Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: 7 The Most Promising Ways to Use It for Retailers
One of the main problems of the marketing department of any retail enterprise can be formulated in the question: “Who are our customers?”. How to collect customer data correctly, what data will be fundamental, how to process the collected data, how to apply it correctly? This is not a complete list of issues that every enterprise faces in determining its customers and further working with them. Artificial intelligence marketing solutions are not only able to answer all these questions but also can come up with winning marketing campaigns and strategies.
How Will Retail Use Artificial Intelligence for Marketing?
In January 2019, the American manufacturer of hardware and software IBM published The coming AI revolution in retail and consumer products report. It is based on a survey of 1,900 retail companies in 23 countries around the world. The study focuses on how automation can help shops reduce the impact of the human factor and improve customer service. According to the IBM study, by 2021, more than 70% of retailers and consumer goods manufacturers will use intelligent automation tools across all value chains. In this article we will look at how intelligent ai changes the marketing side of retail and what changes are waiting for buyers very soon.
The Complete Transformation of Marketing Ideas in the Retail Industry
According to the above-mentioned survey, 79% of company representatives were confident that artificial intelligence technologies would revolutionize marketing, making it more strategic. The focus will be on narrower segmentation of the target audience, product innovations and the identification of new consumer incentives. 86% also believe that the efficiency of marketing teams increases with the use of AI tools, and 82% think that they have a positive effect on interaction with the end user, especially by automating time-consuming tasks.
All these conclusions are united by one main point: marketers can no longer live and work without Big Data analytics.
Processing Immense Volumes of Marketing Data
The only thing that AI has not learnt yet is how to sell products without having physical customers. Therefore, in order to use artificial intelligence in marketing in terms of working with information, you need clients and a lot of customer data. This data includes information on consumer behavior and changing preferences, social trends, and attitudes that can be traced in social media, and the diverse interests of users based on queries in a search engine. Artificial intelligence marketing tools are now available for any enterprise and retail as one of the most dynamic industries should be one of the pioneers of these technologies.
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Unlimited Predictive Analytics Possibilities
Now the companies that show the dynamics of profits above average, remain flexible and quickly respond to changes in demand and the market situation. If earlier it was possible to get sales off the ground by hanging a sale sign on a store door, today it will not work. Now you need to understand the mood and behavior of consumers, and not focus only on the actions of competitors. In such matters, artificial intelligence has great potential for retail.
The algorithm is trained on the same principle as the person – on the experience of past transactions (and errors, including). The only difference is that the machine learning algorithm makes it much faster, never gets tired and does not forget anything. Living through each transaction, it captures non-linear connections between a set of factors.
It is necessary not only to understand how the price change for this product will affect its sales. It is important to separate seasonality, the actions of competitors from changes in consumer sentiment and promotional activities, and then track the relationship between positions and how a change in the set of prices will affect all indicators. AI-driven technologies are able to cope with these and other marketing tasks.
All marketing from ancient times to yesterday was built around the product. And even when marketers started talking about customer focus, it was still a story about a product. They have always tried to make the product more satisfying, more suitable for customers. As a result, the main sales strategy was to convince the customer that he needs this product.
Today, these marketing strategies do not work. Artificially intelligent solutions make it possible to collect a huge amount of customer data – and, if processed correctly, we will be able to predict with high probability which product or service configuration will suit a particular customer. A person is not able to process such a large amount of data, but artificial intelligence AI can do it. They can process a huge amount of input information, build relationships, make a forecast and form an individual proposal.
The Most Effective Communication with the Consumer
As we have already said, the main trend in the development of communications between the brand and the buyer is to create personalized content for each client and individual product offerings. Application of artificial intelligence in marketing can help create a personalized experience, both in an online channel and in a physical store. For this, today it is possible to use chatbots, as well as providing the buyer with the possibility of shopping using voice, rather than typing on the keyboard. Consumers will soon be talking to robots and other electronic devices in real-time while shopping. This will become a reality thanks to the success in the processing of ordinary speech by artificial intelligence. The quality of interaction with the customer grows continuously, all interaction characteristics are improved, and new opportunities for personalized contact and supply are also emerging.
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CRM Marketing in Combination with Marketing AI
AI tools enable marketers to be more effective in using CRM systems. Today it is possible to integrate AI marketing solutions with a CRM system and share valuable data. For example, analytical CRM, developed by the American company SAS, took into account several hundred factors for each audience group. The average check, the frequency of visits to the store, favorite categories of goods, their price range, the time of visiting supermarkets mattered. Based on this data, the system predicted how customers from a particular group would respond to a specific promotional offer.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI is a great example of a cloud-based business solution that leverages ERP and CRM functionality along with modern BI, usage of Office 365, and optional functionality for specific use cases. It enables sales representatives to build stronger relationships with customers, make more intelligent business decisions, and close sales targets faster.
After that, CRM chose a communication channel and suggested what to write in the message. As a result, the retailer managed to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by 5% and reduce the cost of communication with customers by almost half (40%).
By integrating these intelligence marketing innovations into your business, you will receive real-time recommendations, taking into account a number of parameters, including purchase history and income. It is also possible to make predictions for targeting leads who are more likely to make purchases.
E-Mail Marketing That Really Works
Your database contains information about all the people on the mailing list, all content ever sent to them, each click that reflects interaction with the brand, each product, its life cycle, etc. Can you create a perfect e-mail campaign corresponding to the interests of each of your consumers, so as to maximize your profits? At the moment, there is not a marketing platform capable of this, but for AI this is not the problem at all.
AI will help to select only those offers, design of the letter and style of the message which most suit specific users. In addition, the AI also collects data on the best time to send your email. Analyzing previous user experience, AI will help determine the most appropriate day and time for sending letters for each subscriber. Accordingly, the sender will be able to establish the most effective communication with their customers. So, if e-mails are an important part of your content marketing strategy, direct your efforts towards adopting data-driven technologies.