Presented by Emarsys
While AI is having significant impact with the consumer market — witness the explosion of AI-driven bots and digital assistants — businesses are realizing the important ways they can take advantage of AI. One of the biggest areas of growth is in AI Marketing (AIM).
Start with the fact that computers are great at crunching numbers, quickly providing results from complex math formulas, and handling repetitive tasks without complaint. Add in software that uses well-designed machine-learning algorithms, and you have the potential of a powerful AIM process to deliver detailed analytics and offer valuable insights.
AIM software will revolutionize the role of the marketer — for the better. It will allow them to be more strategic and less tactical. Instead of being forced to concentrate on what, when, and where to send, the marketer will be able to focus solely on who to send to.
How can AIM software help you? What follows are some marketing issues you may be facing, along with how AIM addresses them, potentially delivers solutions, and maybe even improves efficiencies and overall campaign effectiveness.
1. Problem: Data mining can be slow and monotonous
Big data has been an essential element of the digital marketer’s toolbox for a number of years, providing companies with a vast trove of numbers that can be analyzed to generate sales leads, discover buying trends, and determine how to optimize their marketing campaigns for the best results. However, it can be quite time-consuming and costly to unleash a dedicated team of data scientists to figure out how to pull the most beneficial, useful information from your data warehouse.
AIM software enables you to get a better ROI from your data-mining efforts. It delivers relevant insights quickly and efficiently. And it does so not only by looking at the conversations you’ve previously had with a customer, but, in the case of Emarsys’ B2C Marketing Cloud, by also using self-learning algorithms to offer predictions on future customer behavior, from interactions to purchases.
When you use the Incentive Recommendations feature, the algorithm learns more about individual contacts and their behaviors, and continues to improve as the Incentive Recommendations algorithm matures. You’ll have a far deeper understanding of what offers work best with particular users. Do they react better to free shipping or 15% off? Or is it a case of not sending an offer at all that leads to more sales for that certain user? The Incentive Recommendations algorithm learns and adjusts to each user’s reaction to aggressive offers vs. more passive ones (revenue vs. margin).
2. Problem: Tracking customers across all platforms and channels isn’t simple
Not long ago, conversations with your customers were easy to follow, because there were few available channels, such as e-mail or your website, they could use to reach you. Today, though, there are multiple pathways across a number of devices and a range of channels, including your website, app, SMS, social-media networks, and email to name a few. Tracking all of those different touch points from each customer is often impossible.
Specifically, Emarsys’ B2C Marketing Cloud not only keeps track of your customers and their interactions across all devices and channels, but it offers a single view of each customer’s activity. It pulls together the gathered data from all sources, analyzes it, and identifies to whom it belongs, combining each customer’s vitals into a unified profile you can view.
For more on tracking customers across platforms and channels, see Omnichannel Marketing and the Unified Profile View.
3. Problem: Customer behavior and preferences are moving targets
Simply put, there are tons of variables in your marketing process:
- What day and time should you send your emails?
- What graphics and layout should you use?
- When should you offer discounts to certain customers?
- Which discounts will work best for each customer?
- What’s the tipping between offering a discount that reduces margins, but more than makes up for it by generating more sales?
All of these variables can be overwhelming for marketers, as trying to achieve such effective personalization at scale across an entire customer base is virtually impossible – unless you have a little help from AIM technology.
An AIM package can analyze historical customer behavior on an individual basis to determine the answers to all of these questions and more. Additionally, it can take your campaigns and personalize them for you. This removes the need to devote valuable time and resources to the marketing guessing game of trying to align the right message and incentive to the right customer at the right time. AI does it all for you.
Marketers can set up and optimize the timing of emails and get them into inboxes more intelligently, and you’ll use the Incentive Recommendations feature to figure out which of your customers respond to which kinds of offers best. And if a customer’s behavior changes, AIM will catch those differences as they happen and make changes to that customer’s parameters for future campaigns.
Automation journeys will be simplified. Gone will be the complex journeys of branches and sub-branches based on A/B tests, and no longer will be driven crazy trying to determine when to send an email or which user has which subject line. The algorithm will take care of all this and more. AI dramatically simplifies the process, empowering the marketer to deliver on the promise of marketing by creating truly personalized 1:1 interactions with their customers.
4. Problem: Your website doesn’t work for all customers
If a customer is a regular visitor to a brick-and-mortar store, the sales staff may have a good idea of what she is looking to buy when she comes in the door, and while the staff might not be able to rearrange the store to put all of the items that she’ll want in the front displays, the salespeople might guide her to new merchandise that will be of interest. It’s a version of the old movie scene where someone goes into a bar, and the bartender greets her with “The usual?”
Well, good luck doing that with your website. You can’t afford to have live staff watching each and every customer, and interacting with them on a truly personal level through product recommendations and customized offers. However, you can take advantage of AIM’s ability to monitor individual customer activity on your site — as well as detailed profiling that helps indicate specific needs and offers forecasts of what she’ll want.
Emarsys’ B2C Marketing Cloud enables you to provide each customer with a website journey that’s automatically personalized from their respective profiles rather than being part of a larger audience segment, which in turn will aid you in conversions and retention, which gets better and better with each customer interaction. Indeed, that’ll give you the ability to ask the customer if she wants “the usual” while also presenting additional products that she may not have otherwise noticed, but will be likely to purchase thanks to your introduction.
The keyword in AI is “intelligence.” It’s more than taking advantage of a computer to quickly complete repetitive tasks or crunch numbers faster; it’s about software that looks at your data, constantly learns from it, and makes smart judgments on what should happen next. Technology is evolving rapidly and today’s progressive marketers are evolving right along with it. They’re leveraging tech advancements like AI to become more strategic, more effective, and more successful in their roles.