To Err (on AI) is Human

The CX Leader’s Guide to evaluating artificial intelligence at Forrester’s CXNYC 2017

Synapses collide with algorithms in the modern customer experience.

With session titles like “Fueling The Next Era Of CX Through AI,” the upcoming Forrester CXNYC Forum in New York City possesses a distinct focus on the intersection of emerging artificial intelligence technologies and customer experience.

Covering everything from chatbots and cognitive technologies to full-fledged core artificial intelligence marketing platforms, the human-centered customer experience is increasingly looking toward machines to keep up with the velocity of data and digital expectations of the modern customer.

Only one problem. The emerging AI market is so chock-full of sales hype and opaque data science processes that wading through the waters is a tough proposition for even the most savvy enterprise buyer.

So, in a world of Watsons, Einsteins, and Senseis, what are the three questions that CX professionals should ask themselves at Forrester’s CXNYC Forum as they evaluate artificial intelligence within the context of their customer?

1. Is it real?

If anyone ever refers you to futurist Sir Arthur Charles Clarke’s famous quote—“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”—in terms of evaluating AI within your tech stack, the magic they’re probably referring to is a team of exhausted, highly paid data scientists building custom models offline and out-of-sight of the customer.

Likewise, there’s been an explosion of bolt-on artificial intelligence capabilities built on legacy marketing infrastructures that are designed to solve very narrow use cases, such as Salesforce Einstein algorithmically optimizing email send times or Adobe Sensei's camera shake reduction filter within Adobe Photoshop.

So, what is true AI? Sarah Fay of Glasswing Ventures presents a clear definition of AI, “Artificial intelligence exists when software can make decisions outside of the data strategy and rules set by humans, to form new solutions.”

Likewise, Forrester’s Joe Stanhope lists three critical capabilities for any AI-powered martech.

  1. Sense: Ingest data and context

  2. Think: Deploy self-learning models

  3. Act: Take action

If your “AI” solution requires upfront “if/then” rule creation or human intervention to significantly optimize the customer experience, then it probably wasn’t built with artificial intelligence within its core engine.

2. Can they put their metrics where their mouth is?

Nothing separates AI vendors like their ability to place true metrics behind the machine. For CX professionals laser-focused on critical customer lifetime value metrics, core artificial intelligence marketing technology should directly impact their enterprise’s bottom line in terms of retention rates and average revenue per user. Meanwhile, narrower AI applications within your existing stack should impact short term engagement metrics.

Either way, the demonstrated ability to optimize toward real metrics at real companies is an absolute requirement as you evaluate new AI technologies for your enterprise. If a vendor isn’t able to directly point to revenue impact, you may be in for an expensive implementation “gotcha” after the contract is signed.

3. Does my enterprise actually need it?

While nothing says digital transformation like a shiny new AI tool—except maybe a new IoT integration or AR experience—innovation is useless unless it’s solving for your unique use cases.

Often, AI-fueled technologies require large volumes of customer data, coupled with real-time interactions, and/or rapid customer lifecycles. Starting with tightly defined and measurable use cases when evaluating artificial intelligence will guard against getting caught in the AI hype cycle.

And at CXNYC, the ultimate litmus test for your enterprise can be summed up in one question:

“Does it make my customer’s life better?”

To learn more about evaluating Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) at CXNYC, contact us today or visit booth H in the exhibitor's hall.

In addition, don’t miss Amplero CMO Matt Fleckenstein’s session, “Hire a Machine. Don’t be one.” at the CXNYC AI Summit. He'll be covering the rise of AI marketing technology and how today's brands are leveraging machine learning and multi-arm bandit expermentation to maximize customer lifetime value and loyalty.

About Amplero

Headquartered in Seattle, Amplero is an Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) company that enables business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers at global brands to optimize customer lifetime value at a scale that is not humanly possible.

Unlike traditional rules-based marketing automation systems, Amplero’s Artificial Intelligence Marketing Platform leverages machine learning and multi-armed bandit experimentation to dynamically test thousands of permutations to adaptively optimize every customer interaction and maximize customer lifetime value and loyalty.

With Amplero, marketers in competitive, customer-obsessed industries like telecom, banking, gaming and consumer tech are currently seeing measurable lift across key performance indicators—including 1-3% incremental growth in customer topline revenue and 3-5x lift in retention rates.

For more information, contact us today or follow us on Twitter.