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Segment of One: How the AI-Driven Revolution Is Super-charging Customer Engagement

Discover how AI is revolutionizing customer engagement with personalized experiences. Learn how to leverage AI-driven insights for higher revenues.

A recent McKinsey & Co. report found that over 70 percent of customers today expect personalized outreach from the companies they buy from. In fact, more than three out of four points to personalization as the factor most likely to turn them into a repeat customer that’s willing to recommend the product to friends and/or peers. This sends a clear message to companies; there’s no room for error when it comes to interacting with customers, whether the organizations are corporate giants or small-and-medium businesses all doing their best to survive. 

Consumers are less patient and far less forgiving than ever before. They no longer simply expect companies to cater to their every whim; they insist upon it and their loyalties are perpetually up for grabs because they’ll change their spending habits in a heartbeat if they sense that another brand understands them better and anticipates their needs more accurately and consistently. 

Leveraging AI Technology to Create a ‘Segment of One’

Consumers today feel let down when it comes to delivering a genuinely personalized experience because they’re not getting tailored messages and recommendations based on their needs and wants. As a result, sellers are looking to modern artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to provide the tools they need to master personalization and move beyond an older generation of marketing techniques that force customers into broad arbitrary categories. 

AI platforms, and machine learning in particular, are helping companies gain a thorough understanding of their customer’s behaviors, preferences, and goals. When armed with a vastly-improved understanding of these customers as individuals, companies can better leverage what they know to drive engagement. More importantly, they can apply AI to deliver the right message at just the right time. 

The value of personalization is clearest in its impact on profitability: companies that rely on AI to deliver “just the right experience” to “just the right customer” at ”just the right moment” consistently enjoy revenues that are 40 percent higher than those that don’t. As a result, getting personalization right is no longer optional. Unlike traditional market segmentation that forces unique individuals into broad-based categories on the basis of shared characteristics like age, gender, income, education, vocation, location, favored recreational activities, and spending habits, The concept of a Segment of One is about identifying what makes each and every customer tick. That knowledge is then used to engage with the customer at every stage of their shopping experience. 

Using a dynamic blend of AI, big data, and analytics – all boosted by automation – customers receive messages that are highly specific and highly contextualized. Promotions and offers are tied to specific aspects of the individual’s profile and real-time behavior that allows sellers to engage with the customer in a way that enhances their subjective experience of the brand and cultivates brand loyalty. 

AI: The Missing Link to Keeps Customers Happy (and Loyal)

Using AI-based systems, organizations are able to identify products and brands that the customer may want, but with a degree of specificity and confidence that goes well beyond what standard recommendation engines can deliver. This Segment of One approach leverages the advanced analytics provided by automated machine learning components that embrace a rules-based system and dispense with list-based constraints., Here, machine learning models trained on accurate, intelligently grouped customer data recommend a real-time, algorithm-generated “next best action” for the customer based on their specific journey. Dozens, or even hundreds, of variables and dimensions are brought together and analyzed almost instantly and outcomes are used to train the system so it  “earns over time as it gains access to more and more data. 

Customers who previously may have had a taste of personalization in their engagements with businesses are now demanding a vastly-improved experience with deeper personalization than ever before. They crave engagement that treats them as individuals, not as representatives of arbitrary marketing categories, and they’re rewarding companies that turn to AI to develop a comprehensive understanding of their unique tendencies, preferences, and goals. Customers respond better and more frequently when companies deliver offers, incentives, and messages that demonstrate a deep understanding of who they are and the nature of their experience as a customer. A blend of AI, data, analytics, and automation is enabling companies to engage with their customers as distinct, stand-alone entities, and customers are responding positively, even as (inevitably) they demand still more. Better yet, these cutting-edge technologies are getting better with time, and are ushering in a new era in which the wishes of the customer, not the manufacturer or retailer, are all that matter.

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