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CX Machine Learning AI

AI and machine learning for empathetic marketing at scale

Acquia USA

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March 30, 2023 | 4 min read

Many companies strive for customer-centricity, as it fosters better relationships, increased revenue, and reduced operational costs

Empathetic marketing, which puts the customer first, is key to achieving this. While it may seem paradoxical, utilizing customer data platforms (CDPs) powered by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can facilitate human connection and build trust between businesses and consumers. With a CDP, brands can personalize the customer journey based on individual wants and motivations, resulting in a more meaningful customer experience.

Why ML-powered CDPs are next level

CDPs are becoming increasingly prevalent in industries such as retail, healthcare, and financial services. By consolidating data from various sources and utilizing machine learning, CDPs offer accurate depictions of customer behavior, which in turn can inform not only marketing but also other departments. With machine learning integrated into products like Acquia CDP, data points from multiple sources are analyzed to generate business intelligence that highlights patterns and trends. While humans could manually analyze data, it would be a time-consuming process.

Use cases for ML-powered CDPs

CDPs utilize past data and interactions with a brand to create a comprehensive customer profile, which includes information such as whether a purchase was made in-store or a product review was left. Machine learning then utilizes predictive analytics to anticipate customer behavior and preferences in real time. This ability to understand and predict customer behavior is a hallmark of empathetic marketing, as it enables personalized product recommendations that align with individual tastes and preferences.

Other examples include:

  • Your business may be planning widespread store closures as it moves to an e-commerce model. A CDP can ID those customers who shop primarily or exclusively in store, so your marketing team can offer free shipping to soften the transition from their preferred purchasing channel. The chocolatier GODIVA had a similar situation during the Covid-19 pandemic and saw its email clickthrough rates triple, along with other impressive results.
  • Or, let’s say your organization is in healthcare. A CDP can ID patients by their condition and recommend appropriate content, such as clinical trials or treatment options.
  • In retail, there may be customers who repeatedly view an item but don’t purchase it. Machine learning can log this behavior and alert such customers via SMS when the price drops. Their response allows organizations to gauge who may be more price-sensitive and send coupons in the future.
  • Perhaps business is booming, and your rev ops and business development teams are eyeing expansion into new cities or markets. A CDP can help guide decisions about which locations may best support this initiative by showing existing stores that may be overwhelmed by traffic so could use another brick-and-mortar shop to handle overflow. Or the data may reveal steady overseas sales in Asia. Maybe it’s time to open a branch in Hong Kong.
  • Or let’s say you’re a software vendor for small businesses and freelancers. Based on data from your call or customer service centers, a CDP can help ID consistent pain points, thus guiding product development and perhaps lowering churn. For instance, you could send an email that acknowledges their repeated concerns, shares the product roadmap that addresses those pain points, and offers a discount if they renew their subscription.

So, as you can see, the use cases for CDPs are plentiful and apply to various teams throughout an organization.

Enter: Utilizing CDPs for empathetic marketing

ML-powered CDPs are capable of producing remarkable results. By utilizing machine learning models, businesses can analyze customer data to generate insights and recommendations that help nurture relationships and better understand customers' interests and preferences. This, in turn, leads to customers feeling more connected to a brand, a crucial goal in empathetic marketing. However, it's essential to note that not all CDPs are equal, and the market can be vast.

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