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BY Anjana Naskar

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With technological advancements over the years, we have seen revolutionary shifts, be it from Radio to Television or Television to Digital. Now again, the world is slowly shifting its gears towards another possible revolution: Artificial Intelligence. With the ever-evolving market sentiments and the need to achieve multiple goals, in terms of performance from the brand campaigns, it is the dire need for brands to leverage technology which can further add efficiency & effectiveness to media strategies in real time. And that is where AI steps in with solutions for brands and marketers to automate customer experience.
Ashray Malhotra, CEO, Rephrase.ai explains, “The reason brand managers get attracted to this technology is because it enables them to communicate with every single customer on an one-on-one basis at scale. At the core, we at Rephrase.ai are building generative AI technology that helps us create personalized AI videos at scale.”

How Brands Are Using AI Today?
From tech-enabled chatbots to voice assistants to personalized targeting through AI videos, businesses across the globe are now adopting AI-based solutions for consumer engagement.

Agency: Rephrase.ai

Brand: Cadbury (Mondelez)

Rephrase.ai developed a hyper-personalised ad-tech campaign for Diwali powered by Generative AI technology for Mondelez’s ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’. Using AI tools, Rephrase created hyper-localized ads for Cadbury Celebrations by creating a digital avatar of Shahrukh Khan - cloning him five times, each for one category. It enables the users/clients to use Rephrase’s voice model and AI tech to create professional and quality hyper personalized ads featuring SRK for any store they like. The campaign also empowered small businesses by allowing them to promote themselves through the creation of a platform where store owners across India, mapped through pin codes were able to generate an ad featuring Shahrukh Khan.

Agency: CoRover
Brand: Asian Tobacco Company Limited, subsidiary of ITC

Rise in demand for AI based solutions post pandemic
The pandemic and the consequential lockdowns have made the job of a marketer even more important and complex now because of the rapidly changing consumer needs and demand. Explaining how Niraj Ruparel, Head of Mobile & Emerging Tech, GroupM India & Head of Voice, WPP India says, “During the onslaught of COVID-19, many people who were not even using bots suddenly started utilising it because they were pushed against the wall, sometimes to buy grocery and other essentials. Just as the usage goes up, AI peeks in. Interactions with more and more people makes it more familiar with the human ways. So right now, the focus is to supplement the retail experience through AI.”

Agency: CoRover

Brand: IRCTC

CoRover created AskDisha ChatBot for IRCTC. It leverages conversational AI chatbot to reduce costs, achieve higher customer satisfaction and generate revenue. More than 150K passenger queries are solved daily with 90% accuracy. It led to 70% increase in CSAT due to instant response; greater than 85% of customers are happy with the services of AskDisha.

Benjamin Soubies - Managing Director, APAC & Japan, Talkwalker, a consumer intelligence platform says, “The pandemic has accelerated several trends -- such as the development of brand communities, the desire for brand inclusivity, and the emergence of new media consumption patterns, all of which place us firmly in the Age of the ‘Now’ Consumer. We see consumers firmly in the driver’s seat of opinion and brand perception today, whereby they want more personalized content, a faster service, and better experience. And they want it now.”

Talking about how brands can make the best of these changing expectations of the consumers Soubies explains, “Brands will need to recognize this overarching trend and its implications for their marketing and brand-building strategy in 2022 and beyond. In such a climate, where brands need to be live 24/7 and accessible to consumers through multiple channels, AI-enabled solutions are the way forward for brands looking to transform consumer data into actionable insight.”
Sanjeev Menon makes it clear that the demand for AI automation has been on a hyper drive since the pandemic started. “The technology also has been evolving at a fast clip pushing the envelope of possibilities further. Marketers are using AI based solutions to make sure that they are able to reach their target audience in the best way possible. We are living in an era where there is an information overload and to make sure that your offering is being looked at and considered by your target audience it becomes pertinent for marketers to adopt lean AI based solutions. These AI driven solutions have really taken marketing to a whole new level.”

Traditional Advertising Vs. AI Based Campaigns
With an infinitely large number of brands competing for user’s attention and loyalty - both of which are finite, brand managers are looking for new innovative marketing solutions that address the gaps & challenges in traditional marketing. Hence, AI-powered emerging marketing tools and technology platforms with their power to evaluate, understand and analyse the user behaviour in real-time fit the bill perfectly.

“The demand for AI-powered marketing solutions is driven not only by brand marketers but also by consumers. A recent SAP Insights report states that 73% of consumers find contextually relevant ads that are aligned with their intent on smartphones as enablers for them rather than intruders. At Bobble AI we are seeing a huge demand for our unique, innovative and highly targeted conversation media marketing, programmatic advertising and tech-driven natively integrated marketing solutions; all of which are backed by AI,” she further adds.

Agency: Xaxis Creative Studio
Brand: Pizza Hut

Atul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO of Staqu, an AI start-up says, “Traditional marketing was done with human assistance. For example, if you are an offline store and want insights on the customer preference, they are the ones already coming to your store. The camera has the answer on how to use that data and that device is the most powerful sensor, more like a human. But we are adding a brain to that eye and then using it to perform different kinds of marketing. So in traditional marketing there used to be a team to collect data, then further research was done on that data however with video analytics it is being identified directly through the camera. Organizations connecting data with sales makes sales data more powerful which was inefficient with traditional methods.”

Other brands using AI and innovations in the space

1. Vidtech.ai recently partnered with Tanishq as their new product experience management platform. It will take control and leverage the brand’s product data to drive visually rich experiences
2. Yellow.ai deployed chatbots to serve hospitals and NGOs working on COVID relief
3. CommerceIQ has worked with Kellogg’s, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive and Spectrum Brands. They rely on CommerceIQ’s machine based commerce technology and business processes, which are purpose-built to tune e-commerce algorithms, collaborate and share data-driven insights in real-time in response to changing variables across hundreds of products on leading retail sites. CommerceIQ’s recent push was its entry into omnichannel with support for Instacart, Criteo, Amazon Fresh and Walmart, giving its customers the ability to manage all the e-commerce operations from one single portal.
4. One of the largest telecom companies in the world is currently running campaigns using AI Analyst designed on the E42 platform. The AI analyst helps them analyse the campaign being run and the visitor engagement on their website. Also, their personal AI Assistant is tailored based on the visitors’ role and organization.
5. Staqu has developed a product called Jarvis. For retail Jarvis is doing footfall & heat map analysis, gender analytics, premium customer identification, queue management, etc. In manufacturing, Jarvis is doing smart conveying, accident detection, fire detection, safety gear detection, and other use cases. So for safety and security, operational intelligence, and in all other possible tasks organizations are using AI.

Why Brands think AI is important

When we first launched ‘Not Just a Cadbury Ad’ in 2020, the effort was to bring together creativity and technology to help small businesses who suffered a setback from the pandemic. Following the success and love it garnered, we were inspired to scale the impact of this effort and get more consumers to live our purpose. This brought to life the 2021 edition and our partnership with Rephrase.ai who helped us leverage the might of AI. The campaign reached +2000 retailers across 500 pin codes who created personalized ads for their stores using the AI-powered facial re-enactment tool. Over 120k personalized ads were created as a part of this campaign, and with it more than a million small acts of generosity.”

Deba Ghoshal
VP and Head of Marketing, Voltas

“Emphasis on Digital Marketing spends have continued to go up for the industry. This has also triggered innovation and use of technology in marketing, with several brands considering implementation of AI, machine learning and even meta-verse to achieve tangible results. The power of AI allows marketers an opportunity for better geo-targeting, with campaigns that are delivered at appropriate timings of the consumer decision making journey. AI has not only opened up avenues for hyper- personalized communication, but is also helping in accessing real time customer feedback, which helps marketers to re-engage with potential buyers effectively. We will continue to drive our omnichannel presence with a focus on being digital-first, and explore possibilities of integrating AI with our digital and electronic activations, to create instant, relevant and meaningful consumer experiences.”

Aparna Mahesh
Chief Marketing Officer, Great Learning

Customer engagement and retention are primary focus areas for any brand looking to build longer, stronger and more fruitful relationships with their consumers today. We have been using Artificial Intelligence-to build highly engaging and personalized content. We want Great Learning’ to be an integral and exciting part of daily conversations taking place between consumers over platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram etc. and are using an AI powered solution for the same. In fact, we’re looking to leverage AI to create personalized videos about our programs to engage with customers and prospects. AI has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to build differentiated and personalized solutions, at scale. By grasping advanced business intelligence, AI-driven automated tools can turn data from multiple, disparate sources into valuable insights.

Snehil Gautam
Head of Growth & Marketing, Housing.com, Makaan.com & Proptiger.com

“We believe in AI and its impact on consumer experience, that’s why we have a dedicated team for AI & ML projects. Application of AI on our platform starts from the listings getting uploaded on the platform. If a seller comes to our platform and uploads the listing, our backend engine, which is driven by AI to identify the right photos or rental amount, or right price or locality, it doesn’t let a fake property get uploaded. When a user comes to our platform, there is lots of logic that is built within it, so that he gets the property that he is looking for. So, the complete logic of recommending the properties to the user is run by AI & ML. Once the user goes away, re-engagement activities that we do are also driven by AI. So, the email, SMS, WhatsApp, or even the app notifications that the user gets, it’s driven by those AI engines to provide the best property to the users.”

Aarti Gill
Co-founder, Oziva

“I think when we use AI, it need not be a campaign, but it can become a part of our daily reach out to customers. For example, when we launched Oziva, we had a smart chatbot where people can ask their questions and they used to get product recommendations based on certain inputs that they have put. I think those are the different use cases of smart algorithms that can be used, right from product recommendations, discovery, personalized marketing can be done, which is the next leg. If you buy an Oziva product today, you can consult an expert. Those experts are helped by these smart algorithms, I would not use the word AI, I’m using Smart algorithm. The reason being is I think AI should be far more evolved. We use it a little bit in India, but it’s actual use cases must be much more important. I know these are the first level of smart algorithms that can be built. AI needs to be more evolved.”

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