Today’s marketers have access to an incredible volume of consumer information, yet only 11% of consumer-related marketing decisions are based on hard data, with the rest coming out of experience and gut feelings.
Why don’t marketers take advantage of the data riches provided by the likes of online reviews and comments, blogs and forums, and social media interactions, in addition to existing traditional market research? They are simply not equipped to make sense of it all. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, on the other hand, we can quickly sift through all this varied, scattered input and identify invaluable, consistent consumer trends and actionable insights, something that would take the smartest human multiple lifetimes to accomplish.
The customer journey and consumer behavior today are highly variable and ever-evolving, but with the assistance of AI, marketers can understand these trends and use that to their advantage over competitors.
The Customer Journey is Evolving
In the past, the customer’s path to purchase was relatively linear. Today’s Internet-savvy consumer has many more brands to consider for every purchase and many more avenues through which to research each brand. We can no longer assume the path for any consumer segment. AI is able to make sense of these many variables and enable brands to understand the path to purchase for millions of individual consumers, as well as their post-purchase behaviors.
In addition, predictive analytics can be utilized to empower marketers to determine and personalize the precise brand messaging that would cause individual consumer segments to respond at each stage of their journey.
Consumer Behavior is Evolving, Too
As technology and innovation continue to alter the marketplace, consumers go through drastic behavior changes more and more frequently. Even if marketers were to manually sift through the vast amount of consumer data available today and extrapolate actionable insights, there is more data created than before each day, and there are always changes in consumer behavior.
While keeping up with the consumer behavior and market shifts is the right thing to do, it’s impossible without the help of AI. Marketers need to let machines aggregate through these vast datasets to continuously extract insights. This will allow them to quickly put the most effective marketing action to work for their brands.
This will enable lightspeed decisions on factors like pricing and messaging, and speed up longer-range processes like product innovation and competitive analyses.
Robots Help Brands Be More Human
While some may fear that AI and machine learning may take the human element out of marketing decisions, fear not. These technologies are empowering marketers to better understand the human elements of their consumers and make better marketing decisions.
Instead of relying on demographic trends and applying those to individuals, or making assumptions based on segmented data, AI gives marketers the ability to understand each individual’s needs, desires, attitudes and behavior, and communicate accordingly. This creates a stronger, more personal relationship between consumers and brands – and helps sales, too.
The Right Tools, Just in Time
B2C companies spend an average of 16.3% of annual sales on marketing. With such a major investment, it’s crucial to be as accurate as possible in hitting the mark. Even small improvements in conversion rates can have a huge impact on your marketing ROI. Applying AI and machine learning as part of your marketing toolkit will provide ongoing improvements in the effectiveness of your marketing tactics, and remove much of the guesswork. (But your gut already told you that.)
Marketers are utilizing the Oculus360 AI-driven platform to extract invaluable consumer insights. Talk to an Oculus360 expert about turning consumer data into actionable insights and schedule a demo today.