand the meaning behind customers’ needs, listen and learn in every interaction, and consistently create engaging and personal experiences, will win. Companies should adopt AI to get the desired success.
Gone are the days when flooding email inboxes with irrelevant, generic content yields returns. Who has ever woken up in the morning and read an email about a mattress sale and thought: “I can’t wait to buy a new mattress today?” Those generic emails usually land in your spam folder. The most successful businesses understand the need to incorporate technology to deliver compelling and personalized content experiences at scale. Companies thriving in this hyper-personalized era leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to analyze customer data and create meaningful content in an automated, scalable way that was never possible before.
AI is crucial for success
Early adopters of AI technology are seeing a tremendous impact on their ability to analyze data, personalize customer experiences, and measure their results. In fact, according to a recent Deloitte survey, 82% of respondents claim a positive financial return on their AI investment, and 79% agree that AI empowers people to make better decisions. For companies looking to leverage technology in their customer-focused strategy, the results from these early adopters signal a big opportunity.
Take one of my favorite streaming services, Netflix, for example. I always open emails from Netflix, because I know I’m going to get highly personalized content – e.g., because I watched “Orange is the New Black,” I should watch “Narcos.” Their recommendations feature is perhaps the most popular feature of Netflix, and it’s brilliant. The company uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze the viewing behavior and preferences of its users and then recommends content with similar traits and qualities that I may be most interested in watching next so that I stay engaged and continue to subscribe. Because Netflix personalizes my experience every single time, I don’t mind receiving emails from them.
Quite the opposite – I look forward to them. I feel a personal connection with Netflix every time I engage with the brand, whether it’s natively in the app, reading an email from them – or anything in between. I feel engaged with, not marketed to.
Stop fearing AI, embrace it
AI has fundamentally changed the job of marketers across all industries. But rather than fearing AI, marketers should embrace it. Spend time exploring all of AI’s capabilities and understand how it will improve your job. Let’s first look at how AI can optimize processes and allow you to do your job more efficiently. With AI, marketers will spend less time manually filtering through large amounts of data just to find the right piece of information to deliver one actionable insight. Instead, AI will do the manual work, allowing marketers to spend more time focusing on the strategy required to drive results.
For example, imagine using AI to help you pull together a target list of accounts within minutes – much faster than the hours of previously required manual work. Or, being able to deliver a personalized experience to each website visitor by using an AI-enabled chatbot that understands the visitor’s past behavior and recognizes where they are in the buyer journey. AI does this analysis in real-time, which allows the visitor to have a seamless, personalized experience every time. With AI, tasks that previously seemed daunting, time-consuming, or even impossible to do at scale, are now possible within minutes.
It’s clear. AI can be an extremely powerful tool for any marketer. Leveraged correctly, Artificial Intelligence can deliver actionable, data-driven insights, enabling marketers to engage their customers with the hyper-personalized experiences they expect. As consumer expectations continue to shift, it’s time for marketers to stop fearing Artificial Intelligence and embrace it. Those who don’t may be relegated to one of the worst marketing purgatories – the spam folder.