16th May, 2019

The Customer Journey With AI: Don’t Let Silos Break It

Silos don’t carry the greatest connotation in the workplace. The term is often associated with a breakdown in communication and a lack of collaboration. But in a large company that includes a global marketing department, silos can be difficult to smash. Today’s marketing teams are often separated by channel, brand awareness or direct response, geography and more. Though delegation can make for a more efficient marketing machine, we as CMOs know that not having everyone in sync when it comes to delivering excellent brand experiences across the customer journey can be a train wreck for a brand that is afraid to become irrelevant.

This also means that if one group in marketing is using MarTech innovations like AI to optimize marketing copy and creative (as it should be) to enhance the customer journey, the other groups should be as well. Today’s AI-powered message machines are too effective to be considered just a tool for an email subject line or body copy — and that’s a good thing. Though we may talk about funnels and journeys and multi-channel in team and board meetings, the customer journey is not linear. Consumers aren’t just coming to us through a landing page or a Facebook ad. They may see an email from our brand on their phones while interacting with our web page on their iPad, and they may later see a TV spot. As a global CMO, it’s challenging to ensure these customer journeys and the way people are interacting with all the different campaigns we run are both consistent and optimized. So, how do you drive that brand consistency while driving personalized messaging in a tailored, perfect way to fully engage consumers at scale?

Finally, an Answer.

This seemed like a trick question for years. But with new advances in AI and machine learning, it is possible for brands to achieve this customer journey because CMOs are not simply counting on copywriters and art directors to guess what is going to work. They also do not have to turn around, internalize a creative brief for a specific channel or geography and then deploy it based on their interpretation of it. Instead, brands can run all of their marketing content through an always-on, always learning message machine and allow it to curate, with mathematical certainty, the precise wording while objectively staying within brand voice and personality.

Using Persado’s AI is akin to having a marketing language knowledge base of more than 1 million words and phrases, tagged and scored, that becomes your custom language model as a brand. It gets smarter with each use, can recognize decay, fine-tune itself to different personas and products, and adjust words and phrases based on the time of year — all the variables needed to generate the perfect message. When you combine man and machine, and you run tens of thousands of campaigns, you can get to that promised land of one to one marketing while ensuring your messaging and brand voice are consistent, regardless of what language it is in or which channel the ad runs on.

Your Brand. Your Voice. Your Narrative.

The idea of having a machine curate content in any language may not be new — there are free translation services all over the Internet — nor is using AI in marketing. But how can businesses be sure that all communication remains squarely on-brand and perfectly articulated for max engagement? Through Narrative Intelligence, advanced AI platforms like Persado can ingest years of your brand’s voice and copy and learn and codify it within a brand’s custom language model. As I always say, it’s not human vs. machine, it’s human + machine. Members of your team, as well as from your marketing AI vendor, will also work together to understand your brand voice. As guardrails, such as how intense you want the language to be, are set, the machine will continue to learn your brand, plus give you the best content to engage your audience.

There’s No Excuse

Now that AI can satisfy both brand and performance marketing, there is truly no reason to not be using it for all marketing content, rather than simply siloing it to one team or geography. The average CMO tenure is about four years. Hitting targets year after year while staying true to the brand and coming up with fresh, creative concepts is difficult work, and there is no time to waste. But if you can pivot into the world of data, you’ll be able to partner with other executives including the CEO, CFO and CIO to demonstrate proof that you deployed the best possible content as well as tangible ROI on marketing programs.

I have seen companies get three-digit increases on brand engagement and revenue performance. Innovative businesses are using data science and  AI to generate marketing content for all of their different marketing campaigns to connect better with customers, deliver the best value, engage with customers most effectively, and drive revenue. And I’ve watched their competitors forego AI and get left behind until the next group of leaders took over and saw the light. Words matter.


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