Artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing has been in heavy use for some time. But the sophistication of the systems has steadily improved — and promises to make a giant leap in the immediate future.
Images of the Spielberg-Cruise movie “Minority Report” come to mind. As the lead character walks through the mall, AI bots recognize him, greet him by name, and suggest products in real-time specific to his profile — all based on a retinal scan taken an instant before. It takes AI to be able to respond intelligently at that pace.
The technology is not quite there yet. But retailers and related startups and IT firms are pouring billions into this area to enhance results and increase responsiveness.
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AI Marketing Use Cases
- In direct marketing to sift through mountains of data and provide product recommendations
- To analyze online behavior against customer databases and other material to determine which kind of ads to serve someone and on what channels
- In social media, to provide a sentiment analysis of how well or poorly an organization is regarded in general as well as in specific areas or with regard to a current issue
- In supply chain organization, to ensure the company can supply the right amount of product to satisfy predicted demand or respond to a sudden surge or decline in demand
- To analyze suppliers to determine their capabilities, any risk associated with them, and any adjustments that need to be made in the supply chain
5 Examples of AI for Marketing
1. User intent
Insurance marketers are major users of AI. ForMotiv works with insurance firms and in other verticals to predict user intent in real-time, said Woody Klemmer, head of growth at ForMotiv.
“Predictive analytics for insurance holds the key to achieving optimal customer experience and, ultimately, customer loyalty,” Klemmer said.
“Using behavioral AI tools, companies are able to uncover behavioral insights at the form field level.”
For instance, behavioral intelligence provides insight on how users and agents are interacting with their enrollment forms and applications, in ranked order, and provides recommendations. This enables marketers to note bottlenecks, remove or revise troublesome questions, and optimize their form fields for increased conversion and greater satisfaction.
2. Intent scoring
Insurance firms use predictive behavioral models to measure that user intent, in real-time, and uncover insights into what the user wants to achieve, whether the person is likely to be a profitable customer or a fraudster, or needs help completing the application.
ForMotiv is working with several insurance carriers to deliver intent scoring that enables smart actions — such as adding/removing a phone number, adding/removing friction, intelligently popping up a chatbot/FAQ at the right moment — “just like a human would, in order to power next-generation digital user experiences tailored to the individual,” Klemmer said.
“Carriers have seen seven- and eight-figure returns on marketing campaigns, conversion rate improvements, reduced friction, and more,” Klemmer said.
3. Real-time pricing
dotData is working with NEC on an AI-based system for forecasting changes in the prices of specific Mitsui Chemicals products that are sensitive to market conditions.
The dotData AI software platform automates data science processes. Once a trial is complete, Mitsui Chemicals will introduce an AI-driven demand forecasting system to avoid losses caused by price fluctuations and increase profits through appropriate procurement, production, and sales.
The platform is being used to analyze daily and weekly inventory data for the products over the last few years as well as plant operating rates and sales figures. The AI system automatically extracts the most valid parameters to build a price forecasting model.
Mitsui Chemicals anticipates that AI will bring about major reductions in inventory that could add up to savings of several hundred million yen.
4. Automated payments
Intellias offers retailers, drive-thru restaurants, gas stations, and other service providers an automated payment system backed by AI to address pain points for drivers, such as slow lines at the drive-thru, lost or misplaced parking tickets, reaching for the wallet while at the wheel, the need to open the car window to pay or pass cash/coins, and difficult-to-read QR codes.
The result is a zero-click payment system for products and services based on a combination of computer vision and geofenced car location tracking. A vehicle is identified as soon as it arrives, and payment is immediately initiated using a combination of authorization and authentication methods, image recognition, and a mobile app.
5. Supply chain efficiencies
Globality has developed a couple of marketing and supply chain-oriented applications using AI.
Its AI-powered sourcing engine connects users to the best suppliers for their sourcing needs. This is designed to accelerate time to market and lower costs.
In addition, Globality offers a B2B services marketplace that uses AI for merit-based supplier matching. It finds qualified suppliers for projects. The marketplace works whether an organization is sourcing complex programs among dozens of suppliers or only needs to source one specific project.