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How AI-driven personalization and human creativity make a winning pair

Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides opportunities for augmenting human creativity. You can now design campaigns that deliver the right experience in the right place and at the right time. Combining machine-driven analytics and human creativity holds the key to creating the best possible customer experience. The huge benefits from this collaboration mean value for businesses — more revenues, more profitability.

 

The power of the human mind and creativity

Machine learning is going to change every single aspect of technology, but no machine will be able to mimic the creative ability of the human mind.”
Shantanu Narayen
CEO, Adobe

When we imagine an AI-powered future, our biggest fear is dehumanization. New technologies have already revolutionized and disrupted digital marketing in many ways, and marketers sometimes worry that AI will eventually replace them. But even though AI can enable dynamic optimization and powerful personalization, it has limited capacity to create new ideas that truly resonate. The reason is simple — most of the best theories start from human experiences, past scenarios, and observations.

There will always be a need for intuition, which is largely part of the human creative process. Humans are way better at responding to extreme situations or unpredictable scenarios. Therefore, even at its most powerful, AI won’t replace human intelligence and creativity any time soon. It’s only by maintaining the human touch that AI can add value to businesses.

Humans have contextual information when reading results from machines, achieved by vast experiences with customers, understanding human behavior, familiarity with time-related insights such as seasonal events, holidays, festivals, and trends in the market as well as macro-economic information. For instance, a customer looking for a particular pair of shoes in your ecommerce store starts a conversation with a chatbot which immediately presents her with a range of available items and other options based on the description given and her previous shopping history. When the item was placed in the shopping cart, the chatbot tells her of a personal discount because of her nth time store visit and then offers some personalized recommendations for complementary items. 

Everything is going smoothly and the conversation is as human as possible when the customer suddenly asks a question about the store’s plans to have some items related to the upcoming Olympic Games. The event is in less than a year’s time and the customer wants to have a pair of shoes with the logo. The chatbot will find this too complex because it hasn’t been programmed into the system yet, so it passes the chat session seamlessly to a live agent who resolves the query. Algorithms are great at optimization and automation but have restrictions on interpreting findings held up against possible outcomes based on context.

AI helps you to get things done faster and more efficiently. It also opens the door to new and exciting ways to experiment, test, and learn from data to create better and improved customer experiences. But it’s essential that brands keep using the human touch to fully understand the nuances of human behavior.

 

Embracing the magic of AI-driven personalization

Customers have learned to expect personalized messages and offers delivered in every stage of their shopping journey, and they won’t settle for anything less. Their needs and preferences change all the time. By leveraging the power of AI, it’s easy to gather in-the-moment insights that are critical in predicting what customers want. AI helps create and deliver tailored customer experiences more effectively and transparently through highly targeted content. 

The problem with merely relying on gut feeling is that it doesn’t have numbers to back it up. That’s when data becomes crucial. For example, AI provides a careful analysis of your consumer’s past buying behavior hence giving you the opportunity to customize the way your ecommerce homepage should look and what products your customer should see. Instead of using an image that you prefer and feel would work, the AI-powered engine creates a dynamic website personalization that leads to higher conversions and greater customer retention with minimal effort. Machine learning does not hamper human intuition, but it can help differentiate between an inspired idea and a bad hunch.

Humans and machines can complement each other resulting in increasing productivity. This collaboration could increase revenue by 38 percent by 2022.
Accenture

In marketing, it’s already common to drive personalization programs or to enable predictive analytics. One of the greatest benefits of AI, however, is the ability to carry the workload and free up human time. Machine learning provides valuable insights on the behavioral patterns of the user base which help make business decisions. Because of automation, people get more time for strategic thinking and planning. With AI, it’s easier to scale, test, measure, and harness ideas, and instantly produce hundreds of iterations — something that would take ages for a human to do.

 

The dynamic duo: When AI gets creative

Data and tech only really fly when human thinking and vision are brought to bear on it.”
Paul Hughes, Founding Partner, and Strategist
Rothco (part of Accenture)

Marketing magic begins with technology-driven insights that enhance human creativity. When AI is done right, it can amplify and enhance human productivity, and open an exciting world of new possibilities. The idea is for humans to drive technology and for machine learning to heighten the capabilities of humans. 

AI can be used to validate and improve ideas by ensuring social relevance, while its human counterpart ensures that the idea retains its emotional resonance. This fusion drives business impact and marketing excellence. It’s a match made in heaven that can produce great results. But getting the most out of it requires good people and good tools.

For example, email marketing click-through rates can be hiked by over 50 % by using machine learning-based tools along with human intuition. Based on real-time user behavior and collected data, an AI model automatically pitches in a personalized message into the marketing content for each user, resulting in a higher click-through and open rate. Consequently, being informed about click-through patterns can help optimize future campaigns. Machine learning makes it possible with minimal effort and maximum accuracy.

AI can do its magic, but it needs to complement human intuition and creativity to reduce limitations and gain a higher level of control that lets you shape algorithm-based decisions and inform future activities. According to McKinsey, AI and machine learning will contribute a staggering USD 2.6 trillion in marketing and sales by 2020.

 

Enable human-centered, AI-powered personalization

Personalization should bring together interpersonal interaction and collective intelligence so connections become faster and computers smarter and more efficient. Human-centered, AI-powered personalization brings together human-curated signals and adaptive machine learning solutions. As a result, systems mature by learning from individual interactions and collective insights. In this way, humans have the ability to outplay certain limitations and restrictions posed by algorithms.

By 2020, businesses that use AI and related technologies like machine learning and deep learning to uncover new insights will take $1.2 trillion each year from competitors that don’t.
-Forrester

The intelligent insights are used in product and content recommendations to better engage customers, improve overall satisfaction, enhance customer experience, and encourage loyalty. And although AI helps optimize customer journeys and make better predictions on what is most likely to sell, human intervention is still critical and relevant, especially in some unexpected scenarios.

Let’s say that three customers buy a TV and a kids’ My Little Pony shirt in an ecommerce store. The machine algorithms interpret this as common behavior, and end up recommending My Little Pony shirts every time a user purchases a TV. But a human brain will be able to identify these unusual situations and make decisions accordingly, for example isolating some categories or subcategories for smarter recommendations.

At the same time, when it comes to testing, traditional methods such as multi-armed bandit are effective in test automation, but there are limitations. You need to test multiple content variations but when there’s a variation that’s constantly failing, the machine won’t be able to create new content to automatically replace it. Only a human can see these failures and come up with new content to test. So, even in test automation, the killer combo is machine automation combined with the logical thinking of humans.

At Frosmo, even though we’re continuously developing our platform’s AI capabilities, we know that human creativity is still the beating heart and the focal point of our product vision. When combined with the proper use of AI, these two make the perfect winning pair.

The idea is to not replace good human intuition, but use smart technologies to facilitate the inception and development of creative ideas that will enhance and further improve marketing efforts and strategies.

 

Download the personalization ebook for some insights, examples, and practical tips for different industries, such as retail, media, and iGaming.

personalization ebook


About the writer:

Tiina Krokfors is a multilingual ecommerce/SaaS professional with experience supporting international clients in a variety of business sectors. Her degree in Engineering and experience in front-end development allows her to combine deep-seated technical knowledge with a value-based approach to customer success. The biggest motivators for her are translating business strategies into innovative and intelligent digital solutions and delighting customers.

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