Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a topic of conversation for marketers for quite some time now. It’s well understood that it makes every aspect of marketing a little bit easier. Some marketers rely on it to create, publish and alter marketing campaign elements based on real-time data analysis. It’s also an effective tool for curating and creating content. What’s even more exciting is its ability to manage customer service responsibilities around the clock. In short, it helps brands by ensuring consistently, and improving brand messaging across channels.
Big Data provides insights into customer behaviors, which in turn creates a road map for future products and services. Up until now, data was often shared with others through bar graphs, pie charts and spreadsheets. AR takes data collection, and sharing to a whole new level by using real-time data to create interactive visuals. This faster exchange makes decision making more efficient, and reveals the truly important data, while ignoring insignificant measurements.
- Sorting The Data – Current data collection leaves a great deal of potentially useful information on the table, so to speak. This is mainly due to the limitations that plague the reporting tools available. They simple aren’t capable of presenting huge volumes of complex data in a concise manner. AR sorts data and quickly puts it into clear, meaningful visual representations.
- Consumer Insights – One of the key differences in traditional data analytics and AR data analysis is the ability to see how data is connected. AR is an interactive, visual appealing, and intuitive way to summarize the most important relationships in complex data. In turn, it is easier to target custmers for promotions, new product offers, or product upgrades.
- Data Sharing – Printed reports, emailed spreadsheet documents, charts and graphs, are all static and non-interactive. With AR reports, it is possible to interact with the data in a somewhat natural manner. Users are able to manipulate objects with their hands, sharpen their view for a clearer perspective, and point out objects of interest by simply pointing.
No matter how great a company’s products and services are, without excellent customer service to back it up, a brand is doomed to fail. AR technology gives customer service representatives a unique way to interact with customers, answer questions, make product suggestions, and offer solutions to problems. It can also replace humans in some instances, streamlining the service process and saving money.
- In-Store Assistance – Bricks and mortar businesses can greatly enhance the in-store customer experience with virtual reality assistance. Many shops are simply understaffed, and employees have to stretch to keep up with customer demand. AR can help alleviate these issues by allowing customers to scan products to receive information to help them make a buying decision.
- Reduced Customer Service Calls – Consumers overwhelmingly prefer to solve their own problems with a product. They’re happy to receive help from a virtual assistant that provides how-to information, product specs and other relevant details in this manner. In turn, the customer service call center handles fewer calls, reducing overall costs.
- Faster Customer Service – No one likes to wait for an email response from customer service, and they really don’t have the time, or patience, to wait on hold for the next available representative. AR takes all of the wait time out of the customer service journey and provides customers with instant access to the answers they need.
AI marketing is fast becoming the technique of choice for companies across industries, regardless of size or marketing budget. It is capable of sifting through massive amounts of big data in milliseconds to get the most important insights about customers. That data is then used to enhance the customer experience while consistently presenting an optimal brand message. Three key reasons to use AI tech for marketing include:
- Laser-Targeting – AI takes a step beyond traditional market research by using data collected from the customer’s browser history, previous chat conversations, social media engagement and other digital communications. It is a more focused approach that produces better quality leads and generates more interest than random marketing techniques.
- Smarter Bidding – It’s vitally important that your marketing efforts are presented to the right audience, at the right time, and through the right channel. AI and machine-learning algorithms help marketers manage their budgets by varying the bid amount of paid ads based on the context that it is served in. This ensures that the return on investment is a positive one.
- Building Relationships – AI is already helping companies build strong, long-lasting relationships. Consider the way that Netflix recommends shows and movies you might like, based upon your viewing history, and current search criteria. This predictive technology allows brands to personalize the user experience, ensuring the customer is always satisfied.
Content creation is a time-consuming task, especially for non-writer types who struggle to articulate their thoughts. AI is poised to take over the duties of both content curating and creation. In fact, it’s already being employed by search engines to summarize information and answer fact-based questions within a set of boundaries. Known as natural language processing (NLP), it’s capable of understanding human speech, and therefore, able to respond in kind. NLP is commonly used in two unique ways:
- Extractive Summarizing – The system searches for relevant answers from a wide variety of sources. The collected information is then distilled down into the most relevant parts, and the rest is discarded. It doesn’t necessarily produce relevant, easy to read articles, however. What it does do is to create an outline for the human writer to follow.
- Abstractive Summarizing – This technique begins in the same manner, with data being collected from multiple sources. The difference is that it is machine-learning based. Over time the AI comes up with its own wording to summarize a given text. It also learns the best way to format sentences and paragraphs to create a more meaningful articles using natural language.
When it comes to implementing new technologies into the marketing mix, most marketers probably don’t think of Augmented Reality (AR). The truth is, some of the largest companies in the world are leveraging the power of AR to improve their brand message, strengthen consumer loyalty, and engage their audiences. Innovative, and immersive technologies like AR headsets, glasses and even smartphone functionality are fast-becoming brand marketing must-haves.
- AR Headsets – VR headsets provide a novel way to connect with consumers, and to introduce them to products and services prior to buying. More importantly, it is a fun, easy way for customers to become educated about, and invested in your brand. Such memorable experiences help form long-term loyalty and satisfaction, leading to repeat business and referrals.
- AR Glasses – AR glasses are already being used in a variety of ways from making suggestions about makeup, to allowing customers to try on eyeglasses, hairstyles and even clothing online. In face-to-face customer service interactions, it can help associates answer questions quickly, and offer appropriate solutions for the specific needs of the customer.
- AR Smartphone Functionality – Consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to learn about brands, compare products and services, and ultimately make purchases. As the hardware and software improves on these devices, it’s only natural that the use of AR functions will also increase and improve.
Augmented reality is the basis of many popular video games, and people become completely immersed in those virtual worlds. Increasingly, it will become more difficult for other industries to remain relevant and viable without also adopting AR technology. Brands that embrace the AR tech, however, will position themselves on the path to the future.