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Marketing
Sitecore

What is Sitecore AI? (And How Will it Streamline Personalization?)

Jun 24, 2020
Oshyn Labs

The term digital transformation is more fluid than one might think. There is no one-size fits all path to digitalization, nor is there a finish line. When the market evolves via new channels and trends, every successful digital transformation strategy should evolve along with it.

The same is true for choosing the software vendors to fuel your digital transformation. There isn’t one perfect tool—nor a perfect set of tools—for every brand. However, you can stay ahead of the curve by adopting overarching technologies, like AI (artificial intelligence).

The Personalization Problem

AI is expected to boost business productivity by up to 40% by 2035 . This bodes well for the future, but what about realizing the benefits of AI today?

Businesses that combine AI with other technologies already in use, such as digital experience platforms (DXPs) will be able to serve their customers better on a number of fronts. One of those fronts is personalization, a highly-valuable customer experience strategy that’s easier said than done. According to Accenture research, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.

The problem? Well, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Evergage and Researchscape International, marketers report that their personalization strategies are hamstrung by; poor access to data (30%), poor technology solutions (28%), IT department constraints (25%), and low-quality data (23%).

With Sitecore AI, we believe Sitecore has offered a real solution to these obstacles to personalization. Sitecore AI automates personalization at scale by automatically identifying visitor trends, creating customer segments, and modifying page elements to deliver personalized experiences.

AI & Personalization: How it Works

Personalization has been the focus of marketers aiming to keep up with customer expectations. We’re now operating in a landscape where customers don’t just want experiences to be specifically tailored to their needs. They are now demanding relevant content be given to them during every brand interaction and will shun those companies that don’t or simply can’t deliver.

In an attempt to keep up with this customer demand for real-time personalization, marketers must also balance the need to embrace marketing automation as a means of managing processes and leveraging the power of customer data.

How can marketers leverage the power of marketing automation while still creating personalized experiences?

Sitecore’s solution is real-time personalization software, and it uses Sitecore AI to help make it all work.

Sitecore already helps you to create unmatched customer experiences thanks to the Sitecore Experience Platform. More than just a CMS, it provides the flexibility to manage personalized content across channels at scale. A central repository stores all customer interaction data and headless architecture lets you create content once and display it wherever you choose.

How Sitecore AI Helps Marketers

With Sitecore AI, you can now leverage analytics and machine learning capabilities for testing and optimization of content. Sitecore AI:

  • Analyzes customer behavior in order to categorize them into the correct customer segment.
  • Identifies new customer segments and delivers segment-specific content and imagery, resulting in granular personalization
  • Tests and selects the most suitable content for each customer segment, resulting in a customized user experience
  • Automatically analyzes and tags images as they’re uploaded to a digital asset management system (DAM), enabling marketers to categorize and locate images quickly and easily.

Once you know what’s working for your customers, you can continuously optimize their experiences and nurture relationships until you achieve conversion. Sitecore AI does all of this automatically, including content tagging to help implement taxonomy and improve customer targeting.

Automated segmentation also lets you capitalize on customer data, leveraging user behavior analytics to help drive personalization at scale.

The Benefits of Sitecore AI

Sitecore AI is an ally that marketers can leverage to improve their personalization efforts. AI can help marketers extract better insights from their customer data. At its core, Sitecore AI can help you solve the personalization conundrum in two ways.

  1. Automating Processes for More Scale and Deeper Personalization

    Through the automation of customer behavior analysis and segmentation, marketers can gather more insights into their customer personas. A better understanding of the customer can help them to showcase the most relevant content depending on where the customer is in their journey.

  2. Freeing Your Marketers to Create More Content

    As productivity increases, human resources are left free to focus on more creative tasks. AI can’t replace everything that humans do, but it does provide access to more strategic insights. Marketers can leverage this data to come up with new ways to improve their campaigns and appeal to customers.

AI Marketing: The Next Frontier

An explosion of new customer touchpoints and channels means that not only are customers receiving much more content than ever before, but it also means that marketers are receiving much more data in return.

Having access to so much data means that marketers can no longer rely on the old ways of doing things to appeal to their customers, they must instead undergo a transition to the next frontier. This digital transition now happening is impacting how we create content, engage with customers and make decisions. Leading the charge for that transition is AI marketing.

When we speak about AI, many people still imagine the concept of intelligent computers not only being able to do everything as well as a human can but doing everything even better, thus rendering us obsolete.

Thankfully, this science-fiction inspired future remains years away, as AI still relies heavily on human intelligence to be effective. However, what we do have in AI at this moment is an ally that can make our jobs much easier.

Should Marketers Fear or Embrace AI?

Marketers of today understand the importance of personalization, but the reality is that very few of them are getting it done right. Around 90% of marketers understand the importance of key data sources for effective personalization, but less than 40% of marketers are even utilizing the data to help with the most basic strategies.

AI marketing and more specifically, the use of machine learning in marketing helps marketers connect data from websites and social media to get their messaging right and give more relevant information to their customers.

Machine learning in marketing is playing a crucial role in areas such as creating lookalike models and performing churn analysis. These factors all have a role to play in helping improve personalization.

Knowing that you have a problem and understanding how to solve it are two different things, but with the help of AI, marketers truly have a shot at solving the personalization problem.

While most marketers understand the importance of getting personalization right, they can’t solve the ‘personalization conundrum’ due to any combination of the following situations:

  • They don’t create enough content to learn more about their customers and offer segmentation.
  • They don’t have the right technology in place to create content, gather information and visualize their data.

With artificial intelligence in the picture, marketers have an extra weapon in their arsenal, not a wholesale replacement for a marketing team.

How to Get Started with Sitecore AI

Tackling the problem of content creation and then leveraging AI to get the most out of that content is no easy feat. There are a number of moving parts, lots of data to wrangle and several channels to manage. Arming yourself with a CMS like Sitecore will help you do all of this, once it is implemented correctly.

Oshyn is a Sitecore partner that works with globally recognized brands, like Dole to aid in the creation of exceptional digital experiences.

By utilizing Sitecore’s advanced features, we can help you to unlock your customer data and access valuable insights that drive better results.

Learn more about getting started with Sitecore and Sitecore AI with the help of Oshyn.