Is Artificial Intelligence a competitive advantage for marketing departments?
Christelle Dhrif – We’ve now entered the Epoch of Big Data, in which many businesses are turning to Artificial Intelligence to analyze customer behavior. Recent progress in the field of ‘deep learning’ has opened up a real opportunity for marketing departments to better understand their markets and their customers. By tapping into today’s available oceans of data, they have the capability to determine buyer profiles and then offer the most appropriate products or services.
Will intelligent marketing drive customer engagement?
C.D. – Of course. Predictive analytics now allows you to communicate the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. It combines new real-time ‘intelligent’ customer insight with powerful and precise customer relation data. We now understand our customers; we know how to interpret what they want, and even to be one step ahead of them. It’s a whole new customer experience in this new era of adaptation.
What marketing applications has IA given rise to?
C.D. – Retargeting, particularly, has seen big growth. Detailed data analysis means a specific ad can be served to a targeted website visitor, based on his profile. The challenge is to succeed in engaging existing visitors as well as winning over new ones. Data Management Platforms (DMP) segment visitors and automatically direct these audience segments to relevant ads. With the help of customer support voice recognition, analysis of web queries and image searches, and social media profiles, businesses now have the wherewithal to deliver up the right messages to their audience at every touch point.
We’re also seeing much wider use of robotics in customer relations. Chatbots are being used to join in the conversation – to give a visitor company information or resolve a first-level technical problem – and respond to contact requests instantly. Be it Siri, or the driver-less car, or connected devices, IA is everywhere today.
Potential customers get targeted in a more exact and precise way, leads are better engaged, and customer loyalty is strengthened. A business is then able to improve on its Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) KPIs, identify new revenue opportunities by user, and to do this right across the customer life cycle. Marketing departments understand how to make their acquisition, nurturing, and social selling campaigns cost-effective.
Will Artificial Intelligence give rise to new marketing roles?
C.D. – Definitely. IA has already had a huge impact on roles because it’s built knowledge capacity exponentially, particularly through Machine Learning. This is basically an operational tool that detects trends and reduces the decision-making cycle. Our information systems are fast becoming virtual assistants whose role it is to go in search of data, sort it, and then score contacts according to their desire for what we’re offering.
We now know how to identify which leads are likely to be interested in what product and which customer is most likely to leave. AI allows us to model immense volumes of complex, disparate data, so that we can interpret it, give it meaning and use the findings to adapt strategies. The result is a big efficiency gain and a greater focus on customized content, all of which makes our work easier.
It also means we’re learning faster and together. Today’s information systems are perfectly set up for collaboration and for getting ahead of the customer. Maybe AI will eventually give rise to total customer understanding. That’s really the challenge for every company department.