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What marketers should know about Artificial Intelligence and Customer Experience

Artificial intelligence. Abstract computer artwork of a head emerging from a computer screen on a starfield background. This could depict artificial intelligence (AI). AI is an area of computer science looking at ways of producing electronic circuits which can learn independently of their original programming. The face is coloured with a fractal, a pattern in which a colour is assigned to a point based on the mathematical behaviour of its coordinates. Fractals have infinite complexity, and appear similar in form whatever magnification is used to study them., Image: 102994446, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Sciencephoto RM

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What do the two buzzwords actually mean in concrete terms? What unites both is a foundation of data. But how can artificial intelligence (AI) and customer experience (CX) really be meaningfully and profitably integrated into marketing?

Artificial intelligence and customer experience in marketing

When talking specifically about AI in marketing, most of the discussions focus on automation (such as targeting, media buying, or reporting), analysis (pattern recognition in user behavior to find behavioral intersections or anomalies), and assistance (batch processing of assets or custom interfaces based on user needs). Customer experience, on the other hand, is the ambition of a brand to implement content for its customers, both on and off-line, as context-sensitive, consistent and as relevant as possible.

In addition to the pure transaction process, it is important to adapt the whole customer journey and all its points of contact to the needs of the customer in order to make it as positive as possible.

Not ‘more’ is better – ‘better’ is better!

A good customer experience also cuts customers some slack, because they are not bombarded with messages at each click. Remember, not “more” is better, but “better” is better. So it’s not about reaching the customer as much as possible, but rather picking it up where he/she wants it.

Now, considering that every day new customers come into the funnel and everyone is in another place with different needs in their customer journey, proper personalization can only be done with AI: Analyze – Act – Automate (repeat). Again, we need enough assets and a unified data platform that can measure and operate 24/7/365. In other words, perfect personalization across a customer journey only works with high-performance asset management and an analysis and targeting platform that measures just more than just media – and that across all points of contact.

While it all does make sense, it also sounds quite complicated. So why invest all the effort? Well, for one, well-integrated data platforms are quite cheap compared to the average annual media value of most brands and are essential in a world of GDPR. So why cut down trees with a hand ax if there’s a good saw in the hardware store for a small buck? In addition, various studies have found that brands that commit to and act on the customer experience have 36 percent higher sales growth, 1.8 times more customer retention, and 1.6 times higher customer lifetime value (source: Forrester study). Designing an inspiring customer experience has a clear ROI and promotes loyalty.

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