I recently had the privilege of co-presenting a webcast with Joe Cothrel, Lithium Chief Community Officer.
Our webcast was titled – The AI Powered Customer Experience – and it focused on three ways that artificial intelligence can be used to make the customer experience better.
The Modern Customer Experience
We began by reviewing the customer experience as the entire customer lifecycle ranging from awareness, through post purchase. The customer conducts research online long before a purchase is made. Brands must work hard to build awareness, loyalty and purchase intent repeatedly. This customer lifecycle experience applies equally in B2C or B2B brands.
History of Artificial Intelligence
Without a doubt, AI is the most exciting development happening in social media and in business in general. We opened the webcast with a short review of the evolution of AI dating back to 1950 when researcher AM Turing first asked the question “can machines think.”
We also covered the breadth of AI in our daily lives, whether we know it or not. Amazon and Netflix make suggestions to us by learning our interests. Google Suggest is AI powered. So is Google Translate. iPhone Siri listens and learns as you ask questions. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are voice activated devices that use deep learning. Much of what you see in your social media feed is delivered through the platform’s ability to “learn” about your interests. Self-driving cars (not yet mainstream, I know) are AI powered. Indeed, it’s the “deep learning” attributes of software that makes AI so powerful and exciting to marketers.
AI powered marketing technology is becoming available at an accelerated pace. As of Q1 2017, the adoption rate is estimated to be about 10% of marketers. However, as more AI powered marketing software becomes available, we will experience a rapid increase in the adoption rate.
How Marketers Can Use AI Today
AI powered marketing technology has potential to give marketers useful insights. Imagine how AI powered technology can help with these common marketing challenges. Marketers conduct research to help determine the best title to assign a white paper or the best performing email subject line. Marketers want to select the perfect image to deliver in an ad, or the best performing call-to-action on a landing page. One of the most coveted decisions marketers can make is selection of specific content delivered to a website visitor based on the person’s unique interests. AI powered marketing technology can deliver these decisions at scale. And, it gets smarter as you feed it more data, because AI thrives on data. It learns from it.
Three Ways to Use AI to Improve the Customer Experience
Considering how hyper-fast and hyper-competitive the world is, brands should focus on creating the most personalized experience possible. Harness AI marketing technology to create offers and deliver content that is uniquely relevant to everyone. It isn’t possible to do this at scale with people and rules based technology. Only deep learning systems make this a reality because of its ability to handle a lot more data and much faster than people can.
Similarly, allow AI marketing technology to be predictive. Systems powered by AI can predict the offers or content that will be most effective with a customer based on that customer’s most recent interests. Do you remember the story of the teenage girl whose father learned of her pregnancy because Target sent her coupons for maternity apparel? That occurred in 2012!
Finally, allow AI powered tech to make decisions. The autonomous nature of AI tech is probably a little unnerving to marketers. You’ll go through some iterations “teaching” AI tech what works in your marketing. The good news is that AI tech learns fast – really fast!
One example of a personalized, predictive and autonomous AI tech in customer experience is the chatbot. When deployed effectively, chatbots get smarter and can play a vital role in how brands deliver a customer experience.
Lithium’s Profile Plus is powered by Klout, harnessing deep learning to create a personalized experience for users tailored to their unique interests and preferences.
What’s Next in AI Marketing Technology
We wrapped up the webcast with a glimpse into the near future. Over the next one, two or three years, we can expect to see B2B buyers and sellers “matched up” through personalization and predictive behavior delivered through autonomous decisions. The result will be people, who consume content or engage with a brand in a digital channel will be engaged by someone who is like them instead of being assigned to the “territory sales rep.” The experience will be a better one for the prospective customer.
Remember where we started? The customer lifecycle begins well before the purchase. As marketing technology gets smarter, we can deliver a more effective and efficient experience for the customer that benefits both brand and customer alike.
Catch my webcast with Joe Cothrel here to get inspired about ways you can harness AI in your marketing automation.
About Bernie Borges
Bernie Borges is the CEO of Find and Convert, a content marketing firm and Host of the Social Business Engine podcast, where he features brands using social technology to transform their business.
... View more