Your Marketing and eCommerce Friend
The Most Overused Term in Marketing and eCommerce?
As the co-manager of an innovation lab, we get to speak with Entrepreneurs all the time about their innovative technologies that leverage AI and Machine Learning. I have heard this phrase so many times now that I roll my eyes when I hear it. It’s unfortunate because there are so many great technologies that do leverage AI and ML. The problem is, the phrase can mean different things to different people. These terms are so commonplace that they have become innocuous and now serve little meaning when they are used.
Where can AI be used in Marketing and eCommerce?
In my view, the term AI is an evolution from the term “Big Data.” This terms was overused from 2010-2015 and caused the same effect on me, eye rolling. However, AI is able to do what humans cannot possibly do and that is to make sense of Big Data. 2.5 Quintillion Bytes of content is created daily. I cannot tell you how big that is but I know with certainty, no human can sift through all of it in a lifetime. This is where AI can play a huge role in marketing and ecommerce.
If you manage just one brand’s marketing and eCommerce business, you are collecting an enormous amount of data on a daily basis. Consider your SEM, Social, Display, Video, Audio, TV, and email marketing campaigns. How many different consumers do you touch within each channel? How many interactions do you have with them? When they come to your website, how many products do they view, how much time do they spend on each page, do they add to cart? Do they buy? Are they a previous customer? I could go on but you get the point. So how do you leverage all this data to drive those conversions, find even more consumers, and keep them coming back to buy more? The answer is AI.
Communication is another area where brands can really benefit from AI. Chatbots are becoming more and more popular but all of us have had a bad experience with them. However, when a customer or shopper needs to speak with someone, a good experience can be the difference between making a sales or not. Acquiring a new customer or not. This impacts ROAS, LTV, and margins. The more people that need to touch a consumer prior to a purchase, the small the margin earned. You can start with a chatbot by pre-loading the most common questions asked to your customer service teams, email support, or website support. This will instantly reduce your escalation and failure rates. But don’t stop there, leverage analytics technology to help you understand what else people are asking and how they ask things differently. Clustering questions together can create efficiencies. This can all be done with AI. AI can learn from prior communications and help you activate learning from ongoing communications. You just need to know who the players are and how they all differ. This is where a relationship with an innovation lab comes in handy.
Data privacy and data quality are two very important topics that don’t always show up on the bottom line. It is best to work with point solutions that think about these topics all day long and have the staff to manage them. With these comes data cleanliness and data management. You can’t do this alone unless you have unlimited resources. Your main job is marketing and selling products, not managing data, so use a partner.
Here are some ways that AI is used within Marketing and eCommerce
- Bidding on Programmatic Media Buys
- Selecting the Right Message
- Granular Personalization
- Chatbot and Conversational Experiences
- Predictive Marketing Analytics
- Marketing Operations
- Dynamic Pricing
AI will replace people within many tasks, especially within Data Science and Communications. This shouldn’t scare anyone. If you are good at what you do, there will be a job for you. Automation will help companies and industries scale, much like the Internet has over the last 30 years. The most successful people will be the ones that understand the technologies and learn how to use it to their advantage. Here are a list of companies leveraging AI to help Marketers and eCommerce leaders maximize their returns while limiting their expenditures:
- Dashbot: Chatbot Analytics company that is agnostic to which bot you are using. By implementing their findings into your bot, you will reduce bounce and escalation rates dramatically
- FindMine: Merchandising entire product catalogs together based on detailed availability, brand identity, and customer preferences. When implemented on PDP’s or other marketing messages, you will increase engagement, convert more shoppers, increase ROAS and LTV.
- Frequency: Personalizing audio messages based on any number of data inputs, from geo to specific audience segmentations. When implemented across multiple streaming platforms, your messages will be cohesive, your CPM’s will decline, and your ROAS will increase. As an added bonus, creative development and distribution will be easier.
- Hunch: Social Creative Personalization based on every element within the creative and its historical performance. This will stop the scroll and lead to higher engagement rates.
- Measured: Measuring incremental lift holistically across all your media channels and tying ROAS from each to your source of truth so 1+1 always equals 2. They also help you understand where you can efficiently scale your efforts. In a world without cookies or IDFA to stitch together the consumer journey, this is your best option.
- Metrical: Predicting when a user is about to leave your website, just prior to leaving so you can intercept and persuade them to convert. This will reduce the amount of retargeting you need to do while increasing ROAS and make the customer happy.
There are obviously many more companies that leverage AI and ML. These are vetted and proven technologies. If there is another one that you are considering, we would love to know about them.
Written by Sean Simon, Communications Chairman @ sfBIG