Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Analytics: Enablers of Personalization & Brand Loyalty

3D visual of a humanoid robot overthinking something.

Analytics and AI are a powerful technology package and individually, are two enablers of personalization and brand loyalty today. This is why marketers have to react now in order to figure out how they can best use them to their advantage. Older approaches towards strategic decision-making using promotional response curves, marketing mix modeling and multivariate statistics, are what businesses have relied on for years; and, they worked. Today, however, with so many stakeholders, messages and channels interacting with each other online and in the cloud; relying on outdated tracking methods is not enough and won’t keep you competitive. Artificial intelligence and machine learning based analytics are what’s happening in the marketing arena today. Companies who are giants in the business world are already using this combination to stay competitive. This newer technology is helping them make decisions that are smarter and faster than others. I’m talking about–Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, Amazon and Uber–just to name a few.

Innovations in technology have made it so that businesses have to change their tactics and communicate with customers in real-time. They want immediate answers and with communication being so flexible and personal these days; it’s also making consumers’ expectations and behavior flexible as well. Now, they expect businesses to understand their needs and provide relevant and desirable information, products, services and solutions right away. If you don’t interact with them immediately, this is a time where people will sometimes just go look for these answers elsewhere. They have access to hundreds of other options. Mabbly.com tells us that with searches now originating more from virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana, instead of search engines, marketers also have to know how this voice search is affecting their online presence and how this will affect their existing SEO strategy.

Without a more sophisticated process that helps you intervene so you can adjust accordingly and better fit these changing trends, you won’t be able to match financial goals with accurate marketing decisions. AI sorts through and gets rid of any unnecessary data so you can focus on the specific information you need to help your business stay relevant. AI really is your saving grace when it comes to these decision-making situations because most businesses don’t have the time or staff necessary to sort through all the social interactions their customers can initiate. There are business tools available that provide sentiment analytics, paired with AI, so it is possible for companies to take more useful data from this massive amount of online interactions. They can then use this information to recognize behavioral patterns in their customers, and formulate appropriate marketing plans that will maximize sales and increase brand loyalty.

How does AI actually work?

Artificial Intelligence is a field of Computer Science where they provide machines with the ability to perform rational tasks. Machine Learning is a field of AI where it’s all about pattern recognition. Various algorithms are used over a huge set of data to predict the future. Machine Learning is data driven and data oriented which makes this so effective. When brands have this easier way to process and understand millions of interactions with each customer; those interactions can then be used to understand each customer as an individual. Here are some examples:

Customer Service

AI is already helping in this area by clearing away some of the more routine elements of customer service. For example, chatbots or chatter robots, which are a type of conversational agent, are used to answer standard questions and even make recommendations for restaurants, gifts, services, etc.

Personalized Recommendations

In these situations, AI analyzes huge amounts of data–both from the customer and from similar accounts–and predictive analytics then make educated guesses about customer behavior.

User Experiences and Interfaces

Apps are intuitive devices and AI takes them one step further. VB Live tells us that Flok (one of the first loyalty apps with over 100,000 clients in the U.S. and Canada today) found out that when AI is in control of their push marketing, instead of a real person, this actually works better; 3.8 times better as a matter of fact!

Intelligent analytics work hand in hand with AI to help us understand the reasoning behind the answers, predictions and recommendations our customers get. This is because the one thing that AI cannot provide alone, is insight. In an article on Computerworld’s website, Kris Hammond tells us that “No one would ever work with a person that just spits out answers and then walks away.” How can we expect any less from our machines? Analytics provide the storytelling capabilities that are necessary for more clarity and go beyond just what the numerical output of an AI processed dataset tells us. This combination of technologies working together, allows a brand to boost customer engagement and loyalty more effectively because they can actually see and understand the reasoning behind this data.

Artificial Intelligence or (AI), has actually been around since 1956. Back then, this was probably unbelievable and a concept the general public couldn’t understand. Now, it’s a reality for everyone. These days, we have virtual chatbots with personalized images, recommendations and insight they get from customer data. People who heard about this in the 1950s, probably would not believe how far this has come. Marketing Week tells us the relationship between men and machines is constantly changing and that it’s just a matter of time before AI will be an everyday element in daily customer service interaction. As you can see, AI & Analytics are a powerful technology package and will determine how effective your marketing strategies will be in the future.

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