How will conversational and AI driven experiences drive the future of marketing and commerce? Matt Ramerman, President at Sinch for Marketing shares some thoughts:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Matt, tell us more about yourself and Sinch for Marketing…
Sinch for Marketing, part of Sinch, a global leader in cloud communications for mobile customer engagement, helps brands build, deploy and support an omnichannel strategy in order to strengthen their relationships with their customers.
As president of Sinch for Marketing, I lead a talented team focused on transforming customer relationships and experiences via highly personalized, deeply relevant communications on high-engagement channels. Even in an increasingly digital world, customers crave authentic, real-time connections with brands and service providers, and we help activate mobile channels so companies can respond to that demand.
Take us through some of the biggest marketing and AI in Marketing trends you foresee for the rest of 2022…
The rise in implementation of conversational commerce for enterprise is one of the most significant trends we’re witnessing. Customers crave convenience when shopping – and empowering them to shop entire catalogs in real-time within messaging channels is the next step in the digitization of retail. Walmart has led the way with this with their Text to Shop offering, and leading ecommerce brands will follow suit, moving toward conversational ecommerce in the coming year.
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The magic of conversational commerce is that it blends the intimate, curated experience of browsing in-store with the immediacy of online shopping all delivered through popular messaging channels- a winning combination for customers and brands alike. It’s also much more cost-effective (and effective in general) than taking the time and money to develop a branded app — when most customers will delete a branded app after just one use, if they download it at all.
We’ll also see chatbots and their use cases continue to evolve. Natural language understanding (NLU) enables cutting edge chatbots to understand, and mimic, the tone and/or speaking pattern of a customer. More brands will leverage NLU in 2022 to equip their chatbots with brand personalities. While many brands have iconic mascots, bringing them into messaging channels via chatbots will add a new layer to a customer’s brand experience and differentiate brands from others in the space.
How should marketers today be leveraging more AI capabilities to drive relevance and scale in their campaigns?
Personalization is key for ensuring brand communications are relevant to target customers, but for big and small companies alike, achieving it can be difficult when relying solely on staff. This is where AI comes in – by leveraging AI chatbots equipped with natural language understanding (NLU), brands can send out personalized messages and offers to customers at precisely the right time. This is based on their purchase and/or browsing history, product/service preferences, recent inquiries and favorite channels.
Gone are the days of traditional spray-and-pray campaigns: smart chatbots can help brands combine the scale of the often unsuccessful copy-and-paste campaigns with the relevance of an in-store shopping experience, all in real-time, whenever and wherever best suits the customer.
With brand messaging becoming a crucial part of any digital marketing initiative, marketers can sometimes be at the crossroads when it comes to strengthening this fundamental: a few best practices you’d share?
Keep all correspondence with a customer within one channel and avoid rerouting customers to new pages or platforms. This will ensure the customer experience is streamlined and personalized for optimal engagement.
Further, save customer data with the user’s permission. Data retention allows for increased personalization as the user increasingly interacts with the platform. Data retention also eliminates the need for repetitive action on the customer’s part (such as re-entering sizing information, payment methods or passwords).
How can brand marketers today capitalize mobile engagement to drive better ROI?
To get the best ROI in the current marketing landscape, brands need to meet customers where they already are. It’s common knowledge that social media is one of the most influential tools in retail. By investing in technology that gives customers the ability to interact with brands from their favorite platform, marketers can maintain contact with past or potential customers for future transactions, further bolstering loyalty. Brands can also be on 24/7 for customer needs and questions, developing strong relationships through high-quality personalized service.
We’d love to hear a few thoughts on your views on the global B2B mobile and marketing changes you feel will redefine the segment in the next few years…
Marketers are moving beyond traditional, spray-and-pray techniques and toward truly responsive, two-way personalized dialogues with customers. Conversational marketing is the process of activating two-way messaging channels to encourage customers to have a conversation with a brand, to ask questions or to modify an offer so that it fits their needs. Brands can equip their chatbots with answers to frequently asked questions so that bots can handle the brunt of the conversation, handing it off to a live agent only when necessary.
After years of receiving offers from “no-reply” email addresses and short-code phone numbers, customers yearn for the opportunity to have a real-time conversation with brands and partake in the in-store experience wherever they may be. Enabling two-way conversations via customers’ favorite messaging channels is the next great paradigm shift in customer experience.