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How AI lets marketers create human-centric CX at scale

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How AI lets marketers create human-centric CX at scale

“Why is marketing struggling with customer experience?” asked Blueshift co-founder and CEO Vijay Chittoor. “Why is it not easy for every marketer to just create human centric experiences? After all, everyone wants to do that. We believe every marketer really wants to connect with their customer.”

By personalizing and scaling brand interactions like never before, AI can help brands create a human-centric customer experience. Chittoor explained how during a session at The MarTech Conference.

The answer, he said, is in part because there are so many customer touch points.

“Ten, 15 or 20 years back the only way you could proactively engage your customers was through channels like email,” Chittoor said. “But today more and more channels have become engagement channels. … It’s very hard for marketers to think about millions of individualized personalized experiences. And all of that is further hampered by an incomplete understanding of customers.”

Intrusive instead of helpful

Because of that it’s easy for marketing to become intrusive, instead of helpful. And that’s a problem. Blueshift’s research found that 65% of customers say a positive brand experience is more influential than great advertising. On the other hand, 32% of customers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one negative experience.

“Every time marketers, or any other function in the customer experience realm, annoys the customer,” he said, “it creates some kind of friction, and shows that they don’t truly understand that customer.”

This is where AI becomes invaluable. 

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As a marketer, your job is to deliver the next best experience to each and every customer. AI lets you scale that by taking care of the who, what, when and where of customer connection.

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Who to target: “How do we segment customers with precision? how do we know where they are in their self directed customer journey?”

What to recommend: “What do we say in our message? Should we put an offer in front of them? Should we put another piece of content? Should we try to sell them product? Should we try to advance that customer journey in some form?”

When to engage: “It’s an always-on world. People are always connected, but what is the right time at which they are really responsive to your messages? What’s the right time at which you can interrupt them without annoying them becomes very, very critical.”

Where to connect: “On this omni-channel, customer-journey engagement cycle, … you have so many digital channels, but you also have a ton of offline channels and human assisted channels.”

Chittoor pointed out that AI can answer those questions individually for thousands and thousands of customers at once. For example, instead of relying on generic marketing content, AI uses all the information to make predictive recommendations. Previously contact would happen when it best suited marketers, like the old spray-and-pray method which meant sending a batch of messages at 8 AM to millions of customers. This changes with AI which can determine best times to send materials based on peoples’ online behaviors.

The results are in the numbers and the numbers are staggering. He pointed to bedding brand Tuft and Needle, which increased its email revenue by 181%. Similarly, clothing brand Jumper increased leads, which are an indicator of revenue, by 384%, while Carparts.com increased engagement by 400%. 

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“Forrester Research quantifies the impact of AI-driven engagement on so many different channels” Chittoor said. “And they were talking about how the average customer is seeing $128 million revenue lift and a 781% ROI by using AI and the AI-based targeting is the most important part of that.”

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Read next: Why we care about AI in marketing


About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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