As a marketer, you know the importance of content. That’s not changing any time soon. Back in 2014, we saw content-first design hit peak momentum. Then mobile-first design came on the scene, which is still widely considered the best practice for digital marketing. Then, Google shifted the conversation toward experience. In 2017 Google CEO Sundar Pichai summarized the Google I/O keynote by describing, “An important shift from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world.” When Google announces a monumental move that impacts the core of its business, it’s worth paying attention.
AI is taking off.
Consider these stunning statistics:
I hope your company can be counted in these ranks (if not, we’d love to help!). As we live into an AI-first world, it’s important to understand what it is and how it can improve marketing outcomes.
What exactly is AI?
For the purposes of marketing in 2020, artificial intelligence is a way to outsource low-level, high-volume information gathering to a machine. It analyzes and organizes consumer behavior data and either provides actionable analytics (this person lives in Denver and is gluten-restricted), or acts on those analytics (here are gluten-free tortilla chips we are selling in your area). It uses deep learning to determine patterns and find meaning in them without human bias (and without costly, time-consuming human analysis).
Sephora uses AI to personalize experiences.
Sephora is a great case study demonstrating AI-driving customization in our omnichannel world. By connecting their digital and retail outlets, Sephora customers feel as though their needs and preferences are understood, and their recommendations reflect those preferences. As a result, they’ve seen an increase in consumer affinity and higher conversion rates.
How are they doing it? They’re investing in AI and partnering with personalization specialists such as Dynamic Yield. Dynamic Yield is an AI-powered service that provides customized product recommendations to customers. Since Sephora is all in on a personalized experience, they are leveraging machine learning (ML), which is one aspect of AI.
These ML algorithms weigh factors like location and previously viewed and/or purchased products (online and offline) to inform a personalized experience including product recommendations that match skin tone, promotional offers relevant to past behavior and availability based on consumer location. By incorporating AI into the shopping experience, Sephora saw an ROI of six times their financial commitment. This experience brings the right product at the right moment for each individual user. It optimizes the checkout flow and connects their brick and mortar stores to their online experience. That’s the power of an AI-first approach.
How can you use AI today?
What other cutting-edge tech should you be using today?