What does AI hold for marketers in 2022?
Authored by Chris Higgins, Senior VP - Marketing at Netcore Cloud.
One of the big changes we are seeing for marketers in 2022 is the democratization of AI. Tools that were previously only accessible to large technology companies are increasingly packaged into easy-to-use, no-code solutions for marketers.
While you don’t need a team of data scientists or developers to begin experimenting with AI martech, a priority for every marketing team should be to raise its general level of data literacy. Understanding how data can be analyzed will help the team in assessing and implementing new tools.
Predictive customer segmentation
Most customer segmentation systems in the past were descriptive. For example “male customers between 30-40 years old living within 10km of our store”. Or, “people who have visited our website in the last 30 days and looked at more than 2 products”. These segments are great, but they require the marketer to know which segments they want to see, and how to keep validating their assumptions.
Predictive segmentation creates customer segments based on future predictions. A common example is “who are the customers most likely to churn” or “who are the customers that are most likely to make repeat purchases”. To create these segments, the AI processes all the data available on other customers that have performed these actions in the past and looks for other customers who match the profiles.
The data for each of the predictions will vary. Customers who churn might show a change in behaviour, like not opening your emails, or reducing visits to your website. Customers likely to repeat might also be based on behavior, like how quickly they purchased, but also might take into account their demographics. The AI can crunch so many more data points than a human marketing team.
The segments can become even more specific if you have the volume of data needed to build the models. Which customers are likely to respond to a special offer on the weekend vs a weekday? Which customers book holidays on cold and rainy vs hot and sunny days? Powerful AI engines, like Netcore Cloud’s Raman AI, can even surprise you with segments that you hadn’t considered!
What makes Netflix and Spotify so successful? Their ability to recommend the content that you will love. Same for the top ecommerce sites – the ability to match the right product to the right customer can provide a significant uplift in sales.
While these recommendation engines can be custom coded for your product and your customer base, this is not the best path for most marketing teams. These AI engines aren’t a one-time creation. They need constant optimisation and improvement.
There are many commercially available recommendation engines now that can easily integrate with your website or app. Consider testing several to see which one gives the best results.
Personalisation used to mean that you use the customer’s name when sending an email. Today’s omni-channel or hyper personalisation is a whole other world, and is only possible thanks to AI. These tools can combine output from recommendation engines with marketing automation and messaging channels to provide a consistently personalised experience for your customers.
You can deliver custom messaging, at an optimised time, on the channels your customer prefers. One customer might respond to a snap sale, shared over whatsapp. Another might respond to an exclusive offer via email. Increase your messaging frequency for customers who are likely to purchase soon to give them more information and buying options, and reduce the frequency for customers who are just browsing, to avoid annoying them. Customise your home page, or even menu, based on recent customer interactions.
The most important thing…
As your progress in your AI marketing journey, always keep the customer at the centre. Your goal is always to help your customers to find the product or service that best addresses their wants and needs, and to provide such a great customer experience that they never regret their purchase. AI tools are just another way to help you meet this goal.