Friday Five

Friday Five AI in Marketing: AIMythBusters, StitchFixIPO, GetAIReady, AIForMarketers, AI&ML

Welcome to our Friday Five. Each week, our goal is to give you a run-down on 5 of the top stories on the topic of AI in Marketing. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

Marketing AI: A win-win

AI, machine learning and algorithms sound intimidating? How does “knowing which customers to target? Or which customer is likely to convert?” That is exactly what AI and machine learning can help marketers know.

“Predicting the possibility of a given prospect to convert

Predicting at what price a prospect is likely to convert

Identifying customers that are most likely to become repeat buyer”

Learn more on how AI can help marketers win:win


AI Myth Busters: AI Will Usher In An Era Of Extreme Personalization

Sticking to our theme of myth busting AI for you every week. Here are they are again. AI is too complex? Are you afraid AI will take away your job?

“In reality, AI isn’t as complex, scary or confusing as James Cameron and “The Terminator” would have you believe. Many of today’s AI-powered platforms are designed to plug and play into existing martech stacks, eliminating the need to rip and replace incumbent technology systems”

Read on to bust your myths about AI


Are You Ready to Make The Shift to A.I.?

Now that your myths are busted? Are you ready to shift to AI? IDC forecasts a 54% growth in Marketing spend on AI software over the next four years to more than $2 billion in 2020. Why? Because AI and machine learning (ML) can help marketers identify patterns to guide better marketing decisions.

“Data is unquestionably the domain of A.I.”

Collecting data and fixing data silos are the first steps to get started with AI. Read more on how to get started with AI


4 Ways You Could Be Incorporating Artificial Intelligence Into Your Marketing Strategy

Have you ordered coffee from Alexa? It is fun at first, and soon a habit that saves time in our busy lives

“As customers become accustomed to AI-powered solutions like Starbucks’ Alexa offering, they’ll expect the same from their local businesses.” That means it’s more important than ever to start considering how artificial intelligence can positively impact your business model.

Processing data, personalization, customization and pricing – read more on how you could be incorporating AI into your marketing strategy


From Blueshift: 3 Lessons from StitchFix IPO on AI and personalization

And finally, from Blueshift. And we say, Human+AI = Magic!” Why? See StichFix.

The StitchFix IPO emerged from the realization that personalization for each and every customer can be scalable — thanks to data science, algorithms, and artificial intelligence

The guiding philosophy is that every customer is different and every experience should be different. At StitchFix, no two shipments are the same and the algorithm learns more about you. Read more about how StichFix leveraged AI and data science to deliver personalization to every user.



Friday Five

Friday Five: #Human+Machine #FinTech #AIFirst #12_Ways_to_Boost_CX #UK

Welcome to our Friday Five. Each week, our goal is to give you a run-down on 5 of the top stories on the topic of AI in Marketing. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

Human+Machine and CX+AI: Insights from Forrester CXSF

“All of you in this room are slowly and inexorably going out of business.” – George Colony, Founder & CEO, Forrester

No, it is not the robots-coming-for-your-job kind of going out of business. But,

“Customer is becoming an empowered force in a changing economy. Two factors that will determine success in this new era: 1) Customer experience and 2) Artificial intelligence”

Insights from Forrester’s day 1 of CXSF event. One more thought provoking quote from the event, “Personalization, generally, sucks. I don’t understand why. I’ve been in this business for 20 years and I’m seeing little more than recommendations. There’s no longer an excuse.” – RJ Pittman, eBay Chief Product Officer

What is your excuse? For more insights on AI, the future with Human+Machine and how customer experience and AI  will determine your success, tune in to Forrester CXSF event.


12 ways AI could boost your customer relations

AI based marketing, personalized website experiences, personalized emails, personalized upsells and cross-sells, predictive analyses – just a few ways AI can boost customer experience. Isn’t customer experience the one thing that matters to win today?

“As more companies start sending emails to their customers, forward-thinking marketers are going to want to stand out through further personalization. If you only send the content that the customer is interested in, they are more likely to click and read the emails.”Jared Atchison, WPForms

AI enables you to do personalized marketing across all channels. See 12 ways AI could boost your customer relations


AI for financial planning

Consumer finance is characterized reams of data. Processing this from multiple sources can take months.

“If the internet is the superhighway for the rapid transit of information, then artificial intelligence is the E-ZPass that helps you become even faster and more efficient.”

AI helps to know so much about a client — what they want and what they need — you can be exponentially more effective in creating the experience that will move them forward in their financial life and drive your firm’s success. See more on the new opportunities AI brings for financial planning. Watch how a forward thinking consumer finance company, #LendingTree uses AI to give individualized value to every user.


UK perspective on Artificial intelligence: Hype, hope and fear

A Welsh company is using AI to detect North Korean bio-weapons. Governments are taking deep interest in the possibilities with Artificial Intelligence.

“We are accustomed now to technology developing fast, but that pace will increase and AI will drive much of that acceleration.”

Among all the hype, hope and fear, a UK commissioned report estimated that #AI could add an $814bn to the UK economy in the next 20 years and an earlier study by McKinsey estimates an addition of $126B to US economy in next 10 (not 20) years. Read more from this report on how UK sees potential in AI.


Blueshift in the news: AI-first marketing could help brands perfect the customer experience

And finally, Blueshift in the news. Curious why so much hype about AI now when it seems to exist forever.  Today’s AI moved from edges to the core.  What does that mean? Hasn’t it moved from simple driver-assist to the center of self-driving cars?

“According to Gartner, customer experience is the new battlefield for competitive advantage. In the AI-first world, the only survivors on this battlefield will be the ones who embrace AI at the core of their marketing and customer experience strategies.”Vijay Chittoor, Blueshift co-founder & CEO

See how AI-first marketing could help brands perfect the customer experience.


Friday Five

Friday Five: AImyths, Putin_And_Obama_About_AI, AIQuotes, MITStudy, IconicFirms, Blueshit_AI_Patent

Welcome to our Friday Five. Each week, our goal is to give you a run-down on 5 of the top stories on the topic of AI in Marketing. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

12 AI Quotes Everyone Should Read

Do you believe Alan Turing was true in his prediction below? Imitation Game, a story about his life is one of my all time favorite movies and has several quote-worthy quotes that I would recommend you to check out about machines, AI and life.

“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” (1950)” – Alan Turing, 1950

AI as a key to unlock power” – Vladimir Putin

Wonder what Putin means by that. Interested in what other leaders have to say about AI? Read what Obama, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin said about AI.

MIT Study Reveals How ‘Iconic’ Firms Use AI

Guess what’s holding companies that invested in AI from fully deploying it. The answer is, not sharing customer insights across the organization. If companies want to put customer experience at the forefront, sharing customer data should be a high priority.

The first benefit is in “a step-change increase in efficiency: by gathering customer data (a time-consuming process” – Felix Liu, Alibaba

See more on how iconic firms embrace technology to improve CX from the MIT report: Getting to Iconic: How world-leading brands balance talent and technology for CX excellence.

Mythbusting the future of AI in financial services

Third week in a row we are feature AI myth busters. It is a no wonder with all the hyper around it. It is a wait-and-watch to see how partnerships and AI will transform financial services. Meanwhile, what caught my eye in this article is,

AI is about solving specific problems using data and fancy maths, and isn’t even close to abilities like self-awareness, common sense and creativity

Read more on how AI can influence the financial industry and check if your AI myths are answered in this post

How to become savvier with your marketing by implementing AI techniques

Like the article points out, Netflix, Amazon and Google have nailed customer experience and predictive recommendations with AI. From chatbots and customer engagement to content curation, AI can help marketers improve ROI

Artificial Intelligence powered tools can gather data, build a predictive model, test and validate real customers. When these techniques are combined, customers will become more engaged and loyal leading to higher lifetime value and increased company profits.

Read more on how to become savvier with artificial intelligence

Blueshift in the news: Blueshift Receives Patent for AI-Powered Marketing

And finally, we are very excited to share that Blueshift has been awarded a patent for innovation in AI powered marketing to deliver real-time 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Brands continue to generate more and more customer data in the form of behavioral ‘events’, that represent customer interactions on digital, mobile and social channels. AI is the key to activating this fast moving stream of event data and delivering segment-of-one personalization on every channel” – Manyam Mallela, Blueshift co-founder & Chief AI Officer

Read more on how Blueshift is innovating to translate customer data into 1:1 experiences.

Friday Five

Friday Five on AI – @Pichai on #AIFirst, #AIMyths, #CX, #DigitalTransformation

Welcome to our Friday Five hot topics on AI from this week. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

Sundar Pichai says the future of Google is AI. But can he fix the algoritm?

‘One of the most exciting thing we all can do is demystify machine learning and AI’ – Sundar Pichai

Most executives talk about AI like it’s just another thing that’s included in the box or in its cloud; But Pichai is intent on pressing Google’s advantage in AI — by making products that are themselves inspired by AI.

We at Blueshift resonate with Pichai in being inspired by AI and not making it just a check box More on Google’s vision for AI.

5 Myths About Artificial Intelligence (AI) You Must Stop Believing

Something that particularly caught my attention, and hits the nail on its head is Myth#4.

Myth #4: Artificial intelligence will quickly overtake and outpace human intelligence

In some, for example speed of calculations or capacity for recall computers already far outpace us, while in others, such as creative ability, emotional intelligence (such as empathy) and strategic thinking, they are still nowhere near and aren’t likely to be any time soon.

In fact AI should be used as a tool to simplify complex tasks, so humans can focus on creativity and strategic thinking. Isn’t that what marketers and product teams are best at? Check out your other myths about AI in this Forbes article.

How these 5 technologies are improving the customer experience journey

A customer is one of the most crucial aspects of a business enterprise.

Bingo! Chatbots, Big data analytics, AI, Virtual Reality and ioT are transforming every domain in the customer experience. Several businesses are seeing results from their investments. Are you poised to leverage these technologies? Read more on how these technologies can enhance customer experience

How Will Digital Transformation Change the Marketing Funnel?

Digital transformation has changed the roles in the funnel. In fact, I would argue that we are moving away from a funnel based marketing to a customer journey based marketing, especially in B2C.

80% of revenue comes from 20 percent of the prospects, and 80 percent of the pipeline comes from 20% of the campaigns. Predictive analysis like AI identifies the 20 percent.

Technology has introduced new kinds of marketing tools that take the guesswork and grunt work out of marketing. See how AI is transforming and personalizing experiences for customers at different stages.

AI set to dominate agenda at Money20/20

And finally, we were in the news this week. Here’s an in-depth interview with our CEO, Vijay Chittoor on how Blueshift was built with AI at its core to solve marketer’s challenges:

For banks looking to differentiate themselves, providing good customer experience is essential — but not always easy. Retail banking is on the cusp of an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven revolution.

Curious to see more from Money 20/20 happening at the end of this month in Europe as they are devoting a significant time for AI on the agenda.

Friday Five

Friday Five – #AImyths, #DigitalTransformation, #BlueShiftNews, @BillGates and @Zuckerberg on #AI, #HitRefresh

Welcome to our Friday Five. Each week, our goal is to give you a run-down on 5 of the top stories on the topic of AI in Marketing. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

Busting AI myths: Why AI will help marketers usher in an era of extreme personalization

“Dear [FIRST NAME], thank you for your order. From here, you will be endlessly spammed without any attempt to get to know your shopping or engagement preferences.”

Is this the kind of personalization today’s customers are demanding? Customers today expect you to understand not only what they viewed and purchased, but also what they would like to see next. They are used to a Netflix-like experience and expect the same from you. Artificial Intelligence equips marketers with the ability to provide that level of personalization.

Are you on the fence about AI? Does it cause anxiety for you? Here are some thoughts from @Brian Solis to bust your myths and show how AI helps marketers meet today’s personalization needs.

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Stimulate Demand For Skilled Thinkers

Caught up on Satya Nadella’s book, Hit Refresh? If so, then you probably read what Bill Gates says in the foreword.

“Think of all the time we spend manually organizing and performing mundane activities, from scheduling meetings to paying the bills. In the future, an AI agent will know that you are at work and have ten minutes free, and then help you accomplish something that is high on your to-do list. AI is on the verge of making our lives more productive and creative.” – Bill Gates

While many express concerns that AI will take away jobs, here’s a perspective on how AI in fact stimulates demand for strategic thinking and storytelling.

AI shouldn’t give you anxiety, it should instill you with excitement.

Artificial Intelligence Is Our Future. But Will It Save Or Destroy Humanity?

From The Matrix toI, Robot, movies have exploited viewers’ anxiety around AI. Zuckerberg is optimistic about what AI will enable us to accomplish and thinks that these unsubstantiated doomsday scenarios are nothing more than fear-mongering.

Whether things like what we see in the Netflix show #BlackMirror are on the horizon or not, AI is definitely disrupting our everyday lives. This article gives the lay of the land on both sides. Some food for thought on a Friday afternoon.

Is digital transformation a fad or friend?

There is a lot of talk about digital transformation and how it is important across different industries to be successful in future. But lots of questions on the minds of executives, including who owns this transformation?

Digital transformation is not just IT. Companies with technology at their core often don’t have an IT department at all. Data holds the key to many operational and opportunistic decisions, but many feel hamstrung by legacy technology and those without restraints are set to take an early lead.

Read these takeaways from an executive lunch at Retail Week Tech on what Digital Transformation means.

Blueshift: The Tech Startup Using A.I. To Shift How Marketers Engage Consumers

And finally, we were in the news this week. Here’s an in-depth interview with our CEO, Vijay Chittoor on how Blueshift was built with AI at its core to solve marketer’s challenges:

“In today’s world, the challenge is around scaling the storytelling to millions of customers in a personalized manner. Blueshift helps marketers become storytellers once again, and uses the power of AI to help scale the stories to millions of personalized versions.”– Vijay Chittoor, CEO, BlueShift

Read more on Forbes, Blueshift: The Tech Startup Using A.I. To Shift How Marketers Engage Consumers.

Friday Five

Friday Five – #AI struggles, @Amazon fumbles, #CustomerExperience mumbles, and a ray of AI light

Welcome to our inaugural Friday Five. Each week, our goal is to give you a run-down on 5 of the top stories and themes circulating on the topic of AI in Marketing. Think of this as that TL;DR of those stories you meant to read or might have missed.

Sit back, enjoy that cup of coffee (or tea, I’ve just discovered the wonder of Pu-erh tea), and feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn, or via email if you’d like to chat about marketing, AI, CX, or with a hot topic you found.

Without further ado…

[TOPIC] A bunch of Amazon customers were told about a purchase on their non-existent baby registries

Yep, I got this email too: “A gift is on it’s way”
(No, I don’t have a baby, nor am I expecting… I do love Lego though…)

Normally, getting a notification that people are celebrating your new arrival and buying from your baby registry is a great thing! But not if you (1) don’t have a baby registry or (2) you don’t even have a baby.

Take this as a cautionary tale to make sure you have a strong handle on the integrity of your data and have a solid QA policy in place for your marketing sends. This “technical glitch”, as Amazon called it, shows that even large, well-run operations can still have a bump in the road.

The best Tweet I found on Amazon’s little “snafu”:


[ARTICLE] How AI Is Transforming the Retail Experience

(read the story)

“Awash in shopper data, retailers can also use artificial intelligence to sift through that data to provide actionable insights that allow them to better personalize the shopping experience.”

Can I get a Hallelujah!

In the article, Becky Lawlor (Twitter: @lawlor_becky) wrote about 3 key areas where smart retailers have begun transforming their approach to customer engagement with AI. In a nutshell, it all comes down to helping customers find what they want (think virtual shopping assistant/concierge), personalizing the shopping experience (from online to in-store and everywhere in between), and keeping the retail brand cutting-edge (think apps and new in-store experiences).

In my opinion, the SMARTEST retailers are focusing on building better customer experiences by creating a truly holistic view of their customer (both online and off).

Little Tip: Data alone will not be a differentiator (as so many articles are proclaiming), it’s what you DO with that data to engage with each customer that will differentiate you.


[ARTICLE] Extreme personalization is the new personalization

(read the story)

On the same theme as retail: Modern commerce brands are changing the game and marketers need artificial intelligence to compete. This article, by Brian Solis (Twitter: @briansolis), dives into some overwhelming stats that reveal what many of us in marketing already know.

Read this excerpt and be scared… brands are STILL struggling with personalization and a true single view of their customers:

“…only 14% of companies rank themselves as “strong” in achieving a single view of the customer, and less than 10% of top tier retail brands say they’re highly effective at personalization.”

A few key points from the article:

— We have too much data (or more importantly, data without a clear understanding of just what data we truly have)

— Lack of a single view of the customer (caused by too much data on too many systems because we have built “frankenstacks” of technology that silos the data [I feel like data silos were something that we were supposed to have solved years ago!!]) It’s not easy, trust us, it’s what we do here at Blueshift!

It’s not about removing the gut/guesswork, in-so-much as it’s about systematizing the way we test and measure our hypothesis with diligent A/B testing and powerful analysis performed with machine learning and AI.

Whatever you call it (Extreme Personalization sounds like a new Mountain Dew flavor), marketers brands must transform the way they engage with their customers. It takes an organizational shift, not just a goal for the marketing department.

[ARTICLE] The Impact of AI on Modern Marketing: 50 Categories Ranked, 70 Experts Sound Off

(read the story)

If you love stats, lots of supporting articles, and executives giving real opinions, then this is a great read for you. The article starts with this: (don’t dismiss the article on this over-used statement…)

“The modern marketer has a single-most, overarching and critical objective: to deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience, efficiently.”

I’m sure we have all heard the “right person, right content, right time” mantra… again and again and again. Yet, so many marketers struggle with it… and the answer, simply, is using AI to make a more frictionless customer experience. (period)

“the future of AI promises marketers an opportunity to connect with customers, in a personal way, with speed and precision.”

In the end, the results are about converting visitors to loyal customers and generate lots of revenue. (it’s not rocket science… but it does help to have a smart data scientist and a solid AI engagement platform.)

It’s a long read, but SOOOoo worth it. Thank you for organizing it into one place, Lana Moore (Twitter: @MarTechExec) Think of it as a TL;DR of hundreds of articles into one article. If you’re a stat and graph junkie like me, here’s one that should whet your appetite.

(check out the rest of the article!)


[ARTICLE] AI-Powered Live Personalization on Websites, Email, & Mobile Apps

(read the story)

I wanted to draw your attention to a big announcement we at Blueshift just dropped in the media this week:

Blueshift’s AI is Now Available for Live Personalization on Websites & Mobile Apps

Along with previously announced capabilities for marketing applications like Email, Mobile Push notifications and SMS, the new release enables multiple marketing & product teams to operate on a unified customer view, driving AI Powered customer journeys across every channel.

The new offering extends Blueshift’s core capabilities around segmentation, recommendations & customer journey orchestration to Live Personalization in the following ways:

— Segment customers using AI

— Recommend 1:1 Content powered by AI

— Deploy, measure & A-B test rapidly


Read all about it here!

Top Growth Marketing Trends for 2017

Top Growth Marketing Trends for 2017

With the new year upon us, marketers scramble to put new plans into action while also identifying where we should place more of our efforts and resources. We ask ourselves where can I get the most “bang for the buck” for our organizations. We are looking to grow our current user base while also retaining more of our hard acquired customers.

Publications and journalists, including Forbes, MarketingLand, and others, have surveyed marketers about what they think the biggest needle movers in marketing are going to be in 2017. Of these surveys and conversations, here are the top 6 Growth Marketing Trends for 2017 backed by industry leading CMO’s who are betting big on them. For Growth Marketers, keeping users engaged will be a driving focus for 2017 as a stronger focus on retention becomes a guiding theme with unified, delightful customer experiences powered by powerful technologies.

1. Big Data (in real time and actionized)

Steve Fund, CMO of Intel said, “data is becoming the currency of marketing, and marketers will now have access to more data than ever…marketers will be able to use data to create more personalized and targeted products, messages, and customer engagements than ever before.”

Number 1 on the list = Big Data. (I know, Big data may seem like “yesterday’s news”, but bear with us) For this article we define big data to include real-time data, customer insight, and big data marketing applications. Big data tops our growth marketing trends because the volume of data coming in from consumers continues to increase year after year (be it from explicitly shared data to tracked behavior data), resulting in a rise in the importance of data scientists and data platforms. Data is the building block, the foundation, of customer identity and behavior that powers machine learning models and various marketing applications. As growth marketers, we’re looking to actionize this data faster and faster. Insights are great, however, we need ways to slice and dice the data manually and automatically to really affect our bottom line. In 2017, we’ll see more of the power of this data being wielded by marketers quickly and more easily than ever to create better experiences for every individual…and to build predictive models.


2. Artificial Intelligence & Predictive Analytics (for richer individual experiences)

Karen Walker, senior VP and CMO at Cisco elaborated “The key in 2017 will be transforming and analyzing data in order to derive contextual conclusions about our customers. What are they interested in? What needs can we anticipate? From consideration, to purchase, to renewal–it’s about delivering a richer, meaningful, individualized experience that helps our customers make faster, more educated decisions and deepens customer loyalty.”

AI has become incredibly powerful and accessible with the influx of more data over the years and the rise of more sophisticated technology. 2017 will see AI cement itself in the growth marketing space. The ability of machine learning to predict trends in customers and make complex recommendations across product/content categories has given many retailers the edge over the rest. For media companies, machines will curate the content to include in newsletters, onsite, and in app, transforming generic content feeds into timely, personalized content “magazines”.

To get this next level of understanding, growth marketers use predictive analytics to make sense of the scores of customer data to create actionable workflows and customer journeys that allow for the non-linear customer journeys that growth marketers are trying to tackle with legacy automation.


3. Marketing Automation (becomes smarter)

The CMO of Ally, Andrea Riley, said that their attention will be on “understanding, at a customer-level, personas, needs, wants and preferences and delivering them in a meaningful way through the channels they prefer to be communicated in.”

Marketing automation includes CRM, behavioral email marketing, web personalization, multi-channel messaging, triggers, and more. This encompasses a large portion of the marketing landscape and why it’s in our top 3. Seeing from this research on the State of Marketing Automation there is a lot of room for improvement in this area. Marketing automation isn’t going anywhere, instead, it is becoming smarter and flexible to incorporate real time triggers, catalog updates, and predictive analytics that drive users through funnels and increase user retention.

In the chart below, 2 out of 3 marketers state they aren’t even using their marketing automation platform to its potential (intermediate level and below). It’s time to review your use of your marketing automation technology to see if (1) there is any more juice you can get from it and (2) if it’s time to think about a change. A tool that isn’t being used has no value to the organization if it remains “rusting away” in the toolbox. (For the 18% who don’t use any marketing automation, it’s time to step up.)

Image from Scott Brinker as he talks about the changing roles of Marketing Automation

In all transparency, this is where Blueshift’s Programmatic CRM shines the brightest. Our technology enables growth marketers to become more customer-centric and leverage real-time behavioral data to reach every customer on an individual level throughout all marketing channels. Bringing Programmatic CRM into your marketing stack takes you to the highest level of sophistication with your “marketing automation” enabling you to automate the delivery of consistent and delightful user experiences on every channel with true scalability and greater results.


4. Content (becomes more personal)

The CMO of Grubhub said that moving forward companies will have to “establish a lasting and meaningful connection with consumers” to stay on top of mind and build loyalty among their customers.

Content has evolved from simple text on a website to richer, more visual content such as videos, slides, infographics, etc. Now we are witnessing the next form of content marketing that involves using personalized marketing technology to deliver the right content to the right person with interactive content on responsive web pages, emails, apps, and more. Often, marketers create mountains of content that quickly gets buried, even when it is still relevant or simply worth-the-read –  the problem has always been getting that content to the right consumer at the right time.

Image from Scott Brinker as he talks about the 4th Wave of Content Marketing

Personalization requires data about the prospect in order to make educated guesses about their interest and feed them relevant content. More and more companies are taking a strategic approach to their content creation and distribution along with closely measuring content marketing ROI to make sure they are moving in the right direction. As Growth marketers, we use content everywhere. Making it more personal through recommendations and affinities creates that delightful user experience that creates loyalty and trust that inhibits churn.


5. Mobile Marketing (driving greater engagement and retention)

The CMO of Keds, Emily Culp mentioned that she is “constantly evaluating our UI and ensuring that we are delivering not only a brand rich experience but also one that is streamlined enabling a clear path to purchase.”

Research from last year shows that conversion rates are significantly lower on smartphones. It’s no wonder that we see great potential still to make a big impact with mobile marketing by making the user experience less “SPAMMy” and more conversational, more relative, more personalized. When I say mobile, I mean more than just smartphones. Many devices can be involved in this process so treating it as part of a multi-platform or multichannel strategy is more appropriate. I see mobile as being a complementary channel to the overall marketing strategy. Part of the mantra of “being where your customer is” involves reaching out to customers where they are, rather than waiting for them to come back to you. That means being on their tablet, or phone, or laptop with a consistent message that adds value and delivers a personalized experience.

Bring consumers back to your branded properties (including apps and websites) with rich push notifications that include deep lining into your app, images, and even carousels of suggested products/articles from them to read. And don’t forget about SMS messages. The goal is to drive them to engagement and the desired action. Mobile will keep your users and customers engaged and drive higher retention rates when approached intelligently. Mobile optimized sites are now table-stakes. Designing for a mobile-first experience is now expected.



6. Social Media Marketing

Obviously, social media marketing still has significant weight when talking to marketers but be mindful of what platforms you choose to play in. Statistics show the reduced popularity of some social networks in some countries, i.e. Twitter and Facebook are in decline or plateauing in many western countries while Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are still growing in usage. Being particular about your spend and the ROI you get is more important now than ever as many platforms now require a “pay to play” business model to get the reach needed to have an impact. Your customer experience extends across all channels and must drive greater adoption and retention.



So, how does a Growth Marketer begin to make sense of these trends?

In short – stay customer focused. Remove channel barriers. Remove fragmented data sets. Leverage technology anywhere you can to drive results quicker and at scale.

Holiday Season

Personalization Will Make or Break Holiday Season Campaigns

Customers demand respect from retailers. They ask simply for organizations to remember who they are as an individual consumer from a transaction and a behavioral perspective — otherwise, they are likely to purchase less frequently, or, more than likely, churn to a competitor who does understand them and communicate with them better at that individual level.

Personalize, personalize, personalize!

This has been the mantra of marketers looking to communicate with their customers at a highly relevant and engaging way. According to the latest report by Accenture covered by MediaPost:

  • 56% of respondents acknowledged they were more likely to shop at a retailer that recognized them by name
  • 65% of consumers expressed a preference for retailers that remembered their purchase history
  • 58% of respondents were more likely to shop at stores that offered relevant recommendations based on past purchases or preferences



The need for smarter cross-channel personalization…

It’s important to point out that marketers are being asked to personalize across all channels, not just one or two. In fact, as the Accenture report highlighted, less than 50% of consumers completed a purchased based on an on-site product recommendation. The perpetually connected consumer now enters the buying cycle from a number of channels and touch points: email, Facebook, SMS, mobile push notifications, in-app personalizations, and numerous others.

And forget about flooding a consumer with a higher number of product recommendations. The “Quantity over Quality” tactic is similar to annoying batch and blast techniques used within emails by out-of-touch marketers. Filling a page or a communication with a dizzying number of recommendations only annoys and splits the buyers attention away from products that they are more likely to purchase. According to the report, almost 40% of respondents admitted to abandoning an online shopping experience altogether because of an overwhelming choice of recommendations

The “Burden of Choice” is in the hands of the brand. Brands must serve only the best recommendations to the right person built through predictive algorithms that sift through the dozens or even hundreds of “best products” that could be delivered to the consumer and transform that into the best few.

Read the full article on MediaPost.



Obama on Technology, AI and an Optimistic Future

President Obama chatting with Ito and Scott Dadich

President Obama chatting with Ito and Scott Dadich

“This year, Artificial Intelligence will become more than just a computer science problem. Everybody need to understand how A.I. behaves.”

Recent advances in computer science and AI (more specifically advances in building and running large convolutional neural networks) have given a fresh fodder to the age old debate on how technology is replacing workers and making us all obsolete. The current political climate only amplifies the anxiety and generates FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about our collective future. So it’s very refreshing to see President Obama re-framing the discussion in this Wired article and talking about common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems. If one can ignore the media hype and peek below the surface there are real opportunities to build solutions to many seemingly intractable problems.

Machine learning, data mining and deep learning techniques can nudge us to lead healthier lives, change our habits and build stronger communities. Imagine AI powered tools that remind us in context of whatever we are doing in our daily lives to consider factors that we may have missed, overcome biases in thinking fast and slow, present information in ways that helps us build better financial portfolios that are in our long term interests, prevents us from being defrauded or phished or scammed online, helps us communicate with every one one the planet crossing language boundaries and more. That’s the optimistic future we can aspire to and it’s refreshing to see this possibility being talked about.

President Obama chatting with Ito and Scott Dadich

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