Chris Hall is the VP of product management for customer engagement solutions at Pitney Bowes.
What are the main ways AI/machine learning will impact marketers and their work in the next year or two?
In the next few years, marketers will rely on AI/machine learning to power conversations between consumers and brands. Data collected from sensors will drive on-boarding and marketing campaigns, determine best next actions for customers, proactively aid human-assisted support devices, and develop models and cohorts of customers for more effective targeting and communication.
In summary, what will be the long-term impact of AI/machine learning on marketing?
In the long term, AI and machine learning will help brands understand the disparate signals they receive from customers in an omni-channel world and will finally be able to pin down the elusive white whale of attribution. They’ll be able to understand, anticipate, and meet the needs of their customers in the appropriate channel for the experience.
How is AI/machine learning incorporated in the work you’re doing?
Today, along with most of the industry, it is early days for AI/machine learning. The tools and capabilities are coming along to make it more mainstream, but in select and targeted use cases. We’re using machine learning to improve our data quality and knowledge graphing, in pursuit of applications that help organizations identify entities and meet FCC regulations; we’re using in-store sensors, traffic and demographic data and location data to help retailers more efficiently select prime locations for brick-and-mortars; and we’re beginning to build out conversational communication and commerce applications to work in tandem with chatbots and voice-automated assistants. We see a lot of potential to use AI and machine learning across our entire software portfolio and across verticals from financial services and retail, to insurance and healthcare.
In your experience, is AI/machine learning already affecting what brands do, or are awareness and adoption still very limited?
I think it is limited today but growing rapidly. Awareness is increasing, volumes of data are increasing, and it requires a form of machine learning to begin putting that information to good use in the forms of predictive analysis and engagement. Customers expect the brands that they are loyal to know them and respond proactively to their needs. To be able to rise to that challenge, brands need to focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience that can be enabled through AI and machine learning practices.