Have you read sci-fi novels where your brain has only to think of something that you need and voila — you have it? AI is making this past fiction scenario into a future reality and is quickly transforming digital marketing. And while we haven’t quite reached this point just yet, every day, AI is getting better at learning how we think and what we want.
Thanks to NLP (Natural Language Processing), Voice search, Google’s algorithms like Hummingbird and Panda, predictive modeling in Data Science, marketers can better target the right customers with the most relevant message to their needs.
These 5 AI trends can help you sell more in three ways:
- Your customers will better understand how your product will work.
- You can reach the right audience with the right message.
- You can automate certain tasks that were previously labor intensive.
All three ways help you save money, create a stronger customer experience which in turn will help you retain and win more customers for stronger profit and ROI.
1) Virtual reality
What is VR?
VR helps you create a simulated environment using computer software.
How to benefit from VR
Every day companies are coming up with new ways to use this technology. VR’s potential is still untapped and the sky’s the limit for many industries. For example, you can use VR to help customers imagine how your product will look in their environment or help them travel the world or even watch virtual exhibits. Here are some innovative ways companies are using VR.
IKEA: Place is an app that lets you virtually place true-to-scale 3D models in your very own space.
VOLVO: was one of the first companies to introduce virtual test drives with the help of VR sets.
Thomas Cook: released a VR campaign called Try Before You Fly. The results — $17,000 on flight and hotel bookings and a 190% uplift in trips to New York. All this within the first three months of the campaign.
Thomas Cook’s successful “Try before you Fly” campaign
What are chatbots?
Chatbots are an AI-powered software that help you converse with customers. They understand users’ keywords and can accordingly give pre-set answers to frequently asked questions about your business. Chatbots often have human names and avatars so we feel comfortable chatting with them.
There are lots of great chatbot platforms that allow you to build your own chatbot and integrate it on your website.
How to benefit from chatbots
Chatbots allow you to save money by answering questions and welcoming people with no need for human interaction. To answer more complex questions, you’d still need human interaction.
For example, chatbots can:
- Greet your customers when they first land on your site.
- Answer FAQs (like “what’s your return policy?” or “how much do your services cost?”)
- Gather basic info from leads
- Set up a sales call with them
3. Voice-activated search
What is voice-activated search?
Voice search allows users to use their voice to search the Internet, a website, or an app. More broadly, voice search includes keyword queries on any info on the Internet. Google Voice Search, Cortana, Siri, Alexa and Amazon Echo are all great examples.
How to benefit from voice-activated search
Some tips on how to optimize your site for voice-activated search:
1. Register for Google My Business
When you register for Google My Business, Google can confirm that yours is an authentic business. This means it’ll more likely bring up your name in a voice search.
2. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Chances are, you won’t be doing a voice search on your desktop. You’ll probably do it while driving
- Making sure your buttons aren’t too small to be seen comfortably on a mobile device.
- Go for mobile-friendly plugins.
- Optimize your site so it loads in under 3 seconds.
3. Get into Google’s Featured Snippets
This isn’t an easy task, but it’s the #1 reason you’ll make it in a voice search.
4. Personalization and recommendation engines
You know how Netflix and Amazon recommend products based on your previous history? Personalization and recommendations such as these are what consumers want. A recent report showed that nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when they see content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) that has nothing to do with their interests.
How to benefit from recommendation engines and personalization
AI predicts customer behavior based on previous brand interactions. For example, Amazon has a record of every purchase you’ve ever made, your browsing history, items you’ve wished for, apps you’ve downloaded, reviews and everything you’ve asked Alexa or Echo. They use this wealth of info about you to recommend other products.
AI also helps brands to personalize email marketing campaigns based on user behaviors. Marketers can send out emails based on certain actions you take while browsing or shopping. AI helps marketers optimize their email campaigns. You can use tools like like Phrasee to dynamically analyze and optimize campaigns quickly, rather than having to A/B test different messages and designs, which can take time.
5) CRMs powered by AI
What are CRMs?
Customer relationship managers are software systems that manage customer data. These systems help businesses manage their relationships with customers.
According to a recent survey by Capterra, 47% of polled CRM users said that their CRM had a significant impact on customer retention and customer satisfaction.
How to benefit from CRMs
Marketers can analyze a prospect’s needs and adapt to boost sales. Thanks to AI, CRMs can:
- Better target your customers and serve them messages relevant to their needs.
- Visualize the customer journey and make the shopping experience easier by helping the customer reach the checkout with recommendations that better reflect them and their habits.
- Sync up with other marketing tools so that marketers can create better:
- Email nurturing campaigns that educate prospects and new customers
- Landing/sales pages personalized to the customer’s needs (for ex. special landing pages for those who abandoned their carts)
- Targeted digital and display ads
All these help especially with products that are more expensive or need more thought before buying. These strategies help keep prospects moving steadily through the marketing funnel till they buy.
What are you doing to optimize your marketing with new technologies? Please share in the comments below. Thank you!