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How algorithms and software help meet customer needs better

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 | Gadgets

It is the title of a lecture that provokes. "The end of digitization" is called the work. And it is not until the end of November that Anja Stolz will hold this at the German Marketing Day in Frankfurt. The critics of the "Digital First" thought would only be happy. The Commerzbank Division's customer management and communication department is not talking about new technologies in marketing.

          Rather, it stimulates the view angle to change. "Whether we are talking about smart automation, advanced analytics, or more generally about digitalization, it is always a question of better understanding and better meeting customer needs," says Stolz. Her thesis: The age of wild digitization is followed by an "Age of Humanization" – with Artificial Intelligence, we simulate human behavior artificially, using machines and software to create offers that offer the customer an individual added value and make his life easier. Digital marketing in focus Now every week intensified in HORIZONT Print! Interest? Then best to use our current test-read offer with digital marketing focus. Click here to order

Not only does Commerzbank focus on customers. According to the "DCX study 2017" of IDG – DCX stands for Digital Customer Experience – 52 percent of the surveyed companies see the digital customer relationship as the most important task to solve in digital transformation. As a result, more than half of companies are spending more on CRM, and 11% even on a double-digit basis. Four out of five organizations are developing or planning their CRM system. That is not by accident. While formerly the salesmen at the Tante-Emma store knew everything about their customers, the knowledge is now hidden in databases in the company. "If we manage to activate this knowledge over the entire life cycle so that we are close to the customer, we will make the race," says Stolz. And this applies both to the acquisition of new customers and to working with existing customers. The fact that automation helps to become faster and more precise does not leave any doubt. But it is also important to "not automate everything, because it is possible". Intelligent solutions are needed, solutions that help the customer and then the company. Added value on the one hand, less costs and more yield on the other. "Everything we do in automation must be relevant. And relevant is only what satisfies a basic need or meets the needs of the customer, "reaffirms pride. This should become the mantra of automation, which, however, captures far more than just the programmatic playing of campaigns. The targeted acquisition of new customers is among these, the activation of existing customers using internal and external sources, budget processes, the management of campaigns and the analysis of unstructured customer data. So, for example, the question of what a person is interested in the social networks, what she writes in Freifelder about company offers, what she comments and shares.Christian Kolodziejczak, Head of the Competence Circuit Pricing at the German Marketing Association, sees the automation only at the beginning. "The use of automation solutions in marketing today affects primarily structured, regularly recurring processes such as marketing reporting. In the future, the potential of Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics can be used, for example, in pricing and offering, "says Senior Consultant Advisory Services at Ernst & Young. This means that customers receive not only individual offers, but also prices tailored to them. Automation in marketing also leads to completely different effects. "In the dialogue with our customers, static customer segments are becoming increasingly important," says Miles & More Marketing Director Thorsten Schlothane. This is not synonymous to everyone in the marketing. Example Miles & More – the robot is greeting This is a simple postcard from Santorini. But behind it is a lot of technology. 20000 Germans have received the sunny greetings from Miles in recent days; automatically executed and written by a robot. The action is an example of how the company uses automated marketing to make the dialogue with its customers more personalized, relevant and successful. Lufthansa's loyalty program is not surprising. The company sits on a huge treasure of over 30 million participants. "Last year, we synchronized data and workflows for campaigns through our own marketing platform," explains Thorsten Schlothane, Director Marketing. By the end of 2017, the company plans to create and send about 90 percent of its e-mail communications in an automated manner. However, it is not just e-mails, but all communications that Miles & More uses. "With our marketing platform, we are able to deliver the relevant content specifically to the touchpoints, which he prefers – at the same time, however, to differentiate which content makes sense via which touchpoint," says Schlothane. For example, facts that help Miles & More help customers understand better and manage campaigns better. Expectations are high. "We assume that we will be able to achieve an improvement in the campaign performance of an average of around 20 percent," says Schlothane. The app of the brand is the central contact point for active participants. It is to develop into a real-time 360-degree monitor for service and status information as well as mileage offers. Example Commerzbank – the Cloud by Your Side Commerzbank wants to win two million new customers by 2020. This can not be achieved with classical advertising alone. That is why the second-largest German bank has been automating its marketing for months. "With the help of a cloud-based system, we address potential customers more individually and specifically," says Anja Stolz.Etwa people who have been informed about Commerzbank's home financing. On average 800,000 prospective customers are deposited in the internal database, all of which have given their consent for advertising. "We calculate affinities and probabilities with different procedures for interested parties as well as for existing customers", explains Stolz. Different statistical methods are linked to each other in order to achieve more accurate predictions: how people will act in the future, when they can be approached, how to convince them. "The platform is always more accurate because it processes the feedback from the channels. She learns what works and what does not, "says Stolz. The bank has increased its sales by 10 percent. The bank is still in its infancy at Advanced Analytics. To date, Commerzbank only evaluates the data from the online channel. At the beginning of next year the call center and the branches will be added. This will be the real challenge. "The topic stands and falls with the quality of the data," says Stolz. The employees are therefore intensively trained, not only as regards data management, but also how to convince customers to opt-in. Especially since pride and their team also automate the subject of portfolio management. Here, for example, customers can only see advertisements that fit them exactly when they enter the Commerzbank world. The CRM system processes within the range of 4 terabytes in seconds. "We want to be away from the watering can principle and instead show the customer solutions for his concrete problem," says Stolz. Since the program has been active, the Bank has seen a conversion rate of around 10 percent as well as 10 percent more online accounts for existing customers. But this is not the end. In the future, the Group intends to use new methods in data mining, such as text analyzes – in other words what and how the customer informs the bank via e-mail or how it acts in the social networks. Again, it is about better understanding, to more relevance in the speech. Example Momondo – discover the algorithmsSogether to win new customers as well as to reactivate existing ones, Momondo uses automated marketing. "Especially the targeting, the use and the creation of specially tailored advertisements and our bidding are automated to a high degree," says Sarah Kolind. There are several reasons. On the one hand, the marketing manager DACH wants to improve the timing of the advertising of the Meta-Reisesuchmaschine or the creation of advertising media. On the other hand, it is about presenting the message to the user at the right time and at a given frequency. "Here we also use Machine Learning to calculate the probability that the user reacts to our message and the action we are doing on our website." And there is another reason that should not be underestimated Automation, Kolind and her colleagues are again spending more time on the strategy and the development of campaigns. From the point of view of Kolind, this ultimately pays off on success. "We see a much higher ROI when we compare automated retargeting campaigns with more static campaigns for new customer acquisition. In general, we can say that the more elements of a campaign are automated, we see an increase in the ROI. "Nevertheless, the marketing designer does not want to rely solely on software and machines. The human being, his knowledge, the exact preparation, the performance test and the optimization remain important for a campaign: "Algorithms often use too much time in the learning phase and are not flexible enough to deal quickly with factors such as seasonality or technical changes of the website. "





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