The world of marketing is always moving from one buzzword to the next. Previously there was a huge amount of discussion and debate around ‘big data’ and how it could revolutionise the sector, and almost as soon as the dust has settled on the issue we are now witnessing major hype around artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
As consumers, we are acutely aware of the powers of AI technology. It powers the smart speakers in our kitchens, the voice assistants built into our phones and more. But it also has the power to revolutionise marketing as we know it —particularly when it comes to making customer journeys more intelligent.
The challenge for customer centricity
Nowadays all marketers are looking to adopt a customer-centric approach — with communications tailored to individuals according to habits, preferences, interests etc. — as a means of achieving better results, but this isn’t simple. Firstly, there is typically a lack of control over how you reach each of them one-to-one, at scale. With each individual using multiple channels in different ways, and for different amounts of time, it can be extremely difficult to take all of this into account for millions of customers.
On top of this, marketers struggle to deliver these highly personalised communications to consumers at the right time, and it is also difficult to access all of the rich-data they need which is often trapped in back-end business infrastructures. All of this means that businesses commonly fail to unify data sources, predict customer behaviour, and engage at the best time and place, in the best way for them as individuals.
Ideally, brands need to take advantage of intelligent journey orchestration in order to deliver the marketing experience that consumers are expecting. This is a next-generation data management solution that incorporates artificial intelligence technology to deliver far more sophisticated one-to-one customer journeys, in real-time. This starts with data management at its core, and adds a smart and flexible layer sitting above all existing channels and data sources. This way, insights can be automatically applied in a way which makes sense for every customer.
The benefits of implementing intelligent journey orchestration within your marketing efforts is clear. Most importantly, it leads to meaningful and mutually beneficial customer relationships which span an expanding number of channels — and delivers proven results in reducing cost per acquisition in paid digital performance, and increasing conversion rates and customer lifetime value many times over.
The power of prediction
One of the ways that intelligent journey orchestration sets itself apart from regular orchestration methods is in its power of prediction. Of all the ways software solutions profess to develop and put AI to practical use — from playing chess to diagnosing diseases — the most useful is in using quality data as a baseline for industry-specific machine learning and insights.
This doesn’t make marketers or data scientists obsolete, but makes their lives easier by focusing on what’s important instead of manually organising and analysing huge vats of data. Marketing decisions can be smartened by using algorithms which have not achieved the near-impossible task of learning how all people might behave in any given situation, but instead have a deep, applied understanding of what an airline, bank, insurer or energy provider fundamentally do, and supplement that with company-specific business rules.
The ‘intelligent’ part of intelligent journey orchestrations represents AI which has a knowledge base of what these industries are made up of: their nuances, variables, and the pathways their customers take — creating AI-driven customer journeys which continuously learn from all your data. In a practical sense, this means brands can specify a predetermined end-goal for each customer journey, complemented by AI-driven recommendations to help reach these goals — from selecting the right audience, through to serving more relevant content and creating an optimal channel mix.
Ultimately, intelligent journey orchestration is all about smartening your marketing and mirroring your customers. The race is one to be where your customers are, and intelligent journey orchestration means staying relevant. Remaining responsive enough to shifting preferences and taking back the ability to anticipate behaviours in real-time, means the difference between staying ahead of your competitors — and losing your loyal customers to a brand who got there first. With a bold and decisive step which makes sense for today’s customer, marketers are set to embrace AI in a practical way and revitalise the customer experience through real-time engagement.