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One quote that was offered during Friday’s Loyalty360 webinar, “How Can AI Help Marketers Customer Insight Challenges,” presented by Manthan, was from Global Bank: “We are drowning in data and starving for insight.”
All three webinar speakers−Brandon Purcell, senior analyst, Forrester; Ujwal Dhoot, vice president marketing and e-commerce, Charming Charlie; and Varij Saurabh, director, customer analytics, Manthan−believe that artificial intelligence can help marketers optimize promotional strategies with better and more effective customer insights.
The Age of Information dominated the 90s and early 2000s, but since, roughly, 2010, it has been The Age of the Customer, Purcell noted.
“We’re interested in taking action and capturing insights,” Purcell said. “When I think about customer insights, I think in terms of the insights lifecycle. Insights begin their lives as raw data–be it transactional, behavioral, demographic, structured, unstructured, or any and all of the above. We use analytical techniques to turn data into insights. But the lifecycle doesn’t start there. We need to take action on the insights to capture value from our customers. This is a continuous learning process. The effectiveness of our actions becomes more data that retrains our models, creating better insights and more effective actions.”
Prior to installing Manthan’s solution for retail intelligence, fashion accessories retailer Charming Charlie depended on spreadsheets to combine disparate systems data for reporting purposes. This process required the availability of technical resources to perform labor-intensive data manipulation to deliver retail reporting. As a result, Charming Charlie’s IT team was performing data dumps to support numerous reports required across the business and consequently, reports did not reflect real-time data.
Now, members of its merchandising and operations teams can build their own dashboards and reporting views specific to their requirements without placing an IT request. Manthan’s tools didn’t just improve Charming Charlie’s reporting processes but transformed how the company analyzes data.
Dhoot said Charming Charlie has reduced email unsubscribers by identifying their propensity to unsubscribe (by 20 percent), as well as improving cross-selling with derived preferences and reducing churn by targeting customers who are likely to churn.
“We changed their behavior,” Dhoot said. “We’ve increased engagement via personalized offers. We observed the repeat purchase rate was very good for the loyal customer base. However, the basket size and value was stagnant for a long time. We needed to nurture the loyal customer base to try other products. We used a context-based recommendation engine, using clustering and association rule mining techniques to derive item representation vectors that adapt to a dynamic assortment.”
Customer insights are the “gold buried in your data.”
“The shift toward AI will really transform marketing,” Purcell noted.
Dhoot said that, currently, AI functions better with CRM because that is the area that holds the most customer information.
Saurabh said AI represents a “glimpse of the future, how a marketer envisions the workplace to look like, and what tool sets will the marketer need.”
Saurabh offered his building blocks of customer marketing:
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