Today’s marketers are expected to operate in a digital world dominated by data. With new data sources becoming available almost daily, it may feel overwhelming to businesses, but it is the key to both their success and survival. Today, data is your customer; it helps businesses reveal their customers’ desires, preferences, and needs, and ultimately guiding them with insights that drive more personalised customer experiences.

Making great customer experiences a priority has become essential to the business world, but the experiences that marketers are able to provide will only ever be as good as the data they can access and interpret. A company’s competitive advantage is how it uses data to connect customer experience to value. Without the right business intelligence tools and customer-centric approach in place, the superior experiences that marketers seek to provide, and exceed, will take much longer to become a reality.

Anticipating the next-best action

Augmented Intelligence gives marketers the ability to navigate through massive quantities of data, identifying patterns, recognising trends, and anticipating the next-best action for a marketer to take.

Augmented Intelligence works in a way similar to the human brain – ingesting structured and unstructured data, and continually learning over time and inferring meaning and logic out of that information. With the power of AI, you can get closer to your customers’ experiences at every stage of their journey, and connect them to measurable business value.

It enhances human expertise, and applying augmented intelligence to marketing can give marketers the power to 1) uncover new levels of actionable insight that they ordinarily wouldn’t see, 2) deliver hyper-personalised experiences that customers want, and 3) build lasting customer engagement at every touchpoint, across all channels.

It’s always now

Many marketers looking to get started with a business intelligence application may be discouraged by the poor quality of their data; don’t be. Your path to intelligence should not be delayed because your data is in a poor state. The best time to get started on analytics is always now. The saying “done is better than perfect” could not be more relevant for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge through their data. Imperfect data can still provide companies with actionable insights, while simultaneously exposing data quality issues that teams can identify and improve over time.  

Our recent The State of Salesforce Report found that companies using Salesforce who invested in analytics in the last year are three times more likely to see their data as a competitive advantage than those who did not invest. UK businesses have caught on, with 62% of UK organisations stating that they would be increasing their investments in analytics over the next 12 months.

Data is a currency

If there’s one thing marketers need to be mindful of when looking to mine data for actionable insights, it is the challenge of building enough trust from customers so that they become willing to trade and share their information. Data is a currency and customers have become more aware now of the importance of data to marketers and what they should expect in return. New legislation on the horizon, such as the GDPR here in the EU, is only going to heighten this awareness. Channels, such as Twitter, are responding, giving users more control over what data is stored and shared with marketing partners.  

Marketing is an important function in ensuring customers’ trust and engagement with companies. Marketers need to consistently deliver personalised and creative experiences that are relevant to the customer, in that moment in time; outreach to customers and prospects cannot be an afterthought. Failure by a company to make customers feel like a priority at any point in their journey will see trust erode quickly. This will also cost marketers the data needed to keep driving their business forward.

Building trust

Building customer trust is impossible without a team of engaged employees, who are empowered by their company’s culture and its applications to help them become more productive and efficient. One effective way to ensure employee engagement is to make the power of the organisation’s data accessible at all levels of the business.  Empowering them with intelligent systems that automate mundane and simple tasks, prompting them with next best actions and the right information at the right time, not only drives performance and productivity, it offers the potential to deliver major boosts to employee satisfaction, which translates to happier customers.

However, augmented intelligence at the desktop alone won’t be enough to keep employees, and customers, smiling. These capabilities need to be extended to every customer contact point with universal access across multiple platforms. This enables marketers, sales and customer service to spend more time engaging with customers and applying the human touches of creativity and personality.

With all the promise of augmented intelligence, updating back-end processes now to enable deep access to information and actionable insights might not seem glamorous, but it will have a significant impact on both employee and customer experience. Delight your customers by starting your augmented intelligence journey now.


By Corinne Sklar, global CMO at Bluewolf, an IBM Company

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