Marketing News: What makes people recommend a brand to others?
You may think you do a grand job at marketing your business, and to be fair, you’re probably right. Any marketer worth their salt knows what does and doesn’t work when it comes to promoting their organisation to their target audience.

However, for some time now, doomsayers have been pushing the idea of an technological apocalypse where the robots steal every human’s job before going on to seize control of the entire planet.

Now we don’t reckon the rise of the machines will lead to the demise of human civilisation, but new research has suggested that they could be very useful in the marketing world in 2019, with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) becoming mainstream digital marketing tools over the forthcoming 12 months.

UK marketers leading the world on AI and ML
In a worldwide survey of marketers by Acquia, 82% of UK-based respondents said they expect to incorporate AI and ML as part of their marketing strategy for the next year.

Globally, that figure averaged at 77%, suggesting that UK marketers are looking to adopt AI and ML more extensively than their counterparts in other countries.

This isn’t going to be a whimsical flirtation either, because more than 2 in 5 (42%) of UK marketers said AI and ML will form a major part of their 2019 strategies.

So far, so exciting, right? Well maybe not, because barely half (48%) of consumers say they are actually looking forward to AI playing a greater involvement in brand interaction.

There are few aspects of business and modern life that aren’t currently being influenced – no matter how minor – by AI and ML.

However, scepticism surrounding these technologies highlights how consumers have been left feeling underwhelmed by past efforts from marketers to improve the customer experience by integrating new tech.

AI and ML will unlock incredible marketing opportunities
Sylvia Jensen, VP of EMEA Marketing at Acquia, believes that AI and ML will open up incredible opportunities for any marketers keen to improving customer experiences with their brands. However, marketers need to understand the best use of these technologies.

“Consumers only become aware of technology and processes when they see it doesn’t work and the brand they are interacting with fails to offer a personalised experience,” she explained.

“Therefore, it is vital that marketers get to grips with how their martech stack works together throughout the buyer’s journey.”

Don’t add AI and ML for the sake of it
AI and ML technologies can vary wildly so Jensen warns that marketers focus on how the tech can solve specific challenges within the customer journey and make the overall experience better.

She says that marketers should only deploy AI and ML where it will actually help them deliver the seamless experiences customers want.

“Adding technology for the sake of it and not doing it well is only likely to increase the gap between marketers and consumers with regards to that experience.”

The report goes on to warn that the days of trial and error in marketing seem to be over and any missteps in regards to customer expectations can be fatal.

“Consumers have adapted to a certain standard and can be unforgiving when their expectations aren’t met or their trust is betrayed.”

So what does this mean for marketers?
Acquia believes that marketers need to not just meet consumers’ increasing expectations, but also strategically employ the right tools to deliver personalised experiences without breaking their trust or abusing the data privileges their customers allow them.

Source / Further Reading
Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report.
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