AI marketing can drive customer loyalty to brands, finds survey

A new survey has found that 41% of consumers will shun brands that send irrelevant messages and offers. AI marketing may be the answer, however, as the survey also finds that 47% state they are happy for intelligent technology to improve the offers they receive.

The survey was carried out by AI marketing outfit Emarsys, which questioned 2000 UK consumers.

A mere 6% of consumers believe the product and service offers they receive are specifically relevant to them.

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The survey also found that:

  • 41% swear they won’t purchase from a brand again if they receive haphazard marketing materials;
  • Over 60% demand that offers they receive be tailored to them and their interests precisely;
  • 66% admitted they would ignore all future marketing from a brand if it sent them hit-or-miss offers.

It is not all bad; opportunity lurks too. The survey also found:

  • 57% admitted they would be more likely to repeat purchase if they received more loyalty-based discounts from a retailer;
  • 41% would be more likely to buy from a brand again if they received bespoke offers which were truly personalised and unique to them.

Emarsys says that: “The problem that most brands encounter though is that human-driven personalisation just doesn’t scale — Segmentation and personalisation designed and executed by marketers doesn’t provide the level of individualisation, at volume, that consumers demand.”

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It added, however, that “for marketing departments and brands that are mature enough and ready, AI and machine learning can scale to audiences large and small, as it learns the preferences of each individual and tailors accordingly.”

On the topic of AI marketing, the survey found:

  • 82% are now aware of the use of AI in their shopping experience;
  • 47% are happy with brands using the technology instead of humans to personalise marketing experiences, if it improves the offers and recommendations they receive;
  • 43% indicated that they are happy with it being used to determine what discounts they receive.

The research also showed that email is still by far the preferred channel for consumers to receive offers and recommendations, ahead of post and social media, with 60% preferring email, compared to just 23% and 19% preferring post and social media, respectively.

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Grant Coleman, VP and Market Director for UK and Nordics at Emarsys, said: “Personalisation is the Holy Grail of good marketing, but what’s clear from this research is that marketers’ current, human-driven approach simply doesn’t scale, leading to irrevocably damaged relationships with customers and ultimately churn. Additionally, while marketers are grappling with making sense of data sets and tech stacks, they are not fully focused on developing distinctive creative content, the sort that delights and differentiates. AI tips this balance in their favour, doing all the legwork so that communication is always tailored across every channel along the purchase lifecycle, eliminating the risk of upsetting valued patrons.”

Rajan Balasundaram, Vice President, Solutions and Strategic Services at Emarsys, added: “Brands that can make full and fast use of the data and technologies available to them will not only provide consumers with far more individual customer experiences, but also ensure they as marketers reap the full benefits of the systems that they have invested in. As this study shows, consumers aren’t fussed about what’s feeding the machine — they just want a shopping experience which works for them and provides value to their individual needs.”

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Michael Baxter

.Michael Baxter is a tech, economic and investment journalist. He has written four books, including iDisrupted and Living in the age of the jerk. He is the editor of and the host of the ESG...