Survey shows that three-quarters of businesses improve revenue with AI

With GDPR in force this week, are brands ready for the shift towards using first-party customer data coupled with AI?
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Video: With AI everywhere, experts advocate the need to educate users

AI, although fundamental for customer insight, cannot function effectively if it can't harness the correct data across the business.

But companies have challenges when implementing new marketing techniques -- especially in light of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which comes into force on May 25.

San Francisco, Calif.-based AI marketing company Blueshift has released a report detailing the current use of AI and future plans for its use across businesses.

It worked with SurveyMonkey company TechValidate in February 2018 to survey 200 business-to consumer companies about use of AI, access, and use of customer data.

It wanted to see the types of AI techniques being used, challenges encountered with customer data, and the major obstacles to AI adoption across industries. Its study shows that 64 percent of brands want to increase their use of AI in the next 12 months.

Companies are working out that the 'right data' to use is first-party data, gathered from their own customers acquired with the customer's consent and trust. This is in contrast to third-party data that has been packaged and resold.

Read also: Three out of four believe that AI applications are the next mega trend

This data is usually acquired in the course of doing business with a customer, who has provided explicit consent to its use by the brand, as long as it is not sold or used by others.

This seismic shift toward first-party consent has ramifications across the industry, as brands pivot their businesses to ensure they capture relevant data -- direct from the customer.

The study showed that 64 percent of businesses have started to use AI to expand their audience base, and for product recommendations and campaigns. Most brands anticipate increased usage of AI in the near future.

However, only 6 percent of brands reported using advanced AI and predictive capabilities to its fullest extent.

Almost all respondents (92 percent), said that one or more of three factors -- analysis, access or unification -- was a major challenge that prevented them from making better use of customer data.

Over half (54 percent) saw analysis as a top challenge, followed by access at 46 percent and unification at 41 percent.

Yet, activating more customer data, and using real-time data to frequently segment customers, was reported to have a significant impact on revenue performance

Survey shows that three quarters of businesses improve revenue with AI ZDNet
(Image: Blueshift)

Respondents reported a 1.4-times uplift in revenue goals when using 75 percent or more of customer data compared to companies that used 75 percent or less.

Activating more customer data for AI-powered outreach is important for enterprises. Putting your customer data to work using AI will give you real-time behavioral data that your customers generate.

You can then use your engagement and transaction data across multiple touch points and channels to ensure the maximum possible conversions for your brand.

How ubiquitous AI will permeate everything we do without our knowledge.

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