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Marketing AI Today: 3 Links in 3 Minutes (Jan 31, 2018)
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By: Ashley Sams

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January 31st, 2018

Marketing AI Today: 3 Links in 3 Minutes (Jan 31, 2018)

Every week, our team reads as much as we can to uncover the most interesting and informative AI articles circulating the internet.

Here are this week’s leading articles for everything you need to know about artificial intelligence.

1. Personal Voice Assistant Shoppers

According to Adweek, there are currently 27 million Google and Amazon voice devices installed in homes and businesses across the United States. Of these device owners, 29% use them to shop and another 41% intend to do so in the future. As the popularity of these devices and other voice assistants grow, brands are going to have to evolve their business to keep up.

“Shifts in consumer behavior may feel subtle today, but they will have long-lasting effects on our expectations, buying habits and relationships with brands,” writes Adweek.

The first of three voice AI trends expected to change shopping in 2018 is feedback. Brands should aim to make their product review process more convenient and engaging when voice search is used. By allowing customers to give bitesize feedback via voice, businesses can increase their online product reviews and improve future product recommendations for their customers.

Another voice trend disrupting shopping in the coming year is product returns. When it comes to returns, 95% customers will make repeat purchases with a brand if they are satisfied with their return process. Using voice AI, businesses can automate part of their return process by reminding customers to return products they don’t want and using feedback to fill out the return form and send customers an email copy.

Lastly, voice AI will have a major impact on replenishment—reminding customers when it’s time to reorder products they’ve previously purchased. The challenge for businesses is figuring out an integration that allows brands to introduce new products to customers without coming off as spammy or intrusive.

2. The Rise of Chatbots

In a recent MediaPost article, it is predicted that by 2020, chatbots will handle 85% of customer service interactions. While the idea of using AI to automate customer service with chatbots may excite some businesses, the lack of consumer understanding and adoption of chatbots are obstacles brands will have to tackle first.

Mass consumer adoption of AI-powered chatbots still has a ways to go. In fact, when asked, only about 54% of consumers are even aware they are interacting with chatbots. In relation to customer service, more than 70% of consumers would rather resolve problems and ask questions during an in-store shopping experience by talking with a human rather than a machine.

Of consumers surveyed, 46% use Siri or Cortana, 22% use Amazon Echo and 16% use Google Home in their everyday lives. However, because interactions with these devices, search engines and social networks drive AI-powered recommendations so seamlessly, there is a major disconnect among consumers. Only 35% of respondents were “very” willing to use a voice-controlled device to interact with a chatbot, while 25% are not willing to use it at all. Low scores can be attributed to inadequate levels of satisfaction in past experiences, specifically in regards to accuracy of results and privacy of personal data.

Marketers can use this data to inform their decisions as they continue to make further investments in artificial intelligence and deep learning.

3. Playing With Fire

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai shared just how serious Google is taking artificial intelligence in a recent interview for a new show hosted by Recode and MSNBC.

“AI is one of the most important things that humanity is working on. It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire. But it kills people, too. They learn to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we have to overcome its downsides, too.”

Pichai goes on to illustrate the importance of AI by relating it to climate change. He recounts how years ago, humanity started developing concern over climate change, but has since united to share resources and work together to solve it.

Similarly, Pichai says it is good to have concern for AI and its abilities because that is how we make progress. He also warns us to be thoughtful about AI, as it holds potential for some of the biggest advances we are ever going to see.

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About Ashley Sams

Ashley Sams is a consultant at PR 20/20. She joined the agency in 2017 with a background in marketing, specifically for higher education and social media. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of The University of Mount Union where she earned a degree in marketing.

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