What to keep in mind before diving into your first AI project in sales & marketing

Ten years ago, transforming sales and marketing processes in an organization was all about ‘digital first’. Not too long afterward, it became ‘mobile first’ – and today, the third transformational wave is here: AI first. Daunted? Don’t worry – it’s not hard to get started. But before kicking off your first customer intelligence project, you have to know what data you have, what to do with it, and how to change your organization to put it to work.

No matter where you are in your digitalization journey, you can absolutely start introducing customer intelligence and machine learning to your sales and marking approaches today. But to ensure relevant, sustainable impact, it’s important to change your mindset regarding the way you use data.

Get-keep-increase: the storyline for every customer intelligence project

No matter what your company offers or the unique demands and expectations of your customers, the end goals of your sales and marketing activities will fall under one of three categories:

  1. Get: attracting new customers
  2. Keep: securing the next buys of the customers you have
  3. Increase: growing the value or ROI of your most loyal customers

For every category, there are a number of different machine-learning approaches that can be applied to your customer data to generate actionable insights. These insights will form the foundation of the concrete strategies you use to approach, communicate with, educate and inspire your customers (and retail/dealer network, if applicable) in the best possible (read: most profitable) way.

The foundation of impactful data-driven sales & marketing

Now that you know what you are trying to achieve and have selected an approach to take, it’s time to take a good hard look at your data, your mindset and your support network.

Going beyond the data basics

Gain a clear understanding of what data you have, its relevance for the exercise you are considering, and what form it takes. It’s important to know how ready and accessible it is, where it is stored, what is usable and – very importantly – for which customer groups you need more data or further investigation.

Keep in mind that very limited or rudimentary data sets can yield very useful insights – never dismiss the value of your data.

Get ready to change from the ground up

Low data maturity? No problem – as long as you are ready to embrace a data-driven sales and marketing mindset. This means a complete willingness to move from using traditional working methods to putting customer data insights in the driver’s seat. Your campaigns will look different, your processes will change significantly, and you will rely heavily on digital tools to make sales and marketing personal again.

Leadership buy-in is a must

In order to achieve results that keep delivering rewards – better service, higher loyalty, better sales figures, greater efficiency, etc. – for the long term, you need the support of the C-level. Data-driven, intelligent sales and marketing must be on the strategic agenda in order for every process that touches sales and and marketing to adapt to the new way of working.

The customer-centric company of the future

At delaware.ai, we are convinced that this move towards ‘AI first’ in sales and marketing is just one piece of a wider trend toward advanced, long term-focused, far-reaching customer centricity as measured by customer lifetime value. Customer lifetime value is the monetary value that a single customer generates over the entire period that they engage with your company.

Growing your customers’ lifetime value cost means investing in them and influencing their behavior by using AI to identify the right customers to focus on. Artificial intelligence is the only way not only to define these “right” customers, but also to approach them in the right way, at the right moment and via the right channel.

Are you ready to see these AI approaches in action and transforming sales and marketing processes for six real-life delaware.ai customers active in a range of industries?

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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