Many people associate artificial intelligence (AI) with impersonal robots and scenarios from science fiction movies. Today, however, technology is part of our everyday life: Siri, Alexa and Co. are conquering larger areas in our private and professional environment. It becomes clear that AI supports personalised addressing and communication.
Artificial intelligence, i.e. learning and intelligent behaviour of a machine, needs digital data as fuel. Marketing is predestined to use AI for itself due to its enormous data collection. The use of chatbots, for example, clearly shows that communication tailored to the interests of customers can increase customer loyalty.
Big Data = Big chance for digital marketing
Knowing the customers so well that you understand their wishes and needs before the customers know it themselves – this is the supreme discipline in marketing, which thanks to AI is no longer an unrealistic dream.
The more interactions take place in the digital space, the more data is produced, collected, transferred and stored. With every click, the user leaves behind information that represents valuable capital for companies. The larger the data mountain, the greater the benefit – but the more difficult it is to derive sustainable statements from it. Thanks to AI, the huge amounts of data can be analysed, segmented, networked and filtered. This is done to identify relevant patterns and correlations that would remain invisible in a manual evaluation.
Big Data, the technology for processing and evaluating huge amounts of data, plays a decisive role, especially for marketing experts. Actions and future scenarios of customer behaviour can be derived by AI-supported data analysis and segmentation according to demographic as well as psychographic variables allows getting to know and understand the customer on a deeper level. The target group, as well as the competitor and the trends, thus become more transparent and tangible for the marketing managers, which significantly optimises the target-oriented strategy finding. Questions such as how at what price the user strikes or which customer tends to repeat purchases are predicted with the help of the data and the evaluation via artificial intelligence.
The results of the data evaluation can be used not only for future trend analyses but also in direct communication with the customer. The algorithms enable unprecedented potentials for personalisation with an individual approach and content. Especially with products and services that require explanation, it is important to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.
Chatbots are a technology that provides special support in this respect and is a new form of marketing. Whether Alexa, shopping assistants or messengers – they are now part of digital marketing and e-commerce and are well-received by customers. With the help of artificial intelligence, the chatbot can use a predefined process as an “artificial brain” to find out super fast from the given data what the prospective customer needs and to react individually to the customer requirements. For example, if a user is looking for a flight from Munich to Lisbon, general questions such as the date can be asked first, followed by more specific requests for information such as the reason for the trip, time of day, baggage size, etc., to enable the correct product selection. At the end of the process, the customer is shown a flight that is individually tailored to their needs. The price calculation is also carried out in the background by the chatbot, using the information provided to analyse the customer’s willingness to pay.
Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP), users can have a dialogue in natural language with chatbots. The customer is not only addressed personally by the bot but is also informed, advised or inspired by the individual display of content. A social media channel is thus not only scalable but also benefits from a higher engagement rate and a multitude of insights. Brand awareness and reach increase.
Fast and personalised communication with the customer takes place in real-time, regardless of time and place. The perfect user experience is also created because the customer does not notice that he is interacting with a chatbot. The artificial intelligence acts in the background and flows smoothly into the customer journey, increasing both customer loyalty and satisfaction. For example, the bot of a delivery service notices that the customer prefers vegetarian dishes and always orders an ice cream with them. With the next order, the customer is welcomed with a selection of vegetarian dishes already on the home page thanks to a chatbot and the ice cream is offered as a special that is already waiting in the shopping cart.
Automation as Game Changer
Human decision-making processes such as customer service can also be supported by AI. Recurring questions such as “Where can I find my invoice?” tie up a large part of the time in customer support and quickly frustrate employees with stupid answers. The integration of a chatbot can help here and automate routine answers. This allows the employee to concentrate again on interactions with customers, where individual advice and the human component are crucial.
But here, too, the use of a chatbot is often useful in advance: Valuable information that is requested from the customer in a standardised way can already be obtained by a chatbot in the form of a virtual assistant through a predefined process. The user behaviour on the homepage offers additional data, which can be linked, analysed and evaluated by AI with the remaining information. The customer service gets knowledge from the CRM system and can enter directly into the personal conversation and individually respond to customer needs. This is a win-win situation because satisfaction increases for both the employee and the customer.
AI provides the foundation for new marketing. What used to lead to rough future scenarios through elaborate manual analyses can now be easily decoded thanks to enormous amounts of data. Patterns and correlations are recognised and future trends are derived. An unprecedented opportunity for marketing experts to get to know the customer and his needs better than the customer himself can. Thanks to chatbots, the prospective customer can be addressed and communicated in a personalised way – automated, efficient and time-saving.
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