As artificial intelligence led voice based tools provide the ability to measure customer loyalty, they will have a huge impact on martech choices and sales figures, says Rex Briggs, Founder and CEO of Marketing Evolution  

As an efficient virtual assistant help customers navigate an ever increasing and overwhelming number of choices, AI is quickly transforming the marketing landscape. Over the next decade, virtual assistants will fundamentally change the interaction patterns between brands and potential customers, and may even become the primary channel for sales information, and choice or purchase of goods.

This new paradigm will certainly force companies to evolve, and with each evolution, comes new challenges to measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Adapting to new technologies is the key here. The brands that want to leverage this growth will need to invest in understanding the algorithms that power these platforms and their decision-making processes. “Previously, the goal was a high ranking on page one of a search results page. Today it’s important to think about how to be the first recommendation a virtual assistant suggests”, Briggs says.” AI will take into consideration a consumer’s prior purchases and choices, so brand loyalty is still essential, leading to the second tip: companies must focus more than ever on how to build loyalty and affinity. Perhaps a loyalty or rewards program makes sense, or maybe there is an opportunity to create a “subscription” to your products. There is enormous power in becoming the default choice. Having the ability to measure your brand affinity and customer loyalty impact on sales will become increasingly important in this world of virtual assistants.”

We need to understand that while currently about 90 percent of global retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores. But increasingly, shoppers start with searching digitally to explore their options and find good deals. “More and more often, that initial digital touchpoint might be via voice,” Briggs says, ”As that trend continues, brands must amend how they measure digital performance to take voice search into account and understand the impact of voice search. Learning lessons today, when the stakes are relatively low, and figuring out what are the key drivers of success, will pay off for years to come.”

Voice search also empowers and educates customers, allowing them to make the most informed choices, while giving brands a much deeper insight into the entire customer journey. “In fact, over time, they will increasingly curate both the content and advertising to create a bespoke entertainment and information environment tailored to each individual in a household. This is the height of persona-based marketing. Marketing professionals need to leverage the same powerful AI to create an Omni channel approach for each potential customer,” he adds.