AI is changing the face of sales and marketing

We’re all familiar with the phrase “the customer is king”. It’s one thing to believe it, and another thing to enable it to the extent necessary to outpace the competition. Apply AI approaches to generate a 360-degree view of your customer and the surrounding context to deliver fantastic customer experiences that also create sustainable value for the business.

Data drives excellent customer experiences

What exactly is a great customer experience? There’s no easy answer to this question, because customers interpret experiences in different ways. Even more, a consistent customer experience across channels – think brick-and-mortar, online, mobile, etc. – requires an end-to-end approach that could easily cost more money than it helps to generate. That is, unless a new approach to customer experience is adopted that relies on data insights.

From integration to insights

With computing power and storage space easily accessible to companies of all sizes, collecting data is a simple matter. Most companies own mountains of data – but it’s often kept in different places, exists in different formats and is accessed by separate applications that don’t communicate with each other.

There are four key sources of data:

  1. CRM and web-generated marketing data: serves as the customer’s voice;
  2. Transactional data from the ERP: offers rich insights about the client;
  3. Financial data: translates transactional data into monetary figures;
  4. Data from third parties: brings additional context to the data.

In order to puzzle together the DNA of your customers to generate a 360-degree view, these data sources will need to be homogenized and combined. Analysis will then be needed to derive the insights that drive decision-making in sales and marketing.

Even today, many companies fail to take advantage of data analysis tools and methodologies to get the most out of their customer data, as they lack the technical expertise and specific competencies required. These tools and approaches are a must, though, to truly understand customer behavior.

AI applications that are changing the face of marketing

Detailed customer insights allow companies to create key moments in which customers’ emotions are leveraged to drive excellent customer experiences by reaching the right customer at the right moment with the right product or message, at the right price. AI approaches provide sales and marketing with the insights they need to power the creation of these moments:

Dynamic pricing

Also known as real-time pricing, dynamic pricing algorithms use data to modulate product prices in response to changes in demand, competitor prices and other business rules. This enables you to set the right prices to maximize profit.

Demand forecasting

In demand forecasting, an AI model uses information about the current context, past events and relevant trends to predict the customer’s response to a product, enabling extremely precise operational decision-making and marketing campaigns that target exactly the right customers.

Marketing automation

Ensure that your marketing campaigns deliver real added value and free up your sales and marketing personnel to focus on delivering personal experiences to your customers by automating repetitive marketing tasks.

Establishing personal connections

Build deep relationships with your customers in real time by using their behavior and preferences to design extremely relevant emotional experiences that lead to loyalty, additional purchases, recommendations and brand ambassadorship.

AI leverages customer data and its context to drive excellent customer experiences by reaching the right customer at the right moment with the right product at the right price.

Take a bite-sized approach

These are just a few examples of AI applications that are starting to redefine sales and marketing strategy. The trick to getting started on your own AI projects in this field is by selecting bite-sized, high-impact, low-risk projects to tackle first. Begin with an analysis to show business leaders how AI approaches can be used to, for example, reduce customer churn, create more profitable marketing campaigns and offer prices that lead to higher revenues. Employees with competencies in analytics and statistics will become increasingly valuable as AI plays a bigger role in business and everyday life – invest in these profiles.

A step-by-step approach to AI in sales and marketing allows stakeholders and executives to learn and buy into the technology without having to commit to large up-front investments. However, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that a well-considered strategy that links finance with excellent customer experiences is absolutely necessary.

Get started on your first sales and marketing AI project by getting in touch with our experienced team.

Need some help identifying the best applications of Industry 4.0 technologies in your company? Get in touch with one of our experts.

Our expert

Sven Arnauts

Sven Arnauts

Sven combines his expertise & experience in performance management and artificial intelligence with his prior career as marketing manager. He assists his clients towards growing sustainable profitable businesses by managing on customer value. Aside from his consulting-work, Sven is a respected teacher and guest-speaker at several institutes and national & international conferences.

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