Artificial Intelligence, or AI, might sound like an oxymoron, but it is making our world smarter by automating tasks, computing solutions, and improving efficiencies. Once the stuff of science fiction, AI is increasingly playing a role in our lives in some very subtle ways.
Let’s take commuting as an example. If you drive a car to work, you probably spend some time in traffic. AI is helping to reduce your commute time by feeding real-time data to mapping software to adjust for congestion, construction, and accidents. If you use mass transit, AI is helping to ensure optimal service. And if you rely on a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft for the last part of your commute, AI enables that service by predicting pick-up times, ride times, and ride-sharing.
Your commute is only one everyday example. AI is also prevalent in your daily world if you use SIRI, Google, email, Facebook, Alexa, Amazon, Instagram, Netflix, Pandora, and countless other technologies we have come to rely on. Yes, AI is everywhere!
AI is now also prevalent in the digital marketing domain as well, working in the background while making pay-per-click advertising more effective, personalizing websites, creating content, predicting behavior and more. Marketers are quickly realizing the benefits of the technology, and 84 percent of marketing organizations are implementing or expanding their use of AI and machine learning in 2018, according to Forbes.
There are two ways businesses can use AI to improve their digital marketing. One is on the backend when marketers use AI to forecast demand for products, develop customer profiles, do programmatic ad buying, and the like. The other is the customer-facing side, as marketers use AI to improve the customer experience, thereby strengthening the brand and making more sales. In fact, 75 percent of organizations using AI and machine learning say it enhances customer satisfaction by more than 10 percent.
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4 Ways Companies Are Using AI in Digital Marketing to Improve Customer Satisfaction
When it comes to improving the customer experience using AI, four significant developments stand out: chatbots, predictive and targeted content, content creation, and image recognition technology. Each of these can help to improve customer service and support, as well as deliver more targeted and relevant content. Here’s what you need to know about these technologies and how they can benefit your bottom line.
A chatbot is a software that can have conversations (or “chat”) using AI to determine responses. You might have used a chatbot while on a website looking for answers to a question. Chatbots can conduct either auditory or textual conversations, the latter usually appearing as chat windows on your computer screen. Also called messenger bots, chatbots have been called 2017’s best new marketing channel.
Obviously, a chatbot is not going out into the world to market your business. It’s nothing like the kind of marketing channel you’ve used in the past like ads or emails. But chatbots are effective marketing tools—especially in social media—because they can provide customer service which helps both your customer and your brand, gather data on customers which helps you target your messaging, and deliver those targeted messages on your behalf. Chatbots can even move customers through the sales funnel by asking more specific questions to help customers find the products they’re looking for.
National Australia Bank (NAB) launched a chatbot as a digital virtual banker for their business customers, to save those customers time on administrative tasks. The chatbot is available to answer customer questions 24 hours a day, and every day. The software is capable of answering more than 13,000 variations on more than 200 questions, drawing on real-life customer inquiries for answers.
Predictive and Targeted Content
In addition to answering questions via chatbots, AI can be used to gather more data about prospects and customers, then AI can use that data to predict future behavior as well as develop more targeted messaging. That content might be delivered by a chatbot as described above, via dynamic content on a web page, or by email. That’s because AI can help to deliver the right email message at the right time by using dynamic content and determining that content based on past customer behavior. By knowing which web pages a customer visited, which blog posts they read, which emails they’ve interacted with and more, AI can intelligently select the content most likely to appeal to a specific customer and automatically populate an email with that content. Using what’s called “churn prediction,” AI can also predict when customers are disengaging from a brand, they help to provide personalized content that’s most likely to appeal to and re-engage them.
And then there’s the need for vast quantities of content… Ever since the dawn of content marketing, marketers have listed content creation as one of the biggest challenges they face. Creating quality content takes time, and effective marketing requires a lot of it. AI can help, by generating some of that content for you. The content can be articles consisting of hundreds of words and read as if a live human being wrote it. (You can read an article on AI written by AI here.) Or the content generated can be more specific, such as the email subject lines and social media ads written in the AI-generated language developed by Persado. In either case, the content created is customer-focused and purposeful, intended to be useful to that customer seeking information or scanning their inbox or social media pages—without requiring countless hours on the part of an employee or freelancer to generate that content.
Image Recognition Technology
Lastly, we have image recognition software as an AI tool businesses can use to improve the customer experience. Image recognition has been around for a while, and you’ve probably experienced it on a platform like Facebook when a friend was automatically tagged in a photo you posted. Image recognition software also helps to personalize customer experiences. For example, major retailer Macy’s launched Macy’s Image Search, an app that lets customers upload a photo of an item in order to find something similar within Macy’s inventory.
Intelligent Marketers Stay on Top of All Trends
Artificial Intelligence has become intertwined in our technologies and our lives, making it easy for us as consumers to benefit. But marketers must learn how to adapt the benefits of AI to their jobs too, to improve customer experiences, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase revenues. And AI is only one of the many new tools, trends and technologies marketers must stay on top of. That’s why Simplilearn offers a comprehensive Digital Marketing certification course that trains marketers in eight areas, including search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media marketing, and more. It’s the kind of training that designed to keep you and your whole team current and confident in the digital age.