AI: at the heart of the modern customer’s journey

Could the answer to understanding the complexity of a consumer’s mind be Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Look, I get it. Humans are complex. But is a machine without a mind of its own really the best way to gain insights on the mind of others?

Well… it really could be. And it’s already happening. AI can provide personalisation across the customer journey and can use predictive modelling to achieve better outcomes at touch-points.

The Journey

The customer journey consists of three stages: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. So, how could AI fit with each stage?

How AI can integrate into the different stages of a customer journey

During pre-purchase, AI targeting and personalisation through email and ads can be hugely influential. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product if the marketing is personalised. Customer profiling enhances personalisation and also create product recommendations. SEO and voice search optimisation can also be used to impact the SERP positioning of the company.

The purchase stage is also useful for profiling, demand forecasting and profit optimisation. Lead generation can be calculated and such data is key in improving a marketers decision making, and for increasing CRO (conversion rate optimisation).

Post-purchase touchpoint like reviews have an endless capability to produce huge amounts of data. Chat bots at this stage can enhance customer service and collect useful data. Sentiment analysis can be used to give data driven insights too to really understand the consumer.

Source: Youtube
What is a chat bot and how are they used?

Clearly, AI has a well-deserved place in the customer journey. But as both a marketer and a consumer, I’m torn between emotions of excitement and apprehension about how much this technology can do. How about you?

When refusal to innovate is fatal

Tales of misfortunate companies that have met their demise through the rise of predatory rivals are now a dime a dozen. As technology advances, a sheer refusal to innovate has seen much-loved companies and industries struggle to stay afloat. Where did it go wrong?

  1. Netflix didn’t sink Blockbuster. Unfavourable late fees did. This was the scourge of Blockbuster: return a movie, go to rent another, and find out that you owe $20 in late fees. This was how it made most of its revenue. Blockbuster’s business model required a conflict of interest with customers- so customers switched to Netflix as soon as it became available, without remorse.
Source: Thought Works
  1. Uber didn’t kill your local taxi firm– unreliability did. Riders are now able to hail a ride online instantly, with live tracking and accurate time frames. Convenience and time-saving aspects have streamlined ride services with the desires of customers at heart.
Uber App GIF by Product Hunt
Source: Giphy
  1. Airbnb isn’t taking over the hospitality industry– new customer experiences and pricing options are. Customers are demanding authentic lodging experiences- in locals real homes- at affordable prices.

“Airbnb Experiences immerse travellers in local communities, offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted activities, led by local experts.”

By Airbnb
Source: Youtube

If these examples teach marketers anything, it’s that not being customer-centric or lacking innovation of experience can be fatal. Marketers need to invest and evolve alongside technology as demand-based power rises. In short: optimise your customer experience, before competitors get there first.

Can you think of any other examples where refusal to innovate has been fatal?