Artificial Intelligence (AI) has burst onto the scene and is now taking root within the marketing stack. From established vendors to innovative start-ups, specific applications are emerging that are simplifying tasks, enhancing analytics, freeing up resource and most importantly, creating new and exciting opportunities for customer engagement.
While AI is at its best when it is simple to deploy and performs a task that could not be achieved manually, for marketers the focus for AI use should be where the limitation of performing tasks manually inhibits customer engagement.
Specifically, the existing engagement experience can feel incredibly disjointed and irrelevant for the customer because of the limitations of manually run, linear systems. In other words, when the content being used to engage the customer is, by necessity, generic for all customers regardless of their individual needs.
So where can AI be used to enhance the customer experience?
Personalising the engagement
If the content exists, then the AI can ensure the right content is delivered to the right customer at the right time. Breaking that down further, the ‘right content’ means having contextually relevant content that meets the needs of the customer. The ‘right customer’ means learning about the customer as they consume the content and understanding which persona applies to that particular customer. Finally, ‘right time’ means that the content is being served up that meets that customer’s need within their own personal buying journey.
Connecting the experience
Building on the last point above about ‘personal buying journeys’, if the content within an organisation has been mapped to fulfil the end-to-end customer journey, then the AI can create and manage the end-to-end experience with each customer individually.
Making impossible tasks possible
The capabilities of AI goes far beyond simple automation of tasks, even if it does also achieve this. Instead, machine learning can manage multiple tasks and multiple data points based around core logic that achieves what any human could achieve if there were enough of them thrown at the task…relentlessly all day and all night. That means that engagement with customers can be constantly managed creating the possibility that if the volume of content input can be sustained (and AIs may, in the future, be able to assist there too) then the possibility of 24/7 real-time engagement becomes a distinct possibility.
AI is not a kill or cure
At the time of writing, we do not live in a world of true machine intelligence. AIs are not about to start requesting their own ‘Bill of Rights’ anytime soon. In truth, they are little more than smart algorithms that from a customer engagement perspective, have to be fed with the content.
What this means is that planning, and the human management of the planning process, remains vital within any marketing team looking to use AI for customer engagement. However, the power this gives any marketing team to action a live plan continuously is incredibly powerful.
With an AI in place, the content engagement is considerably enhanced and the marketing team is empowered with real-time data on how the content is performing in the one way it really matters – creating attributable sales and value for the business.