I remember a time when “AI” was the setting that you tinkered with in a game to alter the difficulty. I grew up when machines actually began learning. I have fond memories of the excitement as programmers worked tirelessly to teach a computer chess and beat Garry Kasparov. My friends and I had an ongoing debate around Game 2 from the 1997 match between Kasparov and Deep Blue. Did Deep Blue make a mistake on purpose to try and confuse Kasparov? We eventually learned it was just a computer and a Grandmaster trading mistakes, but it was fun to imagine what a computer might be able to learn.
In the decades since, artificial intelligence has become pervasive. It’s no longer just an idea, but a tangible reality altering our lives. There is AI assisting in operating rooms, AI driving cars, AI creating realistic faces, and AI determining the price of your next ride-share. We’re living in the age where algorithms are being developed to assist us at home and at work. AI is helping people keep their inboxes clean. How many times has your Gmail inbox asked you if you were ready to unsubscribe from promotional emails you don’t open?
Digital marketers look to AI to help them resolve specific marketing problems. They need tools that save them time, while also improving the experience for their customer. And, now more than ever, marketers face the challenge of producing more campaigns in less time, so they require tools that reduce cycle time and increase productivity.
Thus, we’re excited to deliver Advanced Intelligence for Oracle Responsys, a collection of purpose-built tools to improve digital campaign management.
How can AI be used in B2C marketing?
Anyone can send a campaign to customers who have “opened or clicked an email in the past xx days”. Marketers, whoever, strive to understand customer engagement at a deeper level. The RFM tool (recency, frequency, monetary) takes a deeper look at customer interaction and scores each customer by engagement. Segments groups, like “Champions”, “Promising”, “Can’t Lose”, or “At Risk”, are created and available for targeting and personalization. RFM is a free advanced intelligence tool included for all Oracle Responsys customers.
Can AI help improve open rates?
There are many situations where an A/B or multivariate test is the best way to identify customer preferences. There are also quite a few opportunities for machine learning to conduct the testing and determine the best outcome for an individual, rather than the best outcome for the group. The time to deploy a message is a perfect example.
A/B tests will absolutely help you find more opens per campaign. Machine learning, however, can find the best time for each person, rather than the best time for your entire audience. Adding a Send Time Optimization stage to a customer journey will ensure that every message is sent to the customer at the time that each customer is most likely to engage with their inbox.
How else can AI help find customer audiences?
Building the right audience list for a campaign, or the right campaign for an audience isn’t easy. Having a deep understanding of your customer data is a great start, but manual filtering is often just grouping customers based on simple data relationships. Building filters and audiences can be tedious work. Deciding who should receive your next campaign can be more difficult than forecasting the weather, and getting it wrong will often result in reduced engagement and customer churn.
As I mentioned already, RFM is a great place for marketers to begin intelligent segmentation. The Customer Lifetime Value tool also plays a pivotal role. It helps you sort your “high spenders” from your “low spenders”. It offers the opportunity to find customer potential hidden within complex data relationships. Finally, Fatigue Analysis helps you identify customers who are “oversaturated” while providing advice on a better message cadence to improve engagement.
All of this information is evaluated, scored, and updated on regular intervals. Marketers can reference the data to set dynamic content rules within campaigns. The data is also easily referenced in filters, audiences, and marketing automation workflows. All three of these segmentation tools also come with interactive visual dashboards so you can evaluate how your audience changes over time.
What about AI for customer journeys?
Advanced Intelligence for Oracle Responsys includes two fantastic ways for marketers to improve the results of digital marketing automations: Intelligent Switch and Audience Selector. The Intelligent Switch allows a marketer to automate the next action in a customer journey based on specific goals. Instead of manually creating filters to sort customer records to determine the next interaction of a journey, the Intelligent Switch automatically selects the best channel, the best message, and the best time for deployment. Actions can be optimized to improve open rates, clicks, or conversions.
Once a customer journey is built and deploying messages, Intelligent Audience Selector pays attention to customers that make purchases because of customer journeys. The AI then finds and includes more customers to the journey who are likely to make a purchase, and automatically adds them to the customer journey.
Is now the time to add AI to digital marketing?
Yes. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will achieve gains related to machine learning. Functionality will be added over time to the Advanced Intelligence package for Oracle Responsys, so you won’t miss out by being an early adopter. Analysts are predicting that investments in loyalty and retention marketing will continue to grow as the rest of the marketing budget is tightened. A strategic investment in AI to support digital marketing campaign management will provide your team with a competitive advantage.
For more information on Oracle Responsys, B2C marketing, and Oracle product innovations in marketing cloud technology, please visit:
- Oracle Responsys
- Oracle B2C Marketing
- Oracle CX Marketing