Using AI to predict the future of customer centric communications

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Data can inform how you approach accounts.

I can tell the future.

I don’t need a crystal ball or tea leaves or any of that Harry Potter stuff. All I need are numbers. Lots of numbers - plus a smidgen of help from modern technology.

And the great thing is, that’s all you need too.

In my last article, I covered the importance of customer centric communications, and how a detailed buying journey is key to putting your customers first. Now it’s time to take that groundwork and look ahead at anticipating what your customers think, feel, and most importantly, want.

It’s all about the numbers

Smart marketing starts with collecting and analysing data. Broadly speaking, data falls into three categories:

First-party data: Data gathered from your own channels.

Second-party data: Essentially first party data that is collected/bought from others.

Third-party data: Data that is generated on a variety of websites/platforms, and is aggregated by a provider.

You’re likely already gathering first party data, and like most of our clients, you may be dabbling in collecting data form other sources.

Once you’ve got robust data sets in place, it’s time for technology to take over. By allowing AI and machine learning to do the heavy lifting, you can glean insights from all three sources, and use them to inform your marketing decisions.

What kind of insights? Well firstly you can identify each account’s propensity to buy.

There’s no point throwing money at an account at the beginning of a three-year contract with a competitor. Using data, you can see which accounts are most likely to engage with your product, and concentrate your marketing efforts more efficiently.

Data can also inform how you approach accounts. We receive so many briefs asking for a video – the justification being ‘that’s what everyone else is doing.’ That’s all well and good, but how do you know your prospects will engage with video content? Do you have data to prove it? How do you know other content delivered on a different channel wouldn’t be more compelling?

That’s the beauty of data. It’s takes the guesswork out of marketing and allows us to make objective decisions free of personal bias. For the first time, we can understand when and how to engage customers, and deliver what I want to talk about in my next blog post – stellar, noise-cutting content.

Matt Stevens is global managing director of MOI Global

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