The Role of AI in The Future of Marketing

Did you know that AI can predict your personality traits better than your spouse of partner, your friend, even your family?

That’s one of the key insights I learned last week when I attended Pega‘s Pegaworld at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

More than 4,000 Business and IT leaders came together to understand the role of technology and AI in the future of sales, marketing, customer service.

This event included some really smart people, if a bit more technical than the audience I typically see at Marketing conferences.

But an audience who is still trying to solve the same problems I think we all are:

  • Marketers trying to understand how to effectively reach target customers when ad blockers, changing media consumption habits, and ad performance are impeding us.
  • Customer Service people looking improve customer satisfaction, net promoter scores all while holding down costs.
  • And sales is looking to sell more in a world that is largely tuning out of promotional messages and avoiding business development approaches of old

One of my first tweets of the event:

Sales-driven culture is a thing of the past

The Chief Data Officer of RBS Bank was talking about:

How to use data and personalization to drive customer experience and ROI.

They found that

When account reps call people on their birthdays and anniversaries, sales increase!

And so despite all the conversations about technology, the main question on the minds of everyone there was:

How to use technology to make more human connections?

With sales, marketing, customer service and, in fact, across the entire organization. And so the question of Purpose and Culture came up time and again!

Drew Neisser said,

Purpose means going as far as defining how your organization helps the world in some way.

The CEO of Transavia, a low-cost airline in Europe said that he didn’t care about how many planes they had or how many flights they flew, he only cared about two things:

  1. Making their customers happy
  2. Making every employee a front-line employee (in service of customers)

They achieve the goal of improved Customer Satisfaction and Employee Engagement through technologly. But I believe it is mainly because of the their primary focus of putting customers at the center of everything they do.

He also spoke out against the scourge of the corporate world, micro-management, when he said

“Just let your teams be. They know how to deliver an amazing customer experience.”

What is the role of AI in the future of Marketing? (Sales & Customer Service?)

AI can help the courageous leaders inside customer-centric organizations, to achieve the goals of Personalization, better Customer Decisioning, improved Predictive Modeling.

Or for simple executives like me: more sales, lower costs, from engaged employees trying to make customers happy.

At a high-level, AI can provide Personalization across the customer journey and Predictive modeling to achieve better outcomes at every customer interaction.

But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty, here are some highlights of what AI can do from a company like Pega:

  • A Customer Decision hub that can automate recommendations in realtime to improve customer experiences using AI
  • Paid Media Manager uses AI to help marketers improve the ROI of paid digital campaigns
  • Natural Language Processing to determine the mood and intentions from customer emails and voice calls
  • An Intelligent Virtual Assistant (think Watson or Alexa) that can make your chatbots better
  • A Self-Service Advisor, which can even scan your customer’s browsing history to present different options.
  • AI-driven applications, that can alert a retail store rep on how best to help customers in-store, in realtime on their phones or tablets

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the technology, the case studies but mostly the leadership from some impressive brands like Coke and Sprint who said that AI has helped Sprint achieve 50% higher customer retention, 14% drop in customer churn and massively improved ROI.

Disclosure: I was paid to attend this event by the sponsoring company. The opinions and views expressed here are my own!

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

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