How will AI transform the customer journey (and what should you do about it)

‘The robots are coming,’ is usually a cue for everyone to run around screaming and hiding for their lives. However, in the modern world of marketing we take a calmer and more balanced view.

In this blog, we look at the key changes that AI will bring to new business acquisition and how these will affect our Fintech and Instech clients. Including:

  • The biggest benefits AI can offer your business
  • The biggest marketing challenges posed by AI
  • How you should be planning for an AI future

The biggest benefits AI can offer your business

Lead qualification

Imagine a robot sitting in the cloud working around the clock to generate a stream of ultra-qualified leads for your sales force to contact when they arrive in the office each morning.

This is the dream scenario for most SMEs and it’s one that AI brings tantalisingly close.

It’s no surprise that business owners are excited by this prospect. A recent study by Harvard Business Review found some shocking sales statistics:

  • The average first-response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours
  • Only 37 percent of companies responded to their leads within an hour
  • 16 percent of companies responded within one to 24 hours
  • 24 percent of companies took more than 24 hours
  • 23 percent of companies never responded at all

Aside from demonstrating the true value of a good salesperson, what this shows is that AI offers businesses a genuine opportunity to improve sales.

Using machine learning, intelligent messaging can streamline the process of getting the right message to the right person at the right time and provide much more accurate prospect information.

All of this generates stronger, more viable leads.

Behavioural Analytics

Being able to analyse how customers behave on your digital channels is nothing new. Even though it still shocks us to see how little of this analysis gets done by many SMEs.

One of the biggest developments in AI however, one being pioneered by the auto industry, involves using AI and video technology to measure how people behave at trade shows and events.

Using this data, SME’s can ascertain certain key facts, such as:

• How much time visitors spend at certain stands
• Which exhibits they engaged with
• Which products they spent time looking at
Using facial recognition software and the visitors ticket information, AI is then able to target highly personalised messages post-event. And as we all know, highly personalized marketing experiences are far more likely to concert into genuine sales leads.

The biggest marketing challenges posed by AI

There have been many concerns around ethics and what the future holds for us in an AI dominated world. This is a big debate and one that is being carried out at the highest levels.

In comparison the challenges faced from a marketing perspective seem slightly mundane.

However, one of the big concerns that stem from all this machine learning is homogenization. If AI works out the optimum way to do everything then surely at some point every single consumer journey is going to start to feel the same?

This is where your brand needs to work for you. Remember that AI should only enhance the human aspects of your brand experience, not replace them.

Brands that understand their target audiences, and how those different groups respond separately to AI technology, will see much stronger results than those that don’t.

AI is adept at hyper-personalization, but it can only ever be as good as the products and services you offer.

How you should be planning for an AI future

The core things to remember when planning to adapt for AI are the following:

  1. Machine learning means that robots will be able to make intelligent recommendations for your customers
  2. AI can leverage business intelligence to upsell, segment customers and predict requirements
  3. Prospects and existing customers can be nurtured effectively using hyper-personalised and tailored messaging to drive engagement and conversions

With such huge opportunities available, those that embrace AI first are likely to be the biggest winners.

Getting AI ready, first and foremost, is about reviewing your brand, understanding your unique proposition, and making sure that your content and messaging fits.

It may well be that your strategy is to ignore AI altogether, but at the very least it pays to review that strategy and make sure you are aware of the opportunities and threats that AI poses to your business.

To find out more about reviewing your brand marketing strategy and understanding if it is AI ready, contact us here today