Why the Human Touch is Key to Richer Shopper Experiences
The world of social media advertising is going through a seismic shift. Not only are brick-and-mortar businesses fighting for survival, many e-commerce brands are struggling to find and maintain their target social media audiences. In a world that includes thousands of competitors, a wide range of social channels and millions of demanding buyers, retailers must find as many advantages as they can.
That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) can help. The power to unearth target audience insights gives brands the opportunity to deliver a richer, more personalized customer journey. However, without the guidance of humans, AI is just a fancy tool. Here’s how to combine human and machine to offer better, more effective customer experiences.
Fortune Telling Through AI
The most successful social media advertising campaigns begin by setting specific goals. That might mean matching those goals to different stages in the customer journey, giving marketers the opportunity to leverage built-in AI like Facebook placement or bid optimization. Many marketers simply use the tools and insights they already have. If it worked before, it will surely work again.
But the nature of social media shortens the efficacy of social ads — high-performing social ads grow stale faster than ever. And with Facebook ad revenue set to reach more than $21 billion on its own, it’s clear that investing in social advertising has become one of the most effective ways to reach target audiences. AI can guide retail marketers toward how to engage customers — e.g., using image tagging to measure interest in visual content.
AI can also arm marketers with data that helps them determine what to do next. In addition, it can guide shoppers toward a brand’s desired conversion points. Whether it’s a solution that digs into historical audience data or a social ads platform to accelerate and track ad performance, AI has the potential to deliver data for predictive analysis. That kind of insight can give retailers more power to engage customers.
Discovering the Best Customers
Because AI can spot patterns in how shoppers move through the customer journey, it can also uncover the steps most important to leading them toward conversion. Retailers can then use those steps to retain existing customers as well as attract new ones. Furthermore, because customer acquisition can cost many times more than retention, that data can help brands save both time and money.
We know, however, that customer demands can change quickly. While AI can deliver the data that helps identify shoppers’ social media habits, it takes the expertise of a marketer to interpret the data and use it to tweak social ads as necessary. From top-of-funnel engagement to customer service, retailers need a flexible, data-driven approach.
Technology continues to present brands with new opportunities to build stronger customer relationships. However, it will always take human know-how to deliver the best, most valuable customer experiences.
R.J. Talyor is CEO and founder of Quantifi, which offers a social ads platform for marketers.
R. J. Talyor is founder and CEO of Pattern89, an artificial intelligence-based software company that optimizes paid social media advertising campaigns. Previously, R.J. was the driver behind ExactTarget’s mobile strategy, including the launch of SMS marketing in 2002 and spearheading mobile marketing during the launch of the iPhone. His leadership was also instrumental when Salesforce acquired ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013, where he became the vice president of mobile products.