How AI Is Revolutionizing the Way Brands Connect with Consumers
Today’s marketers face a conundrum. Their job is simultaneously growing more globalized and more individualized. Campaigns are expected to reach worldwide audiences with one-to-one targeting. The requirements are, quite literally, inhuman. Which is what makes artificial intelligence indispensable in the evolution of how brands connect with consumers.
With AI, marketers can leverage unprecedented amounts of consumer data to build, deploy, and test highly targeted campaigns at scale. As the technology grows ever more prevalent and accessible, even small companies can execute tailored campaigns with international reach.
For Personalization at Scale
With the rise of digital marketing came the promise personalization–of leaving mass marketing behind and speaking to customers as individuals. Yet, roughly two decades into the digital revolution, personalization remains remarkably elusive for most brands. Anyone who’s ever received an email or DM “personalized” with [insert name] and [insert identifying information] knows how awkward and impersonal such efforts can be.
The trouble is that true personalization requires you to collect, analyze, and apply enormous amounts of data. Too much data to be handled manually. AI, however, is making the holy grail of marketing–the ability to reach the right consumer at the right time with the right message–a reality for more and more businesses.
One company at the forefront of using AI in this manner is Starbucks. The global coffee company has its own artificial intelligence program called Deep Brew. Launched in 2019, the AI is helping Starbucks manage multiple facets of its business, including personalization of the Starbucks Rewards program.
Deep Brew analyzes consumer information such as where Rewards members make purchases and at what time of day. It then delivers real time push notifications with personalized offers based on things like members’ past purchases and current location. It also makes it easy to place orders directly from a mobile phone. The goal is to increase average customer spending and lifetime value, but also to delight customers by catering to their individual preferences.
Speak to Customers In Their Language
The digital revolution has succeeded in making the world a much smaller place. Brands of all sizes are expanding their customer base into foreign markets. But the motto “speak your customers’ language” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re marketing internationally.
The challenge of communicating across borders is not an insignificant one. Companies need to localize campaigns to the language and culture of individual regions while maintaining brand consistency. Fortunately, AI-powered machine translation tools can help bridge gaps and provide personalized experiences regardless of where customers live or what language they speak.
Airbnb, a known innovator in the hospitality industry, is leading the way with the use of neural machine translation. By integrating a customized AI (aptly named Translation Engine) into their world-famous app, Airbnb is helping hosts market to international guests. What’s unique about this translator is that neither the host nor guest needs to do anything to use it. Translation Engine works in the background to detect a user’s preferred language and translate listings and reviews automatically.
According to the company, “Translation Engine improves the quality of more than 99% of Airbnb listings.” The AI also facilitates messaging between guests and hosts who speak different languages, improving the experience for all. And since Translation Engine uses machine learning, it only gets better over time.
How to Transform Your Business with AI
“Artificial intelligence” may sound complicated and intimidating to use, but most of us interact with it all the time without giving it a second thought. Google’s search algorithm, Apple’s Siri, and Netflix’s show recommendations are all powered by AI. The key is finding the right tool for the job at hand.
When it comes to selecting AI marketing tools, it may be tempting to take advantage of free ones like Google Translate. But remember that intelligent machines are only as smart as the data they were trained on. If you want superior results, you’ll need software that is personalized to your business. That training comes at a cost, but you’ll see the difference in your ROI.
Also, bear in mind that artificial intelligence is not a replacement for human intelligence. AI tools are just that: tools. They are meant to enhance the capabilities of your marketing team by providing data insights, task management, and automation. You’ll still need experienced, creative marketers to deploy your AI to its full potential.
The good news is that marketing AI is still relatively new and not many companies are utilizing its full capabilities. By incorporating AI into your software stack now, you can get ahead of your competition before they jump on the bandwagon.
While the demands of marketing are growing ever more complex, the tools of the trade are growing even smarter and more sophisticated in response. Artificial intelligence can help you run better social media campaigns, nurture more leads, write volumes of content, and analyze your competition on a global scale. All while delivering a more satisfying experience for your customers worldwide.
In the future, machine learning will become so well integrated into the applications we use that we might stop calling it “AI” and simply call it “software”. But for now, those who use it to improve their marketing campaigns can give themselves a distinct competitive advantage.