Machine Learning

Why You Should Be Using AI and Machine Learning to Personalize Content

WHY USE AI AND MACHINE LEARNING TO PERSONALIZE CONTENT

Personalized content is the key to better engagement with consumers! Learn why you should be using Al and machine learning to personalize content!

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop personalized marketing content sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

Both of these terms fall under the broad umbrella of "robotics." Thanks to pop culture, robots typically are represented as big metal boxes with stiff limbs and blinking buttons that malfunction into a cloud of smoke.

Hardly the stuff of marketing genius, and definitely lacking a personal touch.

However, thanks to some incredible advancements in technology, automated tools such as AI and machine learning are changing that perception.

Competitive marketers can now leverage complex computer systems to deliver customized, targeted messages directly to their audience.

Not only can this help companies strengthen their customer engagement, it also boosts brand recognition and encourages brand loyalty.

Interested in learning more about how these tools work? Let's take a look!

AI and Machine Learning Lead To Better Customer Understanding

The simple truth is this: You can't sell to someone if you don't know what they want. Think about the last time you tried to pick out a gift for someone you hardly knew. Chances are you ended up picking out a generic gift card, right?

For marketers, this concept works in much the same way, though on a larger scale. Simply advertising on a broad, generic basis isn't enough to attract the type of long-term, repeat business you need to succeed and grow.

You might get lucky and attract a handful of buyers whose interests line up with what you're offering, but without a digital marketing strategy in place, chances are low they'll return.

The key to longevity is to find out who's buying your stuff, who's not really interested, and who's on the fence, and then use this knowledge to deliver personalized marketing content that reaches each of those sectors in a different way.

The smartest and quickest way to mine for this data: AI and machine learning.

Here, we need to note that while these terms are often used interchangeably, they're actually quite different.

Put simply, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the process of programming machines that can perform tasks that traditionally require human intelligence (e.g. decision-making).

Machine learning is actually a subset of AI, wherein machines, over time, learn for themselves by responding to different types of data and eventually creating repeatable patterns (without having to be manually programmed).

So just how can each of these be applied to help companies improve their customer understanding?

Let's start with Artificial Intelligence. One of the strongest examples of leveraging AI to improve customer insight is IBM's Watson

Yes, this is the same Watson that won Jeopardy in 2011, but its functions have only increased since then. Now, industries from marketing to health sciences are leveraging Watson to significantly improve the customer experience.

Watson performs on a Q&A basis, meaning that when customers communicate an issue or request, Watson uses keywords in their inquiry to deliver a customized response.

AI systems such as Watson can be programmed to recognize speech, text, and/or photos. This means that over time, customers become remembered instead of treated as just another voice in the crowd.

You know the feeling you get when someone big actually knows your name? It's like that. 

In a similar way, machine learning records and analyzes customer behavior to detect action patterns, then uses turns this knowledge into algorithms that deliver personalized marketing content. The "people like you also bought" feature on Amazon is an excellent example of this. 

Finding your target audience is a critical first step to cultivating your business. But once you've found them, how do you keep them there? 

The good news is that AI and machine learning can also help companies deliver personalized promotions that cultivate engagement and build customer relationships. Let's keep going!

Marketing Analytics Deliver on Customer Expectation

Marketing in the digital age can be a challenge. On one hand, there are more ways than ever before to reach your target audience and communicate with them. Case in point: Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be 20.1 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT)

With so much connectivity, reaching your customers through various online channels should be a piece of cake, right? Not so fast. 

There is so much customer data generated at every customer transaction and touchpoint that the industry calls it Big Data. Without the appropriate technology to mine this information for valuable insights, it can cause companies to overload their customers with too many messages, filled with too much data, on too many occasions. 

Without the appropriate technology to mine this information for valuable insights, it can cause companies to overload their customers with too many messages, filled with too much data, on too many occasions. 

To this end, AI and machine learning are crucial to helping marketers deliver only the content their customers want to see when they want to see it. 

Through the intelligence gathered by AI and machine learning technologies, companies can create custom profiles for each customer that detail exactly when he or she interacted with the brand, what was purchased, what was considered and then put back, and how many times the person has returned to browse.

Leveraging these analytics, marketers can then deliver personalized promotions, such as e-mail campaigns, that cater directly to that person's tastes. 

Have you been on Facebook lately? There's a reason those ads on the side of your News Feed are related to your last Google search. Marketers can now use keywords from your recent search queries to control what ads you see on social media, creating message saturation that sticks.

Data Security In The Digital Age

While the personalization delivered by AI and machine learning is changing the marketing game for the better, the key to ensuring your customers appreciate your content strategy is to first earn their trust.

While 75% of consumers like it when brands personalize their marketing messages and 90% find custom content useful, data security measures should be in place to ensure confidentiality and identity protection.

In fact, 97% of consumers worry that businesses and governments may misuse their data, so easing their mind is key.

Before using AI and machine learning in your marketing efforts, be sure to check out the FTC's guidelines on ensuring data integrity in online advertising and marketing. Then, you can start planning your digital marketing approach.

The bottom line is that automation may not look like your father's robotics, and that's a good thing.

Advancements in technology mean that any company, from start-ups to Fortune 500s, can gain valuable insight into the preferences, tastes, and trends of their target audience. 

Tapping into AI and machine learning is the first step toward growing your engagement and retention strategies, building brand recognition, and fostering long-term loyalty. 

We'd love to help you ignite your digital marketing journey. Contact us today and let's get started.

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