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AI has enabled online merchants to automate tasks with much more accuracy and efficiency, making it an indispensable asset to their business model

From self-driving cars and voice-operated appliances to machine learning tools and smart virtual assistants, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a bearing on everything. While the e-commerce market has remained subject to numerous technological interventions in the past, AI has had the biggest impact so far. AI’s influence on online businesses has been the most significant development for e-commerce in recent years. Through AI applications, the e-commerce industry has progressed in leaps, allowing online merchants to reduce the costs associated with marketing, administrative, and management. Moreover, AI has enabled online merchants to automate tasks with much more accuracy and efficiency, making it an indispensable asset to their business model. According to industry experts, AI will rank in the top five investment priorities for more than 20% of CIOs by 2020. From its…

Three ways financial services companies are leveraging AI to enhance the customer experience

Artificial intelligence is having a transformative impact on industries and sectors across the world. From retail to manufacturing, advanced AI technology has already changed how we interact and do business with one another. This trend is only going to continue and whilst some worry about a Terminator-style apocalypse, many are looking more optimistically at the opportunities ahead. The financial services sector has experienced some really interesting developments over the last five years. Changing regulatory compliance requirements and shifting customer demands mean that financial services companies are turning to new technologies to manage different challenges and opportunities. Many of these can be grouped into three broad areas: Combating fraud and financial crimes Managing credit and regulatory risk Enhancing the customer experience Within this post, I’d like to look at some of the ways financial organizations are using AI to enhance the…

Recent research shows that bots can communicate better and faster than humans

It seems that almost every day, pundits warn us about the dangers of implementing AI-based apps too quickly. One oft-cited Oxford University study predicted that nearly half of total US jobs could be lost through automation. But fear not, when it comes to automation in the context of higher education. Because here, AI-powered messaging apps are actually a very good thing. [si_guide_block id="29978" title="Download our Free Resource – Essential marketing models" description="This free guide has been created to help today’s marketers apply our pick of the most popular established frameworks to aid their decision making."/] These apps significantly lower administrative costs while also raising student satisfaction and enrollment rates. Specifically, these apps have: Lower service costs. Schools just need to pay for the 'startup' costs of their chatbots and related apps. Very few human support agents…

The future is now with chatbots, so you need to consider how you can use the technology to improve lead generation

In case you haven’t heard, AI’s promise isn’t based on future advances. It’s being used widely now to transform digital businesses. Powered by smart algorithms and machine learning, chatbots (automated chat messaging) promise to allow companies to connect with their prospects even better than humans can, while at the same time dramatically lowering headcount and overhead costs. Dozens of tech companies have created chatbot platforms that serve up pre-programmed responses to questions; responses informed by things like prior website interactions, social media activity and semantic analysis. Most importantly, these bots can decipher the intent of your visitors. If you know intent, you know what to say next, which is the 'secret sauce' of lead nurturing. [si_guide_block id="87369" title="Download our Business Resource – AI and Machine Learning for marketing" description="The guide aims to…

Nearly 43% of all e-commerce traffic is organic, while just 26% of traffic comes from ads

"We don't need SEO. We use Adwords. It works better for us." I’ve heard this phrase countless times over in the e-commerce space, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly 43% of all e-commerce traffic is organic, while just 26% of traffic comes from ads. If you are focusing on PPC over SEO, you are missing out on a massive chunk of traffic. Plus, as sites at the top of Google get 36.4% of search traffic, your e-commerce SEO strategy needs to be top notch. [si_guide_block id="5750" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Successful SEO guide" description="Our comprehensive guide to Search Engine Optimisation best practices isn't just for SEOs, the clear explanations mean that it can be used by marketers to ask the right questions to…

Mapping the most effective AI technologies for marketing across the customer lifecycle

AI technology is a hot topic in marketing at the moment, but AI is a broad term covering a wide range of different technologies. Artificial intelligence means any technology that seeks to mimic human intelligence, which covers a huge range of capabilities such as voice and image recognition, machine learning techniques and semantic search. Marketers like to wax lyrical about the latest exciting technologies and bang on about AI for image recognition, speech recognition, preventing data leaks, or even targeting drones at remote communities. All well and good. But how are marketers supposed to do anything with that information? It's just hype, you can't implement it. That's why in our AI and Machine Learning briefing for members we have identified fifteen artificial intelligence techniques that businesses of all sizes can implement, rather than techniques which only major tech…

Chart of the week: 37% of consumers who use social media to complain or question brands expect to get a response in under 30 minutes

Delivering great customer service is getting more and more difficult for brands, as customer expectations change. Consumers now want instant service that offers fast results, which means brands need to deliver the best possible customer service via their digital channels. Over a third (37%) of consumers who use social media to complain or question brands expect to get a response in under 30 minutes. According to Conversocial’s report ‘The State of Digital Care in 2018’, people want almost instant responses to issues they air on a social platform. The report shows that the majority of respondents expect a response the same day via social media, with 31% wanting one in under two hours and 26% expecting to hear back in under four hours. In fact, only 6%…

An opted-in, highly engaged audience that enjoys real-time service from preferred brands will set the foundation for the ROI that businesses need to see

There’s no denying that chatbots drew in a lot of attention last year. The tremendous hype around their capabilities fueled intrigue about how they were going to change consumer behavior and produce impressive results. However, creating any chatbot experience - let alone a great one - is a much harder task than expected. When Facebook Messenger launched services for businesses in 2015, online retailer Everlane was quick to form a partnership. In spite of the company’s first-mover advantage, the chatbot struggled to produce real business value. Everlane used its Messenger chatbot as an email alternative, sending messages such as order confirmations and shipping information. It fell victim to a rushed creation process and never had the time needed to generate real ROI because the holistic customer experience was…

You can add smarts to your experience in one of two main ways: either by adding human intelligence - and with it, a dose of empathy or by adding an automated form of intelligence

‘Work smarter, not harder’ has always been my mantra. While I haven’t always been able to achieve this, it’s still a noble goal. Thankfully, with the latest technologies and sales techniques, it’s now easier than ever to create smarter - and better converting - e-commerce shopping experiences. You can add smarts to your experience in one of two main ways: either by adding human intelligence - and with it, a dose of empathy, or by adding an automated form of intelligence (empathy not included?). On the human side, I’ll share how to plug in online chat agents, and incorporate some neuromarketing principles into your designs. On the automation side, I’ll discuss…

A briefing on the advantages and disadvantages of chatbots

Technology and fashion are not exactly two industries which you would associate with one another. While this might be the only time you see the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Naomi Campbell ever compared in an online article, their worlds do share certain similarities. Much like fashion trends, as soon as you have got to grips with the latest technological development billed as revolutionizing the world then it has been promptly usurped by a new innovation. No one spends much time contemplating the potential of the minidisc anymore, for example, do they? But some technological buzzwords do have some substance beneath the layers of frantic internet hype. One such example is the chatbot, which has been proven to be hugely beneficial to businesses of all sizes with 80% expected to be using one by 2020.

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