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Elevating customer insights with generative AI

The era of AI is here, and there is a lot of discussion about the potential of AI to reimagine customer and marketing insights. I’ve been speaking with marketing leaders to learn how their teams are leading the way and using generative AI across marketing stages to elevate customer insights and messaging. I’m excited to share these successes and learnings in this blog series and my podcast.

Marketing teams that are using generative AI to shape customer outreach are finding a competitive advantage. For every dollar that a company invests in AI, there is an average return of $3.50, according to an IDC survey of business leaders worldwide. Now is the time to discover how generative AI can move your company forward with deeper customer insights.

Enriching customer insights with synthetic personas

Generative AI offers the opportunity to create new experiences, gain better insights, and facilitate more productivity for marketers and sellers. Understanding customers’ needs helps marketing teams appeal to specific audiences. Most organizations are already using AI-powered tools to gather real-time customer and marketing insights from across their data estate to shape marketing and sales strategies.

In my discussion with Bill Hamilton, Vice President and Head of Marketing Technology and Worldwide Marketing Operations at Microsoft, we touched on a new marketing opportunity Microsoft is exploring called synthetic personas. Microsoft uses first-party data gathered through customer surveys related to specific products to create a persona that marketing teams can interact with to identify effective messaging strategies.

Ultimately, having centralized data makes it easier for teams to gather exciting new customer insights. “There is tremendous power in being able to tap into the first-party data that you have and apply these generative AI models to do new things,” says Hamilton.

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Personalizing marketing strategies with enhanced customer insights

Generative AI helps marketing teams take data analysis to the next level by providing more specific views of target audiences. Marketers can move closer to a personalized experience for individual customers by using generative AI to test how well specific words, phrases, or ads appeal to defined customer sets.

“As marketers, we know that our consumers care a lot about the brands and the companies that they engage with,” says Jennifer Kattula, General Manager, Marketing, Microsoft Advertising. “If you can get even more nuanced in your communications and do it quickly, it’s so powerful.”

Advertising departments are also learning how to optimize the tone of voice for ad or marketing copy with generative AI. Experimenting with prompt engineering—including different adjectives in a prompt to generate refined results—helps marketers personalize messaging without extensive customer research.

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Fostering a culture of curiosity to scale AI

Incorporating any new technology into the workplace introduces a learning curve for employees. Fifty-two percent of surveyed business leaders worldwide report that a lack of skilled workers is their biggest barrier to implementing and scaling AI, according to an IDC survey.

Early users of generative AI-powered tools have designated “champions” in their organizations to spur change, an approach I discussed with several marketing leaders. As enthusiastic champions experiment with AI, they can demonstrate practical solutions that improve employees’ daily lives. “At the end of the day, we all know it’s not just about the technology,” says Fiona Carney, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Europe, Middle East, and Africa Regions. “It’s about the organizational behaviors and culture required to best use the technology.”

Inspiring a work culture that promotes experimentation often leads to businesses discovering firsthand how generative AI works best for them. “Generative AI is so new; we don’t know all the ways it will be most effective,” says Hamilton. “We want people trying things and running experiments to learn.” Experimenting with generative AI prompts new innovations that can turn organizations into industry leaders.

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Enhancing the customer experience with generative AI

Based on my discussions with these industry leaders, I believe that generative AI-powered tools can offer a magical combination for marketing teams: creating a better customer experience with deeper insights and producing more effective campaigns. Organizations that foster a culture of curiosity and experimentation are likely to benefit most from their AI investments as they empower employees to revolutionize how they approach customer and market insights.

I invite you to join our Microsoft teams as we explore how secure, responsible AI tools like Microsoft Copilot are reshaping work for the modern era. Discover real-life use cases and practical advice for the era of AI in my podcast.

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