Interview with Digital Analyst Ross Quintana: AI Impact in B2C Marketing

By: Kahuna | August 10, 2017 | Artificial Intelligence, B2C Marketing, Personalization

Recently, we sat down with digital analyst & social influencer Ross Quintana who covers topics impacting B2C marketers today, from digital transformation, to marketing technologies, to business trends.

We were excited to hear his perspective in particular on how the newest technologies like artificial intelligence are helping B2C marketers understand their consumer on a level like never before, enabling them to strengthen every brand-consumer interaction and impact the bottom line as a result. (“AI” is clearly not just a buzzword!). Find out what else he had to say by checking out the interview below!

1. Leveraging artificial intelligence to drive communications with consumers

Kahuna: AI is impacting many areas of business, and its applications in consumer marketing are particularly interesting. How do you see it providing value to both the B2C marketer as well as the consumer they’re marketing to?

Ross: AI changes each group’s experience. For the B2C marketer, there are two key benefits: insights and automated decision-making. AI gives marketers deeper insights into both their customers and marketing while also automating a lot of work and decision-making. For the customer, AI helps marketing be more relevant to them because companies are making more data-driven targeting decisions. So the “marketing” doesn’t end up feeling like “marketing.” This creates a win-win situation and makes marketing simultaneously more efficient and personal.

2. Prioritizing data-driven decision-making for how to best engage with consumers

Kahuna: What do you feel is the biggest weapon for B2C marketers today that most are not leveraging?

Ross: B2C marketers are still failing to utilize data to drive more decisions about how to best engage with consumers. This data should be centered around their customer, but market data and optimization data is powerful as well. Machine learning and AI provide a powerful combination for marketers but they still need leadership that has the vision to focus on their customers. There is a distinct competitive advantage for first movers in the digital transformation of businesses. Since it creates a more holistic management of your customers and your business, fewer companies are executing on it. Those who do will reap the rewards, and the market isn’t going to slow down for others to catch up. Leveraging technologies and solutions to help you reduces the integration period.

3. Replacing “personalization” with “extreme personalization”

Kahuna: More marketers are realizing that “Hello, first name” type of personalization is no longer enough to grab the attention of consumers and encourage them to engage with a brand. How must B2C marketers re-envision what “personalization” means in order to engage consumers?

Ross: With the rise of social media and the maturity of email marketing and name merging, knowing someone’s name is no longer a form of perceived personalization. In a recent post I wrote titled, 3 Reasons Why Extreme Personalization is the Undeniable Future of Business, I talk about the increase of the consumer’s ability to ignore messaging in a noisy world. Identifying someone or even connecting to them has been saturated by years of email marketing and expanding social media platforms. People even ignore their own friends and family in their news feed as relevance and relationship rule the attention economy. Businesses must work harder to be seen and heard in a noisy attention-starved world. Extreme personalization is the next level of “personalization.” It means personalizing message context, like when it’s sent, which channel it’s sent on, and what content the message contains. This goes far beyond a mass email that has generic one-size-fits all content but is topped off with the individual’s first name at the beginning—this is no longer enough.

4. Getting smart about which KPIs to double down on

Kahuna: E-commerce in particular is a very competitive B2C industry, and e-commerce marketers are very driven by KPIs to track their progress. Which KPIs that e-commerce marketers care about most can be directly impacted by taking an approach of extreme personalization?

Ross: There is no question conversions and targeting are the hallmark of ROI for businesses. AI and extreme personalization will drive both of those metrics. Extreme personalization increases relevance which in turn increases conversions. Companies who are laggards in adopting this technology will find themselves falling behind, not just in technology, but market share and business agility. There is an opportunity cost of being inefficient and having less conversions. The cost of leads goes up, revenue goes down, marketshare is lost, and susceptibility to market shifts, disruption, and competition increase.

For more insights on AI and personalization in the B2C marketing landscape, be sure to check out The Kahuna Blog. Simply click the button below!