Contrary to what some people may have heard, robo advisors can actually improve relationships with clients if managed wisely. Recent reports about how data can discriminate in interpreting results may be true, but managed fairly and wisely, AI can be an extremely powerful ally in nurturing customers. Some futurists have even gone as far as to state that the future survival of business depends on technology, and that AI is the answer.
How Far Has AI Come?
A study on corporate earnings by tech platform company CB Insights reported that AI acknowledgment has skyrocketed in the past three years. For the second quarter of 2016, the company said it discovered 170 mentions on corporate earnings reports compared to 1,300 for the same period this year.
Yet, 81% of companies studied by MIT Sloan said they didn’t know what data they needed to build and utilize AI. At the same time, 83% told MIT Sloan that they recognized the strategic opportunity that AI presented.
Four New Benefits of AI
- AI will reduce staff time in ranking customers and prospective ones by analyzing actions, relationships, and patterns and then determining the ones with the greatest potential.
- AI will also analyze the same data that’s collected and deliver suggestions on content selection for clients. If, for example, a customer recently joined a cooking club on social media, he/she might be responsive to more culinary suggestions and communications.
- Some AI programs are capable of gathering information on people’s daily routines. Probably the most valuable aspect is knowing when a customer is on their cell phone looking at messages or opening emails on their computers. Timing the release of offers to these audiences to arrive shortly before they usually get on their smartphones or PCs can be priceless, particularly if they receive dozens of messages and emails daily, since the most recent ones are near the top and more likely to be read.
- The final advantage of today’s AI is its ability to not only transcribe conversations but also to place them in a calendar for follow-up. If a customer informed a customer service rep that he/she might be interested in a certain product for a future special occasion, that would automatically be logged for follow-up.
Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company strongly believes that on-demand marketing will soon be upon us. Companies wishing to keep pace with the marketplace and maintain its share of market need to act sooner than later, or get left in the dust.
Investing in the right AI is one remedy. However, along with that comes a responsibility to ensure that the correct parameters are entered into it so that the results coming out don’t discriminate. That’s been the biggest criticism of AI.
As such, it would also be a good time for companies going into AI to reassess the function and composition of its marketing department and how it interacts with other departments. Keeping in step with on-demand customers will be more than a marketing challenge, and successfully managing it will help ensure a company’s success.