Break Away from the Herd: How Smart Brands are Using AI
(Editor’s Note: The following post originally appeared on IBM’s Built With Watson Blog).
In our world of high expectations and ever expanding data on individuals and brands, mastering this data and transforming it into valuable insights to inspire our human connections has become essential for brands.
Take a minute and think about this: How do your customers perceive your brand? Is your brand “shy” online and only speaks when spoken to? Or is your brand overly enthusiastic and always waving its hands in your customers’ inboxes and social feeds? Is your brand a captivating conversationalist that encourages interaction or one that’s a little socially awkward or a little too forced? Are you the tiresome talker that is always extolling your own virtues or one that expresses genuine interest in your customers and what they actually care about? Does your brand need a little coaching in the “delighting customers” department?
Real-time insights can drive meaningful conversations
Although we all seek to be that fascinating brand as we engage with customers, such mastery requires the ability to identify and collect all available and relevant intelligence and distill it down into meaningful insights that can define meaningful conversations.
Meaningful insights that are actually actionable can be attained by a variety of methods. Many data-savvy brands employ big data and predictive analytics to help identify the next-best action based on customer segments and transactional patterns, which only represents about 20% of known information about customers for most brands. Some leading brands take it a step further and use machine learning along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology like IBM Watson’s APIs to collect, connect and make sense of the other 80% of the unstructured data such as tweets, Facebook posts, emails, call center audio recordings and other observable customer behaviors, likes and preferences and combine it with their transactional customer data. This approach provides visibility into richer, more comprehensive behavior patterns by customer segment that offers the potential to make your exchanges more interesting, personalized, and if you are really good, even memorable.
Moving from data to insights with AI
If you are truly looking to break away from the herd and into the lead, your CRM and automated marketing platform will need to include AI and cognitive APIs. With AI, the dream can move beyond customer segments and reach down to the individual level by providing the power and speed to make sense of the enormous amount of data out there and surface true insights allowing for individual action, at scale. As the hot new brand coach, AI can lead the way to enhance the human-to-human connection for your brand by understanding the experiences your customers want.
To make your brand truly delight and engage customers, you’ll need to do the following:
- Stop putting energy into old email marketing practices that don’t deliver and focus only on including the high-value information that is worthy of your customer’s time and attention. If frequent messaging or notifications are important to your core value proposition, only do so based upon explicit customer preference.
- Be very selective in the type of metrics you choose to run your business. Diligently focus on the ones that are truly your key performance indicators versus trying to distill insight from low value information.
- Invest in a CRM system with embedded AI that tells you something you don’t already know about your customers by combining behavioral data from both your backend systems and available external and publicly available data sources.
- Get an automated marketing platform that is synchronized with your CRM system and employs AI so that it allows you to better plan interaction flows, communicate consistently across channels and recommend next best action.
To learn more about how you can truly supercharge your brand’s marketing and customer engagement efforts, download the IBM and SugarCRM white paper: “Becoming a Brilliant Brand Conversationalist.”