7 Tips For Leveraging Ai To Improve User Experience

The use of artificial intelligence in marketing and advertising has been constantly on the rise due to the technology’s versatility in connecting brands with customers. AI has already found its way into several areas of the industry, most notably in the form of AI-based chatbots designed to enhance and optimize customer service.

7 tips for Ai and User Experience

However, AI can go so much deeper in improving the overall user experience that a customer may have. AI has the potential to do a lot more in terms of data processing to garner insights for a business. Focusing on the metrics that are specific to a business is just the surface layer. User interaction data can also provide a significant store of data that the company can use to improve customer experience. An element like a product recommendation service based on what the user has searched for and viewed previously is an excellent way to leverage AI to improve consumer interaction with the brand.

These leaders from Ad Age Collective understand the immense potential that AI can provide to the industry as a whole. We asked them to help us understand how a brand can best include AI in designing and upgrading its user experience. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Create a system of checks and balances.
There are plenty of applications of AI across all areas of advertising and marketing. Whether you’re building your own AI or using a technology provider, it’s important to ensure that there are checks and balances and a discernible ROI created. That requires checking that the algorithms are working optimally, mitigating biases and surfacing the most impactful recommendations on an ongoing basis. – Ricky Ray Butler, Branded Entertainment Network

2. Identify your visual brand equity.
As AI-driven user experience becomes the norm, a brand’s differentiated visual equity will be critical to stand out in multibrand platforms. Brands must identify visual elements that are relevant and ownable. For instance, Target owns the bull’s-eye. What else can they own? – Arjun Sen, ZenMango

3. Focus on audio.
Most of the brands have largely been neglecting their audio dimension. Developers and marketers focus mainly on visual and haptics to a lesser extent, while the sound is the sense dimension that connects emotionally. – Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy – Knowledge Brokers

4. Use AI to enhance personalization.
AI can be used to enhance the personalization of your offering. Use it to alter product options, add-ons and benefits in real time while a consumer is online searching for your brand in order to directly benefit their lifestyle. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

5. Use AI to manage out-of-stocks.
Some progressive retailers like Wakefern and Kroeger are using AI-powered image recognition to identify out-of-stock issues and to efficiently restock the shelves. Some brand owners like AB InBev, especially those with direct store delivery (DSD), are also doing the same. Collaborate with your retail channel partners to capture and act on this data. – Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)

6. Keep a close eye on it.
While AI is powerful and can help carry out activities easily and fast, it’s not 100 percent reliable. Remember Microsoft’s “Tay” Twitter bot that went from having engaging interactions to using slurs? Use AI in creating content and better experiences, but keep a close eye on it. AI is literal and does not take context into account, nor can it make moral judgments. You need to constantly monitor it. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Be cognizant of inherent bias.
AI is incredibly efficient and underpins many popular systems we use today. One only has to investigate the world of streaming services, with content recommendations powered by AI, to see its impact. However, brands need to remember to not be blinded by AI’s abilities and to be cognizant of inherent biases that exist within AI systems. AI is only as good as its creator — and that creator is human. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap

8 Tips For Leaders Looking To Future-proof Their Experiential Marketing Techniques

Experiential marketing has changed how companies interact with their customers. Instead of just directly selling, companies are instead directly interacting with their customers, creating memorable immersive experiences their audiences will love. This inclusion makes it more likely that customers will view the company in a more positive light than if their relationship with the company had simply been transactional in nature.

AdAge 8 Tips Experiential

Even so, it’s necessary for experiential marketing to evolve. For marketers that are interested in future-proofing their strategies, they need to take into account the impact of current events. With the latest crisis changing consumer habits and behaviors, experiential marketing will require a bit of an adjustment to succeed now and in the future.

These professionals from Ad Age Collective are skilled in the development of innovative experiential marketing tactics. Here, they weigh in on how modern businesses can adapt their experiential marketing campaigns to cope with a post-crisis world.

1. Blend the digital and physical worlds.
Marketing to large physical crowds or encouraging them to gather is on pause. Use digital strategies to create crowd-based energy asynchronously and/or with geographic diversity. Insert your brand into watch parties, esports, food/supply delivery, online education, etc. Connect to new heroes — frontline workers and first responders. Address new issues and behaviors like loneliness and family walks. – Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)

2. Consider safety as part of your experience.
Safety has always been important to customers, but safety now has a new public health dimension beyond physical security measures implemented before. As you craft new in-person experiences, you will have to support and illustrate — before and during events — how you satisfy attendee safety while making the experience both frictionless and fun. – Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive

3. Get inspired and extend the reach of your content.
Get inspired! The beauty of translating the best of physical experiences into digital ones is that it can extend the reach of potent content. Obama’s favorite DJ, DJ Mel (and his dog), is now spinning records for thousands from his house via Facebook Live. And, not-for-profit USAFacts is connecting Americans with hard-to-get virus-spread data, facts and maps across connected screens. – Lana McGilvray, Purpose Worldwide

4. Identify what will define your experience.
Experience will always separate utility brands from brands we connect with. But this extended staying at home may impact the relative importance of experiential attributes. People may be more OK to wait a little longer, but will always need to be assured of environmental safety. Identifying what attributes will define your experience will be key to experiential marketing. – Arjun Sen, ZenMango

5. Look to augmented and virtual reality.
Experiential marketing may mean less in-person or large group events, but emerging technologies on the augmented reality and virtual reality side may see a rise as people are looking inward and at new ways of engaging with personalized content. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

6. Diversify across digital and nondigital channels.
If this crisis proves one thing, it’s that industries that rely on one or two methods to market themselves are at great risk from changes in the world. Diversification is key across digital and nondigital marketing channels in order to protect their organizations from suffering. The litmus test is simple — look at your channels and evaluate if your business could survive if one disappeared. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap

7. Determine what is situationally appropriate.
Marketing leaders need to understand quickly what is situationally appropriate for the moment and not be tone-deaf. You need to be anchored with an authentic voice and a mission to drive purpose, otherwise your efforts can come across as shallow. At the same time, you have to quickly get a sense of how the situation could evolve, so that you can navigate through the crisis in the appropriate manner. – Rich Honiball, Navy Exchange Service Command

8. Make sure every brand experience has a virtual version.
Companies need to make sure every brand experience they create can be translatable to a remote or virtual version (if not being formerly virtual). However, not just marketing leaders should pay attention to that transformation. Those who have kids at home right now are witnessing how schools, banks, clinics and a myriad of public services are having to learn and transform while in flight. – Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy – Knowledge Brokers

14 Agency Pros Share Their Best Practices For Website Management

Website Management

Original Publication: Forbes

Date Published: March 6, 2019

Your company’s website is the ultimate marketing tool. It’s often the first point of contact for a potential customer, and it can significantly affect how they view your brand. An outdated or inaccurate site can quickly turn off users, while an engaging and informative one can increase consumer trust and interest—and help you make the sale.

As a business owner, you need to prioritize your Web presence and make sure it’s working for you as a marketing tool. Below, 14 members of Forbes Agency Council outline some best practices for managing your company’s website.

Website Management

1. Think Mobile First

We live in a world where two-thirds of the population now have a mobile phone. Everybody uses their devices on a daily basis. This is why it is mandatory to have a website that is accessible on mobile screens, with an engaging user experience, up-to-date content and clear calls to action. – Daniela Pavan, The Ad Store New York

2. Review Quarterly And Improve As Needed

It is important to set up a time to follow up on the website and to review it on a quarterly basis. That means that it is important to ensure that there are many ways to review the success or the failure of the current structure. When you are able to do that, you will see that there are many ways to improve the overall reach out as well as the communication for the people. – Jon James, Ignited Results

3. Assign A ‘Brand Keeper’ To Audit The Site

The auditing process doesn’t have to be painful. Simply read through the website, ideally looking at it with the fresh eyes of a first-time visitor. To make it easier, assign someone to be the “keeper of the brand” and make it part of their job to do this at regular intervals. It’s also a good idea to ask brand-new employees for their opinions, as they’re best able to pinpoint anything confusing. – Sarah Mannone, Trekk

4. Build On A Platform That’s Easy To Update, And Automate Where Possible

Today’s landscape changes very quickly. If your website is doing its job, at a minimum, it’s able to keep up. That means your site should be “living and breathing” and built on a platform that’s easy to update, change or modify swiftly and effectively. After that, you should work it! Bonus points for site features that can automatically update as you populate content, such as a social feed. – Sara Helmy, Tribu

5. Publish Fresh New Content

If the site is up-to-date with the content management system (e.g., WordPress), content is the next most important aspect of any website. Whether it’s in the form of an informative blog post or additional content on the service pages, Google loves in-depth, helpful content. We start with a site audit and prioritize pages by traffic or conversions, then work our way down, finding content opportunities for each page. – Matt Bowman, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency

6. Don’t Forget To Refresh Core Content

The two tactics we’ve used to keep our website up to date are ongoing weekly blog articles and assigning website accountability. Ongoing blogging ensures there is always timely, relevant content being added to the site and shared to social channels. We’ve also found it useful to assign accountability for the site to one team member, ensuring all core content is refreshed and kept up to date. – Elissa Liu, Influential Executive

7. Always Consult The Analytics

Using Google Search Console and Google Analytics, you can gauge how well your website is performing organically across a number of key performance indicators, including traffic, click-through rate, bounce, etc. Using this data, we can update on-page elements, such as meta data, suggested links, body content, etc. to increase the usability of our website and on-site metrics that contribute to greater conversions. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

8. Ask Customers What Part Of Your Website Made Them Contact You

That’s one of my first questions for every prospect who says, “I found you on the internet.” Answers help update, reprioritize or emphasize areas that need message adjustment or tweaking. We advise all our clients to track how they were found and what helps convert a sale. – Patrick Nycz, NewPoint Marketing

9. Develop In Real Time

By the time you’ve updated your website, the next version will likely need to begin development. Develop on a platform that is easy to program so you can make quick changes and optimizations based on real-time data analytics while you are looking for the next iteration. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, HAWTHORNE LLC

10. Make Website Maintenance Part Of Your Daily Marketing Activities

It may seem obvious, but the most common reason websites fall behind is that updates and maintenance are not a core part of day-to-day marketing operations. Once a website overhaul or build is complete, the project is not over, and it should not fall to the wayside. Include your website as a key part of your annual marketing plan and build a calendar of regular updates. – Keri Witman, Cleriti

11. Get A Cross-Functional Team Involved

The website is not a standalone asset. It is a marketing tool. Integrate website updates into go-to-market plans so the site constantly reflects company evolution and growth. Include the cross-functional team in discussions on blog post themes, product page updates, etc. to keep content current and reflective of company values. – Preethy Vaidyanathan, Tapad

12. Follow Best Search Engine Optimization Practices

Your website is not a useful lead generation tool if no one can find it. Make it keyword-driven for the words you want to rank for, and continually release fresh content to be ranked by search engines. For example, be sure your Title tags and H1 tags are worded properly. This helps search engines determine what each page is about and enables them to rank it accordingly. – Bryan Citrin, Chiropractic Advertising

13. Introduce The World To Your Brand And Team

It’s essential for companies to make sure the website reflects the brand and culture. Our website is currently being revamped. We’ve ensured our site exemplifies our uniqueness by highlighting our team members and the work we’ve produced for our clients while capturing the nuances specific to our brand. Websites are often a client’s first introduction to who you are. Put your best foot forward. – Sarah Tourville, Media Frenzy Global

14. Ask For Help

It’s very easy for companies to put off working on their websites because, though the task is important, it doesn’t always feel urgent. Working with a marketing agency will put a healthy amount of pressure on your company, open up new ideas because of input from outsiders, and help you generate more traffic to your website instead of just making sure it’s accurate. – Joe Ardeeser, Jordan Crown LLC