According to a recent study, 78% of senior executives are looking to integrate artificial intelligence into their operations within the next 12 months.
The study, conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer Council and IBM Watson Customer Engagement, surveyed 168 executives, 44% of whom were in marketing roles. And according to that survey, 33% of respondents say AI will will be the tool that delivers the greatest impact on operations and customer engagement.
AI is being implemented across many industries. While once reserved for technology hubs and futuristic labs, the innovation is being applied to a wide range of solutions. And as the tech advances, it’s applications are growing too. Marketers have embraced AI as a tool for building better campaigns and the innovative technology is proving especially suited for gaining customer insight.
Nowadays, companies are constantly gathering data through interactions with customers online, through smart device applications and in person. A large swath of information can be gleaned from this data, but sifting through it can be a drain on operational resources. AI can take on the task of analyzing this data swiftly and effectively and the information marketers are obtaining has proven invaluable.
According to a report by Salesforce, more than half of marketers are currently using AI, and an additional 27% are anticipated to implement the technology by 2019. Here are three companies incorporating AI in their marketing efforts and how it’s bringing about results.
Amazon has been working with AI since its early days as a fledgling company, but in 2014, as new advancements in the technology began to emerge, the ecommerce site began integrating AI more heavily into it’s recommendations.
Today, Amazon’s recommendations utilize a kind of machine known as deep learning which has led to more effective customer insights.
One of the sources of this insight is gleaned from Amazon’s Alexa devices. AI is at the core of what makes these devices run, but Amazon also uses AI to analyze data collected through customer interactions with these devices.
The questions a user asks Alexa, the content users tell Alexa to play and the items they ask Alexa to buy, all come together to form a customer profile that the AI technology uses to predict what the user will want next.
Elsewhere, throughout Amazon’s site, the company’s machine-learning infrastructure provides users with recommendations on books to read, movies to watch and music to download. The site doesn’t bombard users with tons of products, instead it shows customers those products they’re most likely to want.
Today, Amazon estimates 35% of its revenue is generated by its recommendation engine.
Planning a vacation can be daunting. With so many destinations to choose from, travellers are often faced with the burdensome task of researching dozens of places before reaching a decision. And that’s often only the beginning. Once they’ve settled on a place there are additional decisions like travel and accommodations that must be made.
Anyone who's ever done online planning for a trip has likely subsequently been inundated with digital travel ads. Like a lot of digital ads today, these advertisements are meant to be responsive to a user’s searches, but often times, they can make the process of planning a trip overwhelming by bombarding users with too many options.
Marketing technology company WayBlazer is offering an alternative to traditional online travel planning. Their AI-driven software recommends destinations and products, such as packages, hotels, vacation rentals and cruises, using customer interactions.
Customers are asked a series of questions via chatbot messaging and their responses are analyzed to produce personalized results. The company boasts an increased conversion rate of 19% for travel companies using the software.
Florist patrons don’t tend to make purchases on a regular basis. People send flowers usually on special occasions or for milestone events, which means it can be difficult for floral companies to promote brand loyalty. Unlike a grocery store customers return to regularly, it can be easy for them to forget which florist they’ve used in the past, especially if the company is not local.
In order to stay at the forefront of customers’ minds without bombarding them with constant advertising, Teleflora has turned to AI. The most effective AI-backed marketing campaigns are those driven by a large amount of data. Teleflora has more than 15,000 member florists across the U.S. and Canada and in recent years, they’ve started harnessing the power of all of those florists to create personalized marketing campaigns.
Teleflora uses AI to create customer profiles from customer data and their own product data. It then utilize machine learning to predict when customers are most likely to make purchases and send direct marketing to customers only when they’re most likely to buy.
Additionally, the company uses the internal product data to determine which products to promote to which customers. As a result, they’ve seen an increase in their repeat purchase rate of 25% and a 4% increase in order values.
Often times new technological innovations like AI can come off as overinflated buzz. But the examples of these companies demonstrate that AI is providing brands big and small with insight that is leading to a real return on investment.
Main photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash