artificial intelligence, ai, customer journey, customer behavior, discovery, marketing, prospecting

For today’s digital marketers, finding the “right” customer is as critical as it is challenging. The “right” customer is more than the loyal shopper who repeat purchases. They are consumers that have built a deep-rooted relationship over time with a brand based on positive marketing experiences, mutually-aligned values, and view the brand as more than just a product or service provider. As customers become more complex in their digital behaviours, identifying and connecting with these customers becomes more of a challenge than ever before.

Marketers looking to overcome this challenge no longer need to rely on old techniques to overcome present and future obstacles. Rakuten Marketing has developed a new product to reach the right customers of today and tomorrow, Rakuten Marketing Prospecting, a proprietary custom audience-creation feature that is integral to solving customer acquisition challenges. Prospecting utilises artificial intelligence combined with unique shopper data from the Rakuten ecosystem to enable marketers to serve relevant, engaging ads that influence consumers to become new, and eventually loyal, customers.

Relevance with AI in Prospecting

There is a common misconception that AI will replace the “human touch” in marketing. The fear of irrelevant digital experiences is of concern to marketers as they fear over using this new technology. Rather than AI replacing the relevant experience with an irrelevant one, marketers should see AI for what it is – a powerful tool that enhances a marketing experience that customers not only love and crave, but also expect. Marketers have an opportunity with AI they couldn’t have achieved at scale before: to deliver relevant advertising experiences to new customers, while also growing and expanding a brand.

This scale comes from the power that AI is able to deliver. In essence, AI can address issues, solve challenges, and optimise both of these at a scale that humans simply can’t. This scale means marketers are able to connect with tens of billions of consumers in a relevant and timely manner. Additionally, AI has the ability to predict what a good marketing experience would look like for every individual consumer. Which means not only are consumers getting an experience they want, they’re getting it at a more personal level. That is the true power of AI in Prospecting –a smarter, savvier and more forward-thinking way for marketers to provide relevant experiences.

Prospecting with AI and Data

Built on AI and fuelled by data, Prospecting allows marketers to discover the unexpected. Standard “look-alike” modeling finds the obvious. Prospecting digs deeper and works smarter to find people whose interests align with the brand, who demonstrate a propensity to purchase online, and are likely to connect with a brand’s core values to become loyal customers. By giving marketers the ability to pinpoint audiences they wouldn’t have otherwise found, Prospecting allows marketers to discover the customer they didn’t know they had, and shoppers to uncover brands they didn’t know they love.

Put simply, artificial intelligence understands people’s online behaviour and derives greater meaning from how their actions translate into likes, preferences, beliefs and values. Rather than mirror existing customers, Prospecting’s AI acts as a trusted friend who knows enough to recommend a potential customer that might not have been on the marketer’s radar. It allows brands to find those consumers and then puts the brand in front of them with ads that are helpful and relevant, and that can turn into a positive purchase decision.

Click here to learn more about Rakuten Marketing Prospecting.