Marketing Reimagined 

Business people in a meeting
Business people in a meeting

Hyper personalised marketing campaigns and customer interactions need to be AI-powered and automated from planning, creative messaging to media targeting the retail experience.

The world of Artificial intelligence (AI) acts as a force multiplier with marketers using AI for more personalised digital experiences, meeting customers’ brand expectations and communicating with them. Not just that, even to create a more unified marketing and analytics system, increase overall productivity, and significantly improve ROI. 

Campaigns and customer interactions are being made more relevant end-to-end, from planning to creative messaging to media targeting retail experience. Instacart used a machine-learning platform to build a machine-learning model to predict the most efficient sequence its shoppers could follow to select items at a store. Brands like Coca-Cola are using AI to reinvent how consumers engage with their products through their smartphones. The Walt Disney Co. uses language processing to trigger an audio soundtrack when you’re reading a story aloud to your child.

Marketers have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible. New tools are coming up every day to help marketers save time and execute smarter, more personalised campaigns. As AI transforms marketing in varied ways, intelligent chatbots offer 24×7 customer service, providing customised recommendations on video streaming platforms and e-commerce sites. Elsewhere, marketing tools such as dynamic pricing models, content generation, data analysis, automated decision-making, and real-time personalisation are becoming easily accessible and affordable. These tools create opportunities for businesses to reap the benefits of world-class analytics, even on a small budget.

Not surprising then that a report by MarketingProfs stated that businesses that implement AI see 54 per cent more traffic and engagement, 52 per cent increased conversions and 58 per cent higher revenues. 

Businesses with an eye to the future increasingly realise that they should know more than just what happened in the past. They want to use their data to predict the future. Predicting customer behaviour and preferences is the distinctive feature of companies like Amazon and eBay, but the technology is becoming increasingly accessible and relevant for smaller companies.

Through predictive marketing analytics, using historical data, statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes, businesses now accurately predict which marketing actions and strategies are most likely to succeed, thereby making more informed decisions. 

Targeting the right customers at the right moment with the best offer links back to customer segmentation is the most common marketing application for predictive analytics. It’s one of the simplest and most direct ways to optimise a marketing offer and see a quick turnaround on better ROI. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, predictive analytics users are twice as likely to identify high-value customers and market the right offer.  

 Meanwhile, the ongoing global pandemic has brought new challenges to businesses, especially balancing brand building with sales. Due to pandemic early slumps, it is often tempting for B2B marketers to generate quick sales. According to a global survey by Dun & Bradstreet, 70 per cent of senior marketers say their budgets have been cut, and 76 per cent reported an increasing pressure to deliver leads.

There is, however, a price to be paid when relying solely on an activation-only marketing strategy in pursuit of quick wins. Marketers need to understand that short-term activation and long-term branding must always be kept in balance; otherwise, sacrificing brand marketing for short-term gains will end up costing the business far too much.

The most effective balance between brand building and sales activation has been widely researched by marketing gurus Les Binet and Peter Field. Their book on balancing short and long-term marketing strategies, “The Long and the Short of It”, set the mark at 60/40, meaning that contrary to standard practices, 60 per cent of a brand’s marketing resources should be dedicated to brand building and only 40 per cent to sales activation.

Adidas’s marketing team is creating a balanced marketing mix, integrating campaigns that focus on improving their brand’s image through long-term initiatives. The brand’s senior global media director Simon Peel is an avid advocate of the 60/40 rule implemented by the sports giant’s global marketing operation. 

Some things to keep top of mind for the businesses are revisiting and restarting multichannel marketing. It is a considerable step toward strengthening those needed long-term brand relationships. Also, while digital platforms continue to evolve just as quickly as the technology, it’s crucial to stay agile, reassess, and stay omnipresent with a multichannel approach. 

Recent times necessitates the companies to understand customer needs and their expectations in terms of products and services. Omnichannel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience is crucial. 

Brands can have great mobile marketing, engaging social media campaigns, and a well-designed website. But if they don’t work together, it becomes ineffective. Companies must align their messaging, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device — their website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter — to deliver a better customer experience.

Disney leads the way, right, down to the smallest details, in a truly omnichannel experience. Starting with the initial experience on the entertainment giant’s mobile-responsive website to its trip-planning website on mobile, they work well. Once you’ve booked a trip, you can use the My Disney Experience tool to plan your entire trip, from where you’ll dine to securing your Fast Pass. In the park, you can use your mobile app to locate the attractions you want to see, as well as view the estimated wait time for each of them. The entertainment company takes it one step further with its Magic Band programme, which acts as a hotel room key, photo storage device for any pictures taken of you with Disney characters, and a food ordering tool.

Even the Starbucks rewards app is one of the top omnichannel experiences out there. First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. One can check and reload his card via phone, website, in-store, or on the app. Any change to the card or your profile gets updated across all channels in real-time. If you want a quick fix matcha latte but don’t have enough on your balance, you can quickly reload it, and the cashier will know it’s been updated by the time you swipe your card.

A well-executed marketing strategy roughly translates to a business creating a consistent, easily recognisable and integrated customer experience across all online and offline channels. Many companies — and the marketing teams that support them — are rapidly adopting AI solutions for operational efficiency, improving the customer experience.  

In the next five years, simplifying the interface between your brand and customers and working with and learning from machines will help marketers not just imagine but create the future of whatever industry one might be in. 

Martechvibe and Oracle are hosting a series of virtual CMO Think Tanks discussing critical aspects of AI in marketing, personalisation and balancing brand building with sales. 

ThemeRemimaging Marketing

Date: 29th April 2021

Time: 11:30AM UAE Time