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How Machine Learning is Helping Businesses, Understand and Engage Their Customers Better Than Ever

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In 2018, rapidly developing technology is allowing organizations to understand their customers in ways that seem more like science fiction than traditional sales and marketing. One of the biggest trends making waves is machine learning – and it’s quickly changing the marketing game.

Machine learning refers to a type of artificial intelligence that allows computer systems to learn and improve as they are exposed to new data – without requiring additional programming. So what can businesses expect from this emerging trend? Companies that embrace machine learning will have the ability to understand and engage with their customers better than ever. Here are three ways companies are already using machine learning to their advantage.

Personalized marketing

Customers are already familiar with customized marketing from services like Netflix and Amazon that make product and entertainment recommendations based on past behaviors. But now machine learning is allowing companies to do more than just predict what products you’ll like. They’re able to predict what you’re likely to do – before you do it. For example, Facebook is using data to predict which of their users is considering a vacation and using that information to help their travel partners market to customers before they book a trip.

Lead generation

Since a top concern of most businesses is the ability to build a successful sales funnel, it’s no surprise that leads generation is a prime area for advances in machine learning. In one example, Kanetix Ltd. uses this technology to increase its call volume and lead generation by 13 percent. In partnership with Integrate.ai, they were able to leverage their website’s pool of data to predict the likeliness a customer will buy auto insurance, offering different buying experiences to users who were high-intent to purchase than users that needed more incentive.

Customer service

Accenture reports that nine out of 10 customers want to interact with businesses through messaging. Companies are using chatbots to help provide top-level service to a high volume of customers through messaging, computer programs that hold online conversations with customers to do things like answer questions and process purchases. For example, National Bank of Canada is using a bot on Facebook Messenger to answer client questions or to advise customers to visit a local branch when an in-person conversation with a human advisor would be more helpful.

Whether people are responding at higher rates to personalized marketing and buyer experiences or expecting real-time responses to their questions and complaints, it’s clear that artificial intelligence is raising the bar for how businesses interact with their customers. The takeaway? Brands should start integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning in their sales and marketing cycles to understand, engage and service their customers from their first interaction to their last.

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