How AI Supports Marketing & Sales in Understanding the Customer Journey

Contributor

Kelly Braun, Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, a digital marketing and sales agency. As an experienced Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, I work with both B2B and B2C companies on website development, chatbots, white papers, blogs, digital marketing strategies and more.

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 The marketing and sales tools powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) are not something to be feared, but something to embrace. Why? Because this technology can help your company better understand your customers and the individual buyer’s journey each customer goes through before making a purchase.

AI is essentially a set of algorithms that tells a machine what to do or what to learn. These algorithms can help marketing and sales professionals by reducing time on repetitive yet important tasks such as analyzing data, monitoring social posts, locating opportunities in content, and lots more.

This means marketing and sales can do their jobs better. And for customers, this means more personalized and better customer experiences.

Let’s take a look at how AI, or machine learning, can be put in place during the four stages of the customer journey — attract, engage, win, and support and delight.

Stage 1: Use Machine Learning to Attract the Right Audience

One of the keys to success in today’s massive online digital world is to get found. It sounds simple, but for many, it’s not. It’s relatively easy for a brand to get lost in the noise of the online world. Take into consideration these 2019 statistics:

  • There are 1.94 billion websites on the internet.

  • There are 4.388 billion people using the internet.

  • There 3.484 billion people using social media.

  • 90 percent of brands are on social media.

This means a brand has to distribute and promote the right content, at exactly the right time, to stand out in front of its target audience.

How can AI help support this? No. 1 — buyer personas. AI tools can collect data about your target audience that allows you to create precise buyer personas. The more you know you about your ideal consumer, the easier it is to sell your product or service.

With concrete buyer personas in hand, marketing gains a clear understanding of your prospects’ interests, buying habits and obstacles, spending motives, and common questions.

This can be used to create personalized social media marketing campaigns and content for your website that shows up in search engines and attracts the audience your company seeks.

AI technology also exists to support social monitoring.  Because social media moves so fast, it’s easy to miss key opportunities. AI monitoring can help a company recognize thought influencers, stay on top of brand mentions, capture customer feedback and sentiments, and identify trending phrases or topics.

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Stage 2: Engage Your Buyers with Optimal Efficiency

Now that you have traffic to your website and social media channels, how can you engage with these potential buyers? AI technology can help you efficiently create more personalized experiences.

Take into consideration this statistic from the 2018 Salesforce’s State of Marketing: 52 percent of consumers are more inclined to change brands if a company doesn’t offer personalized communication. Gone are the days of sending out generic mass emails to purchased lists. 

AI-enabled platforms can analyze behavioral patterns from a number of inputs that could take your team years to capture, organize and understand manually. 

With this data in hand, your marketing team can begin to segment your audience and create personalized content based on various factors such as demographics, interests, level of engagement and behaviors.

Artificial intelligence systems can also help your team see when, where, and how often to distribute content via email, social channels and websites for maximum impact and stop wasting time on content that doesn’t resonate.

Stage 3: No More Cold-Calling; Let AI Lead Sales to Top Prospects

With machine learning, your sales team can now get notifications when a lead moves from cold to warm to hot — all before sales has even reached out. Good-bye, cold-calling for both sales and the customer!

Through AI, a system can collect the behaviors of potential customers and score them based on things like what website pages they visited, what social media posts they saw, what emails they opened, how long they were on a website, how many times they came back to the site, and more. The machine can then predict when a lead will become hot so your sales team knows exactly when to reach out and when to not. 

With AI-powered data in hand, sales can work at a higher velocity much more efficiently. 

Stage 4: Delight Customers So They Keep Coming Back

Reduce customer churn and improve customer loyalty by serving up what they want, when they need it. AI technologies can capture data to help your team create personalized customer experiences even after the purchase. This could be in the form of incentives, related products for upsell, or content that supports the product or service purchased.

Some of the best examples of AI technology in place in the delight and retention stage of the buyer’s journey are Netflix, Amazon and Spotify. Amazon offers “other products you may be interested in,” while Netflix and Spotify both pick out and recommend movies or music based on your previous interactions.

Through AI technologies, these companies are making it easy for customers to stay satisfied and loyal.

Many companies are also putting AI-powered chatbots in place to help support customer service. No longer do you need to call a company for product support. Go onto the website, type in what you are looking for and a chatbot will serve you the answer instantaneously.

The bottom line is artificial intelligence has affected every stage of the customer journey — from prospects finding your company to potential customers engaging with your sales team to gaining loyal customers.

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, now is the time to leverage AI within your sales and marketing teams.

Visit mktgessentials.com to see how we can support your sales and marketing teams using AI-powered technologies.

Contributor

Kelly Braun, Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, a digital marketing and sales agency. As an experienced Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, I work with both B2B and B2C companies on website development, chatbots, white papers, blogs, digital marketing strategies and more.

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Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

About Kelly Braun

Kelly Braun, Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, a digital marketing and sales agency. As an experienced Content Strategist at Marketing Essentials, I work with both B2B and B2C companies on website development, chatbots, white papers, blogs, digital marketing strategies and more.

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