Shelly Kramer
November 22, 2017

How AI Will Change Customer Experience And Marketing

How AI Will Change Customer Experience

In this article, Shelly Kramer once again expounds on AI. This time, it is how it will change customer experience and how marketers will market. It is another in our “Great Articles You may have missed” series.

How AI Will Change Customer Experience

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming solidly integrated into every aspect of the customer experience, not only as it relates to how we discover and buy, but also how we market to prospects and customers. Why is AI so attractive these days? It’s simple. All people have one thing in common: Our most valuable asset is our time. When technology comes along that allows us to spend less time doing mundane things, it’s easy to embrace it—and that works to the advantage of both consumers and marketers. Let’s explore how AI will redefine the customer experience, changing the game for consumers and marketers.

How AI Is Already Changing Customer Experience

Think for a moment about the popularity of Amazon Prime. Yes, I love supporting local merchants, and I do that often. But I also love the convenience of Amazon Prime. I can find the 40-pound bag of dog food, order it with one click, and it will be on my front doorstep in two days. No trip to the pet food store. No lugging that heavy bag around. And no inconvenience. Bottom line: The price is the same, and I just saved an hour of my time. Honestly, even if the price is more, in many instances, saving my time is worth the added cost.

If the already-convenient Amazon Prime utilized the power of AI, it’d be like efficiency rocket-fuel, right? Which is exactly why Jeff Bezos has a warehouse equipped with over 45,000 drones, is focused on developing and launching a drone delivery system, and integrating AI into operations with a laser focus.

Speaking of AI in the home…

Smart TVs and smart refrigerators already here—and they have the potential to get even smarter. LG has leveraged the power of AI personal assistants by incorporating Alexa into its Smart InstaFridge line. That means you can get recipes and see if you’re running out of butter all without ever opening the door or pulling out your phone—a simple tap will do. If you’re at the store later and need to remember, though, the info is all connected.

LG isn’t the only company in the game. Samsung has launched the Family Hub refrigerator that not only cools your food, but also includes a connected touch screen and even an app that connects to your external device of choice. It has voice control and is integrated with the popular music platform Spotify.

Could the smart refrigerators of the future take it a step further, though? Could they order your butter for you, automatically, if their algorithms indicate you’re running low? And, moreover, if they know what kind of butter you normally purchase—or can reasonably assume what you’ll like based on your activity and preferences? A simple integration with Amazon’s Alexa robot and the answer is a resounding yes. It’s coming. In fact, it’s just around the corner!

Amazon isn’t the only company getting in the game…

Consider these other examples of AI-powered shopping experiences that are soon to be the new normal:

  • Apparel company The North Face has a mobile app—powered by IBM Watson—that uses an algorithm to help consumers choose precisely the right product for their needs.
  • 1-800-Flowers also uses IBM Watson to power its “gifts when you need” (GWYN) platform. The platform behaves similarly to a chatbot—a highly sophisticated one—and helps customers find answers and place orders quicker (see Figure 1). Digiday reports the average person spends two minutes with GWYN and gets answers to up to six questions. Sounds a lot more efficient than being on hold.

Figure 1. GWYN. Source: Digiday

How AI Will Impact Marketing

A recent report from Weber Shandwick found that 55 percent of CMOs believe AI will change marketing even more than social media. Not surprisingly, the report—AI-Ready Or Not: Artificial Intelligence Here We Come!—also found over two-thirds of CMOs reported they were going to implement AI in their marketing. But why? And what will that impact look like?

For starters, AI is the ultimate tool when it comes to personalization in online marketing. Personalization is part of what builds an excellent customer experience—and, ultimately, brand loyalty—so nailing it is important. That’s why today, so many brands take the time to analyze each consumer group and create an algorithm for each one. With the data processing power of AI, that sequence can take seconds, not weeks or months, leaving ample time to adjust if a campaign falls flat.

Better campaigns and better (read: faster) customer service equals better marketing — marketing that nurtures a meaningful customer journey. Remember, a meaningful customer journey doesn’t only lead to a purchase, it leads to a lasting relationship. And as AI seeps deeper into our marketing playbooks and more brands get on board, customers will not simply appreciate these experiences—they’ll demand them.

What’s Next?

Want more? My colleagues have also written extensively on this topic. And why not? There are so many moving parts—and all their accompanying prospects and challenges—that are foolish to ignore. For a deeper dive and other perspectives, be sure to read Shawn Elledge’s How Intelligent Data Is Driving the Cross-Channel Experience for the Retail Consumer, and Daniel Newman’s The Business Case for Drone Technology.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts on AI powering your consumer experience? Would you buy a smart fridge? Do you care if your AI assistant orders butter for you when you need it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

You might also like to read: How To Use Social AI for Lead Generation

Emotionally Intelligent AI Is Coming. Are You Ready?

 

This piece was originally titled “Customer Experience: How AI Will Change How We Buy [and How Marketers Market]” and posted on V3B. It is republished here with permission.

About the author:

Shelly Kramer is the Co-CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing agency specializing in the digital space. Also a Partner Digital. A 20+ year marketing veteran, she’s a brand strategist focused on delivering integrated marketing solutions and helping businesses leverage the web for growth and profitability. She’s an expert at content strategy and execution and tying social media to business initiatives.

Recognized by Forbes on a number of occasions, including as one of the Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Experts and Top 50 Social Media Influencers. She’s half marketer, half geek, with a propensity for numbers, producing results and a dash of quick repartee. Her blog has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs and by PostRank as one of the Top 100 Most Engaging Social Media Blogs. Find her on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter

 

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_natalia0103‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Shelly Kramer is the Co-CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing agency specializing in the digital space. Also a Partner @XVALabs Digital. A 20+ year marketing veteran, she’s a brand strategist focused on delivering integrated marketing solutions and helping businesses leverage the web for growth and profitability. She’s an expert at content strategy and execution and tying social media to business initiatives.