While today’s brands are focused on trying to create exceptional customer experiences, there’s a disconnect between marketers and consumers when it comes to understanding their preferences, according to a study from Boxever, which takes a look at consumers and marketers’ perceptions around brand loyalty.
Digital transformation is shifting the landscape into uncharted territory for many marketers, and they face challenges as they explore how artificial intelligence, chatbots and other marketing automation can be best used to bring the customer experience to life, says John Callan, VP of marketing with Boxever.
When it comes to AI and chatbots, consumers aren’t as ready as marketers think. While 79% of marketers think that consumers are ready for AI and that customers are either excited or very excited for chatbots, in reality nearly 50% of consumers reported that they are very unexcited or somewhat unexcited about chatbots.
Consumers are much more ambivalent about chatbots than organizations realize, he says. Nearly 50% surveyed are very unexcited or somewhat undecided about chatbots and more than 30% still don’t know. Nearly 60% of respondents haven’t used a chatbot or don’t know if they have. Nearly 45% of consumers polled disagree or strongly disagree that AI will improve their experiences with brands in the future.
CMOs should be proactive to identify areas of opportunity and room for improvement to connect the dots, thinking more broadly about the channels where they reach the modern consumer, he says.
“By understanding the technology and processes that support technology innovation, CMOs can create meaningful connections between their brand and customer, overcoming silos that keep companies from unlocking the true potential of customer data,” Callan says.
CMOs should also be aware of the confusion in defining AI. Few marketers agree on what else falls under the AI umbrella. Only 59% of marketers define predictive intelligence as AI and less than a majority (42%) consider marketing automation powered by machine learning as artificial intelligence.
“Given the fact that we now live in an era where artificial intelligence is becoming mainstream, it may seem surprising at first that consumers and marketers alike are still trying to define what AI means to them,” Callan says. “What is most surprising, I think, is that marketers are so confident that consumers are ready for AI: in a way, this optimism is well founded, because marketers are more familiar with the benefits of the technology and what’s possible when AI drives innovation.”
Adding to this is the varying levels of consumer adaption.
“You have early adopters who are eager to try something new and will have a deeper understanding of the benefits earlier on,” he says. “On the other hand, you have individuals who have their reservations about these advancements. And no matter where customers fall on that spectrum, it’s more important now than ever for marketers — and companies, more generally — to get AI right, putting in the time for bots and other innovations to be powered by the right machine learning to get smarter as they go.”