What artificial intelligence means for the future of marketing: Deepak Pargaonkar, Salesforce

Artificial intelligence in marketing

Digital transformation is no longer just jargon, but is in fact now the new norm that is being adopted by enterprises to thrive in the industry. Utilizing new age technologies like artificial intelligence has become imperative to provide enhanced customer experience. In an interview with DataQuest, Deepak Pargaonkar, vice president, solution engineering, Salesforce, talks about why marketers should adopt new age technologies, how artificial intelligence can boost productivity and hyper-personalization, and much more.

Deepak Pargaonkar, vice president, solution engineering, Salesforce

Why marketers adopt new age technologies

Today’s marketers face a whole different landscape than their predecessors. As connected customer experiences become standard in customers’ minds, marketers are expanding beyond their traditional purviews, tactics, and toolkits to meet expectations.

The world has seen many different revolutions that have completely transformed the way we live. We have just entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution–a revolution of intelligence and arguably the most transformational for marketers. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in order to deliver the experiences that consumers want, companies need to move away from mass marketing and invest in trusted, intelligent marketing that helps them build better relationships.

However, delivering personalized, connected consumer experiences is challenging for brands. 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services – up from 80% in 2018 (Salesforce State of Connected Customer Report 2019). Disconnected technologies and department silos make it complex for marketers to get a complete picture of the consumer, navigate disparate tools and execute multi-channel engagement in order to deliver a connected experience.

How artificial intelligence boosts productivity and hyper-personalization

Personalization has come a long way since the days when emails addressing customers by name were noteworthy. Businesses are increasingly turning to new technologies that help them engage in a more relevant manner. As technology advances, marketers have unprecedented ability to scale and personalize their programs through AI. For example, 29% of marketers now use AI (up from 20% who used the technology extensively in 2017) through use cases as personalized email offers based on web browsing behaviour. But opaque data use policies have weakened the trust of many consumers. Still, personalization is a treasured commodity. In fact, 79% of customers are willing to share data in exchange for contextualized engagement, and 88% will do so for personalized offers.

AI can boost the productivity of marketers by empowering them to channel their time more efficiently. For example, AI can provide smart social insights that allow marketers to connect and evolve messages across channels based on customer behaviour, and provide automated, personalized customer journeys. With AI-driven lead scoring, marketers can also know which areas they should focus on more than others, and which will take more time unnecessarily. Another key value proposition of AI is the ability to create personalized, predictive 1-to-1 journeys for customers. Hyper-Personalization of content is a huge AI-driven marketing trend in today’s time. If a CRM platform is used to access these kinds of marketing AI tools, it also streamlines marketers’ jobs, as they can integrate channels and access everything they need on a single platform.

Key strategies being adopted by marketers to offer a better customer experience

With unprecedented choice and access to information, today’s customers demand an overall experience that matches their standards for product quality. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the definition of a “good” experience has changed. Customers demand not only relevant offers but to feel truly known and understood as individuals. In a culture of immediacy, they also expect engagement at their exact moment of need. What’s more, this level of engagement is viewed as standard across the entire customer journey, prompting marketers to think well beyond their traditional domain. High-performing marketers set themselves apart by not only delivering the right message on the right channel at the right time but by leading customer experience initiatives across their broader organizations. These same high-performing marketers have managed, to a much a greater degree than their competitors, to foster collaborative relationships across their organizations, effectively apply customer data, and ultimately engage their customers and prospects in real time.

Marketers are also getting more granular in how they track engagement across digital channels. According to our State of the Connected Customer, a study found that 53% of customers now expect the offers they receive to always be personalized, and 62% expect companies to anticipate their needs. Personalization is, therefore, a key priority for marketers today. More than half (51%) of marketers say they’re more mindful about balancing personalization and privacy than they were two years ago. Only 30% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to balance personalization with privacy. Finding that balance can remain elusive.

How Salesforce helps marketers better engage with customers and improve customer loyalty

Marketing Cloud connects discrete interactions, from any channel, on the customer’s terms. It unites customer data with customer behaviours in real time to create more intelligent communications and interactions that respond to and anticipate customer needs. Every interaction drives personalized, 1-to-1 communications that move the customer along in their unique journey.

Companies can provide a premium, personalized experience by leveraging a true 360-degree view of each and every customer with Marketing Cloud. Engage customers with the right message at the right time and on the right channel, resulting in deeper, more meaningful relationships. When you can connect the dots across these touchpoints, you are well on your way becoming a customer company.