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The Power of Brand Storytelling Using Data and AI

Data and AI are transforming retail businesses. Consumer need has always been the driver for retail business decisions. Put the right product in front of a customer and you will have success. And while e-commerce is up 30% year over year as a result of the pandemic, consumer purchasing decisions have become a lot more complex. Need states evolve, personalization is required, and as technology advances, a myriad of new companies and choices enter the market – all of which can make the consumer journey from discovery to a conversion cluttered and confusing.

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One of the most frustrating online retail experiences has to be shopping for shoes. For instance, think about your decision process when looking for sneakers. Go online, and the decision tree is typically based on gender, shoe size and use. From that, you are offered seemingly hundreds of options. If the brand asked just a few more questions to understand taste, interests and athletic goals, AI and machine learning could help to surface relevant choices that would further engage the customer and result in a conversion.

Your Customer Wants a Better Story

Across nearly every industry, brands need to recognize that one size does not fit all. AI and search data can help companies address the needs of their consumers, and tell a great brand story in the process.

“Using a Data-Driven strategy is fast becoming an essential component for leading companies wanting to reach the modern consumer. Embracing high-quality and privacy-compliant consumer data helps drive strategy and inform many areas of the business from product development, content personalization and conversion funnel optimization; right through to customer happiness and support” said Michael Blanche, Co-Founder of Surfside, a consumer analytics platform.

Deeper customization and storytelling applies to a wide spectrum of industries including beauty, clothing, furniture, pets and even what we eat. Technology can suddenly give new life to the standard recipe.  According to Mario Rodriguez, Founder of Bootleg Avocado, a food innovation company, 

“When it comes to culinary, there is a framework behind understanding ingredients, cuisine, taste, flavor, and technique.  When introducing that framework to machine learning and adding a personalization component to it, it supports how to learn to cook, sharpen current culinary skills, or even answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?”

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One Size Does Not Fit All 

Discovering discreet audiences interested in a brand is also an opportunity with AI and search data. A nascent category with multiple demographics and need states to be addressed, with myriad products available, creating clutter and confusion for consumers. In order to address this, developed a quiz, a proprietary recommendation engine, that uses demographic, historical, behavioral and preferential user input. Questions from form factor to knowledge to personal taste all contribute to AI building a profile and navigating consumers to the right product for their specific need.

Using AI to Identify What’s Next, Now

Increasing consumer engagement results in oceans of data that has incredible value, providing it used correctly!

AI can make sense of this data to make it actionable, and over time, as it gathers more intelligence, start to identify emerging trends and opportunities for new products and markets. For the consumer, the joy of discovery remains and can be heightened with a more personalized experience.

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According to recent research by IDC, the total global spending on Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will touch $98 billion by 2023. Nearly 61% of marketers also say that AI is the most important aspect of their data strategy.

Privacy advocates are concerned with the role that big data plays in our lives, with good reason. However, if companies remain compliant and responsible, and build systems that may require little more than behavioral data on their platform, the result is a better experience for consumers.

Efficiency and Urgency

With the right mix of AI and data-driven decisions, any organization can build the framework to be meaningful to their audience, to more efficiently connect their product or service to the right customer and to build a pipeline to address emerging needs and trends. And for the consumer, it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing privacy to find a better sneaker.

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