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Artificial Intelligence for Marketing by Jim Sterne

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CHAPTER 5Using AI to Persuade

Now that we've used our AI superpowers to find all those elusive, prospective customers, we need to lead them along and gently persuade them to buy. If you sell bubble gum or cigarettes, all of your work is focused on branding and distribution, so you can skip this chapter. The rest of us need to hold the hand of those willing to join us on the “customer journey.”

In 2000, I co‐authored a whitepaper called “E‐Metrics: Business Metrics for the New Economy”1 with Matt Cutler, founder of one of the first web analytics companies. In it, we described the Customer Life Cycle Funnel (Figure 5.1).

Diagram for Customer Life Cycle Funnel.

Figure 5.1 The Customer Life Cycle Funnel

If you could aggregate and visualize your prospects' behavioral data, you could tell where you needed to pay attention based on the shape of the resulting funnel.

If your funnel resembled a martini glass, then you were attracting a lot of the wrong people. The margarita glass suggested the right people showed up, but they lost interest. A wineglass indicated problems sealing the deal at the end of the process. The shot glass was your best friend. You got the right people; they were interested; they followed the optimal site path you'd designed; and they ended up making a purchase. That was all very naïve.

The idea came from our B2B backgrounds and the sales pipeline reporting we had done for years. The natural progression ...

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