How Can AI Deepen Customer Relationships and Drive Business Outcomes?

December 18, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t yet a core component of marketing strategies, but for about 1 in 8 marketers AI technologies have become critical to carrying out marketing strategies. That’s according to a report [download page] from Quantcast and Forbes Insights, which examined the views of more than 500 high-level marketing executives from various industries across direct and traditional brands.

Research has found excitement about AI as a big marketing trend, and the Quantcast study found that marketers using AI are seeing results. Around half of those using AI in their marketing efforts have realized business outcomes including better content recognition and recommendations (53%), an increase in sales (52%), an increase in customer retention (51%) and successful new product launches (49%).

As part of its analysis, Forbes Insights and Quantcast segmented the respondents into Leaders and Laggards according to the degree that they embrace AI in three core metrics: audience insights; targeting; and measurement.

Not surprisingly, Leaders are more likely than Laggards to have realized positive outcomes from the use of AI in their marketing efforts, with one-quarter saying that AI tech is critical to carrying out their marketing strategy. Indeed, 73% of Leaders are seeing significant (26%) or some (47%) benefits from deploying AI in their marketing efforts. Laggards are a little behind, but a majority nonetheless are also seeing at least some benefits from their use of AI.

How Can AI Deepen Customer Relationships?

Research has indicated that major retailers are hoping that AI can help them improve customer engagement. This latest study offers some insights into the expectations held by marketers surrounding how AI can be helpful in deepening organizational relationships with customers.

For Leaders surveyed, expectations include:

  • Focusing more on strategy (89%);
  • Building exact personas (72%);
  • Improving the after-sales experience (70%);
  • Refining the online customer experience (67%);
  • Generating targeted, personalized messaging (65%); and
  • Uncovering insights from piles of data (58%).

Laggards generally ranked their expectations in similar ways (though with less optimism), albeit with one glaring exception. Fewer than one-third (31%) of Laggards feel that AI will help them deepen customer relationships by building exact personas, making this the area in which they project the least improvement from AI. As such, this appears to be the area with the biggest gap in expectation between those already embracing AI and those who have a ways to go.

The full report is available for download here.

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