The future of marketing will be driven by AI

Mon 21 Jun 2021

AI needs to be supervised, guided in its learning, and fuelled by the right sources.

Claire Khoury

To evolve towards personalized marketing, following the new aspirations of customers, marketers will have to make the most of the growing volume of data collected by developing a certain expertise in the use of enterprise AI. Their challenge will be to harness artificial intelligence to make it an ally in cognitive analysis and individualized projection.

Insufficient use of AI and data

How can you offer a unique and exclusive experience to each customer when interactions take place across all channels with thousands, even millions of individuals?

Until recently, sales departments and community managers, whose role has been enriched by the use of chatbots ( more interactive conversations, 24-hour online assistance, contact with an advisor, etc.), seemed to be the solution to deal with the exponential volume of data and customer requests.

Today, 61% of customers believe they receive offers that do not always correspond to their interests, indicating that brands do not understand their desires. Various reasons can explain targeting errors:

  • 59% of customers believe that brands use outdated data when offering them services.
  • Brands, especially in France, are struggling to compete with GAFAs who are ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding customer needs.

In addition, marketing departments continue to under-utilize customer data, despite growing awareness of the promise of AI in their businesses: they do not yet rely sufficiently on this data to develop scalable offers based on customer needs and desires.

Using customer data as a strategic starting point: the data-driven approach

It is no longer possible to base your strategy on a single channel, or even on a limited number of channels. Digital technology has introduced many new parameters.

Interactions on social networks imply permanent availability on all social media and an adaptation of the speech and its format. User opinions and direct interactions between targets via social networks require a high level of reactivity and transparency. These new requirements change the fundamentals of a marketing strategy.

Indeed, the marketing approach is evolving, becoming more customer-centric. It requires a detailed analysis of the customer's journey through all contact channels, a knowledge of their regular and specific needs and their evolution over time, as well as their digital footprint.

Managing the multitude of information available requires mastering the data collected, which is made possible by the use of AI.

The data-driven approach consists in choosing, among the many categories of data, those that best inform the needs and expectations of customers with regard to the offer, and then implementing the marketing strategy around these data.

By centralizing these efforts on a single database from different channels, marketing teams will be able to have a global vision and therefore develop a detailed knowledge of their customers to develop personalized approaches.

Towards a personalized marketing approach

While we are used to measuring the average, in terms of purchase frequency or performance in particular, AI takes us much further. The personalization of customer approaches implies breaking away from the "average" to adopt an individualized approach, based not only on the customer's tastes, but also on all the factors that will influence the purchasing act in real time.

Mood, contact choices, interests on social networks or relational links, behaviors in marketing campaigns or the frequency of use of contact channels are all information that can be collected thanks to data. AI refines customer knowledge by monitoring real-time changes in customer needs and expectations that will determine the strategy to be applied.

Loyalty marketing operations, such as the Welcome Pack, promotions or invitations, are more easily customizable, with the effect of individualizing the customer relationship and intensifying it.

Predictive marketing will then enrich forecasts in terms of performance, and allow to associate an action with the impact it can have and the benefit it will bring.

Making artificial intelligence an ally

While we should not fear AI replacing humans, it would be dangerous to ignore its impact on the future of marketing.

Methods based on pure experience and past behavior will gradually give way to predictive algorithms that have a superior learning capacity and can store billions of data that a human brain cannot handle.

However, AI needs to be supervised, guided in its learning, and fuelled by the right sources. It is therefore necessary to start thinking about restructuring marketing departments now, so that they are in control and can determine the way in which artificial intelligence will organize and exploit the information collected.

New jobs will emerge, such as the orchestrator of augmented customer knowledge. Cognitive analysis and individualized projection will be the spearhead of a marketing strategy driven by artificial intelligence.

An open and agile attitude that listens to customers' needs is now vital for companies. This is how they will be able to position themselves as companions of the AI revolution, and avoid suffering its effects...

Extract from our white paper : Challenges and advancements in the era of data and artificial intelligence

Claire Khoury

Chief Marketing, Communication & CSR Officer