In this episode of SMACtalk, Daniel Newman and Brian Fanzo welcome guest Steve Rudolph of Pegasystems. In his role at Pega, Steve leads the industry market group covering telco and all the industries it touches, from insurance to financial services. In his role, he focuses on how to create value in customer relationships by using data effectively.
During the podcast, Daniel and Steve discussed the need for today’s industries to embrace AI in marketing to ensure positive relationships with their customers. Many industries, including telco, have gotten stuck in the “tyrannosaurus rex” method of marketing—direct marketing—even though it’s clear traditional segmenting approaches are no longer effective. In fact, it often leads to outcomes that are bad for both the marketer and the customer. Customers are irritated that they get hit with ads that aren’t relevant—and marketers are frustrated that they aren’t getting the results they need.
Why does that happen? Steve notes that traditional segmenting is good for averages, but not for individuals. Using AI in marketing can help companies make smarter use of customer segmentation by combining data about their real-time actions taken by the customer (performing a search for keyword or product) with historical information from them pulled across channels. This allows companies to market in a way that doesn’t feel like marketing, and it helps hit customers at the time they’re most willing to buy.
Who is responsible for leading this change? Steve says today’s digital heroes are the forward-thinking executives focusing on ways to increase customer lifetime value, not just marketing impact. Just like we build CX journey maps, we need to use AI, omnichannel data, and marketing to plot our services, sales, and marketing touchpoints. For instance, providing the right services puts people in right frame of mind to buy. We must begin with the end goal in mind—incorporating CX and UX to build a seamless and positive experience for customers.
While many people are afraid of AI, Steve feels that when use it effectively – to create value for our customers – most won’t even realize they’re encountering it. Ultimately, AI in marketing won’t just be used to sell, but to make our customers’ lives better.
A year from now, Steve hopes we will be using AI to enhance every service we interact with on a daily basis. AI itself isn’t quite perfect yet—and it still has some hurdles to cross in terms of transparency and trust. But in the end it remains an incredible tool for allowing almost every industry move with their relationship with customers forward.
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