Channelizing Customer Engagement with AI Personalization
June 2, 2021
6 min read
Personalization is not a new concept in marketing especially when it comes to user engagement and/or retention. But what makes the new-era of AI driven personalization an interesting and unique concept is that it is completely driven by data science. Data-led analytics and insights are rarely mistaken and can create novel touchpoints for businesses and marketers to engage with their customers.True there are challenges or rather obstacles incurred on the path, yet thousands of businesses and marketers are realizing the positive impact of offering a personalized experience to users with Artificial Intelligence.
What is also of significant importance when discussing personalization using Artificial Intelligence is the role of UI/UX in the game plan. Design, or rather the UI/UX of the platform, app, tablet, desktop, mobile device, dashboard etc. can be governed by AI. From simplifying and thinning interfaces, to automation using AI, the turn of the new decade is rewriting how AI affects UI/UX designing and in turn personalization on the business front.
How does Artificial Intelligence help personalization?
The idea of personalization stems from the understanding that users today demand content that is unique and caters to their personal interests and preferences. Yes, there is an overdose of content everywhere and with so much content being thrown at users, it is often confusing to separate the good from the bad. And that is where AI can benefit personalization.
A complex architecture of AI and machine learning algorithms are at play here. What we witness is a form of AI content personalization whereby using ML, Deep Learning, NLP and other advanced tech large, voluminous data is processed and analyzed, to establish a pattern based on user and/or peer behaviour so as to offer content that is best suited to the user’s interest.
And that explains why AI led personalization can improve customer engagement – because it offers content to users that they want. Take the example of an AI driven video recommendation system like Netflix or even YouTube. While specific working mechanisms of the two platforms differ they function based on the same technology, i.e. establish a pattern for the user, compare it with patterns demonstrated by other users, analyze tags and labels associated with each product and analyze data to make personalized video recommendations that are likely to create interest and engage the user. Not surprisingly, AI backed personalized streaming recommendations garner better audience engagement creating a win-win situation for both.
Personalization using AI: They key to rising customer expectations
We are dealing with a very demanding set of customers today – customers who not only know what they want, but also have the means to get what they want. Added to that, they expect brands to deliver to them what they want. Not surprisingly AI is going mainstream with businesses, both start-ups and enterprises making room for it. The number of AI solutions providers have been on the rise of late, with each offering unique solutions and services that cater to specific business and user needs.
For instance, when it comes to eCommerce platforms there are intricate AI algorithms in action (machine learning and image recognition) that drives purchase, followed by tracking and delivery, and addressing customer queries (preferably through chatbots) ensuring overall customer satisfaction.
In the next section, we will take a closer look at examples of AI personalization with focus on diverse industries and businesses.
AI Personalization in Travel:
The travel sector has been one of the highest gainers of Artificial intelligence. A recent study by American Express revealed that 83% of millennials would willingly share their digital behavior with travel brands so as to receive better travel recommendations. Ongoing innovation in AI and its related tech has made this possible, with platforms offering all forms of information to prospective travelers. From details on visa and flight, to lodging, cruising, sightseeing, money exchange – you name it and the answer is right there in front of you.
Savings Finder For Air, launched by Egencia, which uses artificial intelligence to track price variations and rebooking tickets at a lower price if there are lower-priced tickets available within a week of the tickets being booked. According to Egencia, Savings Finder For Air has helped save millions of dollars since it’s launch in 2019. Following the same model, Savings Finder For Hotel will be launched which includes re-shopping and rebooking a hotel room once the price of the room drops.
Similarly there are AI driven chatbots that offer personalized travel itineraries to travelers based on their preferences. All a user has to do is answer some predefined templated questions and the chatbots provide recommendations, itineraries, tips and more. Though RPA bot development also plays a part here, yet this simple automation process has helped businesses not only save time and dollars, but also gain new customers by offering them a personalized service.
AI driven Personalization in Retail:
Another industry that has benefited from application of AI personalization for customers is the retail sector. With the advent of online stores and eCommerce sites, retail sales has taken a backseat worldwide. However there has been innovation on the retail front as well to ensure that customers get a similar/better experience and deal at retail stores as well so as not to miss out on business. Using beacon technology and AI in retail stores, there is the newfound interest to close the gap between physical and online space, making the shopping experience come alive for customers once again.
For instance, recent examples of customer engagement in retail can be seen with the AI software, Color IQ provided by Sephora, in it’s physical stores.The tool scans a customer’s face and provides recommendations for foundation and concealer shades. Innovative AI solutions reduce the burden of the shopper who would have to try several different shades before deciding on one, making the entire process of decision making simpler, faster and more personalized.
Artificial Intelligence and personalization in Education:
With the implementation of Artificial Intelligence, new developments are coming up in the field of education. Applying data-driven insights to learning programs is helping collect data on various aspects of students’ performance, helping tailor content to a students learning style as well as performance. Artificial intelligence in learning management software can help in providing individualized plans for each student rather than having the same content for each and every student, making the material personalized and engaging.
At the University of Michigan, AI is being used to provide writing recommendations with the help of an automated text analysis program. The software identifies strengths in writing and other recommendations, which is then verified by a writing fellow, making it possible for students to receive feedback faster.
Another real life example of AI being implemented in education is by Sesame Street, a non-profit organization that is taking steps to improve the quality of education for children. Sesame Street has created the first AI-powered learning app which provides personalized recommendations on learning exercises by observing a child’s reading level and vocabulary. Schools which adopted the technology reported their students to have improved by leaps and bounds in learning.
The number of use cases of AI in education, retail, healthcare, banking etc. is increasing by the day as the technology is learning, evolving and helping different facets gain through its implementation.
AI personalization changing the face of Marketing:
Marketing involves a variety of channels to be handled right from TVCs, SEO to social media, making a marketers life relatively tough. On top of that, marketers have to deal with a wide variety of customers everyday. With such diversities in terms of scope, role and responsibility it is a challenge for businesses and marketers to offer personalized experiences for each and every individual – and that is where AI can facilitate.
The impact of AI on marketing has left an indelible mark. A few places where we see the impact of AI are better search suggestions, ad performance and content curation to name a few.
E-commerce sites like Amazon have adopted machine learning algorithms to provide better suggestions for users searching for a product leading to increased sales. These algorithms study what other users have previously searched for and provide suggestions accordingly saving time for the user.
Under Armour, a fitness and lifestyle brand curates content using AI for its customers. Record app, developed by Under Armour and IBM, collects data of users and about physical activity, sleep, diet and provides recommendations by gathering data from different sources and customizing it for the users.
With artificial intelligence, it is possible to gain insights into advertising activities. Such insights are vital to understanding how well an advertising campaign is working and in which regions advertisers should market to get the best possible return on investment. Albert, an AI-powered software analyzes ads and provides insights on how to best capitalize on ads leading to better decision making and improved optimizations.
Ai is the game changer of the future and it will not be long when AI software will transform businesses making it future ready, customer centric and more personalized. Today, with AI making waves across industries we are just seeing a part of it all.
Creating personalized experiences using AI
Personalization by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence has made it possible for brands to make better decisions and better serve customers, saving time and effort, while enhancing customer experience and satisfaction. Artificial intelligence has made it possible to serve each customer better making brands connect better with customers. The beauty of using artificial intelligence is it can be used across a diverse range of industries, and each organization, irrespective of the size can benefit from it. In a world where companies are competing for even the tiniest bit of market share, customer experience plays a vital role.By providing such personalized experiences, AI startups can provide brands with solutions to serve customers better and more intelligently, edging out brands who are not using AI.The time to adopt artificial intelligence for your business is now. Get closer to your customers, get to know them better.
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