Business & Technology Review

Adapting to 'the new normal' using AI-powered personalisation

Filed on August 24, 2020 | Last updated on August 24, 2020 at 01.48 pm

As the world grapples to weather the storm and adapt to new and unpredictable changes in consumer behaviour, marketers can harness AI to quickly build more powerful, relevant and optimised customer experiences

The only constant is change. This has been true all along but is even more apparent in the current, volatile Covid-19 context.

There is no way of predicting to what extent consumer behaviour will change from one day to the next. However, we've already seen a huge shift in consumers trends. This is across retail, online vs offline media consumption habits, consumer spending power, buying habits and personal and professional priorities.

Reacting and adapting is crucial
For online retailers, travel companies, media outlets and the like, this means an upending of existing norms. And it means needing to find ways to adapt - fast. For brands that have put in place a personalisation strategy, or were considering doing so, what does this mean for them? Nobody has a crystal ball, and it would be foolish to try and make hard and fast predictions about what consumers will want tomorrow. But we can infer behaviour from patterns and make educated guesses to help guide experiments and places to start optimising. This is indeed the backbone of our AI-powered strategy, which utilises Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning techniques to help marketers quickly build more powerful and relevant customer experiences.

AB Tasty has released a new whitepaper offering personalisation principles to help guide brands through this next period of uncertainty. The whitepaper offers actionable insight and advice to improve customer experience optimisation strategies from now until we reach 'the new normal'. It also explains how machine learning models can help you understand your customers and reach them with personalised experiences.

Following are the key takeaways from the whitepaper:

1 Providing the personal touch in an impersonal environment
Against a backdrop where consumers are being encouraged to socially distance from others, the need for digital has accelerated. The main premise of personalisation remains the same: consumers find messaging that is truly relevant to them more appealing. While some experiences can apply largely across the board but there are new opportunities for brands to speak in a 'one to few' manner to customers taking into account this changing consumer landscape.

2 Modelling a strategy around a 'WishList' mentality
With many economies already heading towards a recession, consumers' sense of their own buying power is set to fare better. According to Global Web Index, only 29 per cent of UK consumers expect Covid-19 to have a dramatic effect on their personal finances. This is compared to 87 per cent who believe the economy will be affected dramatically.

Many consumers are tightening their purse strings for large purchases, notably luxury items and technology goods. However, the report suggests that consumers are moving to a 'wishlist' mentality. They are making a mental note of purchases browsed online for when the skies begin to clear.
This is an opportunity to use personalisation capabilities to identify consumers interested in specific content on your website. Then a strategy can be modelled to create segments based on those interests. Now is the time to use ai systems to personalise experiences and keep them fresh in consumers' minds.

3 Taking your customers by the hand
The new consumer behaviours are likely to stick, well beyond the pandemic. Make the most of this now by personalising the experience and segmenting. This can be based on 'new' vs 'returning' visitors, or on engagement level.

Brands should do everything they can to take new customers 'by the hand' and lead them along the buyer journey. Engagement level segmentation should be used to do this quickly and effortlessly.

4 Being mindful of your ads and aligning across channels
Advertising as if nothing were different is deemed not to be appropriate in the current climate yet brands still need to maintain interest in their products. Changing the tone or content of ads is an important step. Crucially this new messaging needs to be aligned and personalised on the landing/product page the digital ad directs to. From a data and privacy perspective, it's vital to offer extra transparency and a strict adherence to regulations and best practice.

5 Experimentation to measure uplift
The most important rule of thumb is to experiment and measure the efficacy of personalisation campaigns. Run an experiment to ensure that your personalisation efforts are creating better customer experiences and the uplift you're aiming for. It's essential to vet any new ideas to be sure they are aligned with new customer expectations.

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