Personalization & AI: 3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Making Your Site More Human Friendly

Personalization & AI: 3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Making Your Site More Human Friendly

Mansi Dhorda
Written by Mansi Dhorda
July 19, 2019

We all enjoy feeling special and appreciated – whether it is in our relationships and friendships, at our place of work, or when we are interacting with a business. This is the reason why brand personalization is such an important tool that companies are using to connect with their audiences.

Personalized experiences have revolutionized the way consumers engage with brands and make purchasing decisions. If a business offers personalized experiences, customers are over four times more likely to convert – and they tend to spend up to five times more than the average consumer.

Clearly, personalization is important to online shoppers, and most businesses realize that they need to find ways to customize their interactions, particularly through digital marketing. However, many are finding it quite challenging to keep up with customer demands in this regard.

Since customers are quite aware of the fact that brands are tracking their every move online and keeping record of their data, they expect personalized perks in return. However, some personalized marketing methods are far more effective and influential than others. Customers are no longer impressed with simple touches – like an email with their name included – they expect businesses to understand exactly what they want, and when they want it.

Thankfully, AI technology is not only making it possible for businesses to meet up to their customer’s personalization demands – it actually makes it quite simple, thanks to automation.

Without further ado, here are three ways Artificial Intelligence can be your personalization game changer!

1. It Makes Deep Audience Analysis Simple(r)

The real secret to effective customer personalization is having a deep and clear understanding of exactly who your customers are and what they want.

Obviously, the only way to do this is through data-driven audience analysis. AI can be incredibly useful for helping to drudge through large sums of consumer behavioral data and connect the dots to understand what it all means.

One rather interesting example of this actually comes from Hollywood. Movie studios are now investing in AI technology to help them create the next blockbusters by analyzing their audience and predicting the types of movies that will do best.

20th Century Fox recently used advanced vision systems with AI algorithms to analyze the audience’s reaction to a trailer and determine the exact frames that elicited the most positive reactions. This is known as “Project Merlin.”

The studio uses the Cloud Machine Learning Engine in conjunction with the TensorFlow deep learning framework. Merlin scans a movie trailer and labels certain objects and how long they appear on screen – as well as how it all correlates to the film’s genre.

For instance, if a trailer has a longer, close-ups of a protagonist, the film is more likely to be a drama as opposed to an action movie.

This data is then compared to the elements found in other movie trailers that got rave reviews. The data is then used to help predict the types of movies that various audiences would be most likely to see (and ideally) enjoy.

Where to Start with Audience Analysis?

In order to truly optimize the customer experience online, you need to first understand who is using your website, how they arrive there, and what they are using it for. AI-powered analysis programs can be used to break down your website’s traffic data for a clearer audience overview.

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By using provider information and IP addresses, these programs can show you exactly where your customers are located and how they are arriving to your site (such as via organic search or a PPC ad).

You can also break down the number of new-versus-return visitors and help you track targeted accounts to monitor behavior and interactions.

This kind of in-depth audience analysis is the critical first step to effective personalization for several reasons. First of all, different demographics and groups will have varying preferences on the kinds of customized experiences they want from your business.

According to Adobe’s Digital Advertising report, younger age groups are far more receptive to personalized details and open to more of their data being tracked than Baby Boomers.

You need to know the makeup of your own specific audience in order to determine the level of personalization that will resonate best with your customers based on details like their age, location, frequency of purchase, and position in the buyer’s journey.

Secondly, access to this kind of information can help you understand the motivations behind your customers’ behavior and how it varies from segment-to-segment. This can be surmised by the path that they follow from the initial link that leads them to your website to the moment they exit. Look for correlations between behavior and demographics.

For example, are business leaders and customers in higher positions more likely to consume your blog content and arrive via external links? Are repeat visitors returning through organic searches or by targeted clicks, and do they tend to head straight towards a conversion on their second or third visit?

By using deep-analytical programs, you can start to truly understand who your audience is and how to influence their behavior by leading them towards the content that will motivate a conversion.

2. It Allows You to Conduct Multiple A/B Tests Simultaneously

Chances are that you will not get your personalization marketing strategy right on the first try.

Just like any other business practice or marketing strategy, you will need to monitor and test it along the way until you find the methods that make the biggest impact on your customers. In order to optimize your website, you will need to run A/B tests to find the layout, structure, and content that bring in the best results.

The traditional approach to A/B testing can be extremely time-intensive – because you are only testing two design elements against each other at once. While this may work just fine for things like blog titles or color schemes on your website, it is not necessarily the best approach for finding the optimal personalization mix.

AI streamlines the testing process as it is able to measure the results of multiple variants simultaneously. The currency exchange provider Monito used AI when they were developing their website to optimize the design. AI allowed them to test twelve different design tweaks at once – which meant that Monito gathered enough results for a final decision in a matter of weeks, rather than months.

Where to Start with A/B Testing?

The first thing you should do in regards to AI A/B testing is to learn more about it and determine whether or not it would actually make a significant difference in your testing process.

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The major advantage of AI in this type of testing is its ability to compare many different variants at the same time – as opposed to just a small handful. This puts you in a better position to predict which designs will have the best results in terms of engagement or conversions.

There are all kinds of psychological nuances that go into the process of getting the human mind to click; you don’t want to leave any stones unturned in your testing program!

Start by creating a list of ALL the possible variants that you want to test to optimize your website or UX.

  • Are there various colors that should be adjusted?
  • What about the layout?
  • CTA placement?
  • Menu design?
  • Should information be hidden in dropdown boxes or displayed on the homepage?
  • Where should the search function be located?

From there, you need to decide whether or not an AI-assisted tool is actually necessary. There are plenty of multivariant testing programs that do not use AI – this technology is really a complimenting feature that helps these programs to work better and faster.

3. Creates Opportunities for One-on-One Connections

The main point of personalization is to make each customer feel special and unique. This is what builds meaningful connections between your customers and your company name. When people feel like a business really “gets them” and cares about their wants and needs, it builds an emotional connection.

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It’s a great thing when consumers feel an emotional tie to your brand because it tends to influence their loyalty and advocacy in a positive way. But for larger companies, it can be extremely difficult to make each and every customer feel appreciated on an individual level.

Where to Start with One-on-One Customer Personalization?

Convert Nexus is designed to help businesses personalize their webpage layout based on individual account information. It does this by tracking the IP address of every visitor and matching it up with company-targeted accounts.

You can see an example of how this could be done from Savi – a sensor analytics company. They service both government agencies as well as corporations, and their homepage layout will automatically adjust depending on who the website visitor works for.

CRM tools like Nudge are designed to track all of your audience’s consumer data and provide intricate reports to help them understand their preferences and behavior even better with ABM (account-based marketing).

Nudge uses AI to analyze all of your customer accounts and predicts which ones should be targeted based on their position in the sales pipeline.

The program is also designed specifically for relationship management. It keeps track of all of the important details and connections that your sales and marketing team can use to personalize experiences and close more deals.

Access to information like this is especially important for B2B organizations. They can see exactly how everyone within a business is connected and who they need to reach out to next for the best results.

For B2C, this type of relationship management can be used to track past interactions, record important information, and use for more personalized communication.

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Conclusion

Personalization is without a doubt going to become even more influential over consumers, so businesses need to focus on perfecting their strategies for their exact audiences.

By using AI in this regard, companies will find it far easier to pinpoint the exact strategies that will help them connect with their customers on a deeper level and provide a customized experience that impacts conversions.

Originally published July 19, 2019 - Updated September 13, 2019
Mansi Dhorda
Mansi Dhorda works at E2M Solutions Inc. - a Digital Marketing Agency. She is well-versed in all things Content Marketing and Branding. During her free time, she runs her Instagram page for handmade accessories. Feel free to hit her up anytime on her Twitter handle: @mansidhorda
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