Artificial intelligence (AI) is showing up everywhere and impacting everything we do across industries, including finance, manufacturing, and healthcare. While we may all be familiar with the potential of more advanced concepts, such as human-like robots, AI is already being used daily to improve productivity and transform the way we work through predictive tools and task automation.
As AI becomes more widely adopted into our daily lives, consumers are more empowered to get the outcomes they want much faster. The impact drives consumer expectations of every digital experience to a new level. As Salesforce points out, 76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere — switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations. PwC estimates that AI could add as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
This is why it’s crucial that brands use personalization to appeal to their customers’ needs. By using AI to speed up personalized digital experiences, organizations can ensure they deliver an experience their customers prefer over the competition.
Personalize or perish?
Customers are surrounded by devices and can feel bombarded with content across digital channels. The best way to break through this digital clutter and foster a long-lasting connection with your customers is to personalize their experience with your brand.
Salesforce Research surveyed over 6,700 consumers and business buyers globally, and 84% of customers say that being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning business.
So what is the ideal personalization starting point? In order to do personalization right, the company website is the nucleus. Not only is it the central channel for all brand activity, this is where personalization must begin as it’s the biggest, broadest, and most important landing strip for your customers.
Personalizing the homepage or updating an ecommerce storefront based on how many times a visitor comes to your website, their geographical location, previous activity or the current stage of their customer journey are critical points to optimize your website. After your website has been optimized, then you can move onto other channels such as apps, social media, the internet of things (IoT), email, and more.
It’s essential to create the richest, most rewarding web experience possible across all these channels to get your customer to come back or open an email and engage with your brand in a meaningful way.
What can slow personalization
With personalization becoming a bedrock strategy for brands, many marketers are still struggling with effectively getting started and advancing their personalization strategy. These struggles usually come as a result of difficulty personalizing experiences or managing customer data.
Challenges with personalizing experiences
- Knowing where to start on a brand’s personalization journey. Determining a personalization starting point comes down to several factors, including your team’s makeup, overall business objectives, and target segments.
- Defining user segments. What happens if the market shifts and you need to update segments? Businesses need to identify the critical attributes that contribute to their key market segments to pivot accordingly.
- How to set up and maintain personalization rules. The technology you choose to help implement your personal strategy needs to be supported with rules that outline which content assets should be displayed under specific conditions.
- Creating the content required to power personalization. For personalization to be effective, it requires high volumes of content to be produced to meet the requirements of the overall brand and each customer segment.
- Siloed or inefficient marketing operations. Marketing operations need to be in sync with efficient workflows to create better personalized experiences.
Challenges with managing customer data
- There is too much data across too many data sources. A digital asset management (DAM) solution may be required to organize all data assets efficiently.
- With large data sets of information, marketers struggle to comb through it all and find actionable trends. Organization of data is also critical if marketers are to find the right insights.
- It takes a significant amount of time to manually process everything and often requires a dedicated position or role that the team might not have. Manual processes can be inefficient and take time away from more beneficial tasks.
- Data science teams and marketers need to align and determine the best way to work together. Inefficient content workflows or silos can make it difficult for marketers to act quickly enough on the data provided by data science teams.
AI has the solution
Many marketers are already aware that AI can simplify their lives, with 88% of them stating that AI will enable them to be more effective in getting to their goals. Machine learning and AI can be used to do the heavy lifting on data and get your company started on optimizing digital experience with auto-personalization.
Auto-Personalization is about simplifying the data-heavy tasks so marketers can focus on strategy and content creation. AI auto-personalization automatically analyzes visitor data to group them into segments and then serves up the right content to the right audience.
With the right system and data practices, AI can help to bring all of your content assets together and help identify which content items are similar. The marketer can then decide to reuse or repurpose these content items, instead of creating new content from scratch. Eventually, more advanced AI will be available to provide suggestions and automatically pick the most appropriate content for a specific audience or campaign.
AI Auto-Personalization with Sitecore
Sitecore Experience Platform™ with Sitecore AI is a leading digital experience platform. Combining data, content, and auto-personalization in a single system, XP empowers marketing teams to create and manage content and deliver real-time personalization to end customers. The team can focus on the content they need to create and don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time on segments, personas, and rules.
Discover how you can accelerate your personalization journey with the help of Sitecore AI.
Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find him on LinkedIn.