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!