People are more than a demographic or persona, and the customer journeys you develop should cater to them on a deeper level than branding them a “soccer mom,” “young professional,” or “C-suite executive.” But how do you create a journey for Gary, who watches product review videos on his ride to work and only engages with brands on social media, and also for Jenny, who prefers in-depth guides and checks her email multiple times each day?
Artificial intelligence (AI) allows marketers to learn about their customers on an individual basis, which allows brands to customize content, newsfeeds, and communications based on the actions and preferences of each user. When companies use AI for marketing, their customers only receive content that is relevant and interesting to them, in the format they want to receive it, and when they are most likely to engage.
If you already use AI for marketing efforts, you’re in good company. High-performing brands are more than twice as likely to use artificial intelligence in their marketing campaigns than underperformers.
Need some more convincing? Here are four ways you can improve your customer journeys with the help of AI.
Combine the data customers give you with the insights machine learning delivers. Just as you wouldn’t ask for someone’s complete family history on a first date, you wouldn’t ask a brand-new lead for too much information. Most of the time, it will scare them away.
When a lead gives you their email address or phone number, they’re telling you they want to hear from your brand. AI goes a step further by finding the best time to send messages to the customer, based on when they are most likely to engage. Maybe the lead clicks an email CTA to download a white paper, and fills out a form with their job title and company. AI can examine that new demographic data alongside that individual’s history to make additional content recommendations.
AI is not just powerful because it will do your work for you. It is powerful because it puts you, the marketer, in a position to know your customer, so you can do your work better.
AI-driven data management platforms like Salesforce DMP allow you to better predict customer preferences and actions, so you can build more accurate segments based on what customers want to receive and when they want to receive it.
The more reliably you can meet customers where they are, the more likely they are to open and engage with your email content, leading to stronger campaigns, better deliverability, and higher ROI.
Trial-and-error tests may be an effective strategy for perfecting a good pie crust, but not a new sales initiative. When budgets, ROI, and your boss’ blood pressure are on the line, you probably prefer a little more certainty behind your decision making. With AI tools like Einstein Discovery and Einstein Commerce Insights, you can automatically examine millions of data combinations, and get rid of the guessing by putting analytics into action.
Using AI means more accurate product recommendations, increased revenue per email sent, and data-driven home page content features. Plus, you don’t have to hire a team of data scientists to learn more about your customer, which leaves your team free to focus on building creative campaigns.
We’re only just beginning to discover AI’s applications for marketing. Machines are already learning to recognize subjective, nuanced, and contextualized information. For example, Salesforce Einstein is expanding its ability to recognize objects within images (so brands know when their products are being talked about even when their name is not mentioned), sentiment, and even intent.
Locating, analyzing, and engaging with customers at these touchpoints — at scale — remains challenging for marketers. But with AI, it is becoming an easier and more manageable task.
Marketers want their brands to mean something to their customers, but customers may be asking for something different. Used to its potential, AI can reveal these signals and help marketers capitalize on opportunities that may have otherwise slipped away.
Want to learn more about how artificial intelligence can help you personalize experiences for your customers? Take a deep dive into AI.