Sprint, Microsoft, Experian See Opportunities in AI

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

robot-automation-rosie-640Sci-fi fans and marketers can agree that the robots are rising. But the advances of artificial intelligence (AI) are more a boon than an insurgence for the humans involved.

“We also definitely haven’t seen a need for less people,” says Christy Egbert, customer base marketing manager, Sprint Prepaid Brands, who works with the company’s retention marketing team in the highly competitive prepaid space.

Rather, there has been a shift in how people are needed to leverage and optimize the opportunities AI can create. The brand started using AI in outbound marketing, and is now looking at inbound. “We can’t move fast enough.”

Kristen Simmons, CMO of Experian Consumer Services, noted that her organization is at the start of their AI journey but sees a lot of opportunities in the company’s consumer division. Experian is particularly interested in looking at lifetime value, and figuring out the right KPIs to measure.

Simmons notes that while opportunities such as chatbots do exist to save money using AI, the goal is definitely more big picture. “We look at AI as a way to enhance the customer experience,” she said.

Ian Thomas, principal group product manager, customer data & analytics, Microsoft, sees AI as part of a way to create a more coherent dialogue with the company’s customers

Egbert, Thomas and Simmons spoke at the Amplero AI at the Core during the recent MarTech conference in San Francisco.

Egbert advised brands getting started in using AI to pick the right KPIs and make sure that everyone in the organization clearly understands your goals.

“You can report on a lot of different KPIs, but at the end of the day, know what you want to optimize,” she says. “It’s that simple—and that difficult.”

In a recent Chief Marketer article, Vince Lynch noted that Weber Shandwick  found that many more people view AI’s advent as a good thing rather than a bad one—both for society and for themselves. Forty-five percent of respondents foresee a positive societal impact; just 7% see a negative one. When it comes to their personal lives, 52% expect AI to benefit them; again, only 7% said it could make things worse.

But it isn’t just consumers who see a brighter, bot-filled future. Business leaders are coming around, too. The same survey found nearly seven in 10 CMOs said their companies are using AI or plan to soon. A solid majority—58%—believe companies, regardless of industry, will have to adopt AI by 2021 to remain competitive.

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