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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Richards

Making GenAI Work for Work: The ROI of REAL Connection

A 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report reveals a stark truth:

  • Over half of respondents find brands' attempts to engage inauthentic.

  • 76% feel interactions lack relevance.

Despite the fear that technology might replace human connection, GenAI paradoxically presents a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between brands and audiences.

GenAI can be used to amplify our empathy, creativity, and intelligence, enabling us to gain deeper audience insights and craft experiences that truly resonate. This empowers us to connect with audiences on their terms, respecting their individual preferences, needs, and desires. We become equipped with more information and the ability to foster stronger relationships with audiences that crave them, ultimately leading to real ROI.

What follows are six GenAI-powered strategies and actionable steps that I've put together to help forge deeper connections — without relying on one-size-fits-all personas or mass-produced content. Keep in mind, that results will vary based on your specific context.

High-ROI strategies aim for higher lifetime value and lower churn. All may require significant investment and results will vary depending on the specific context. Stat: Salesforce 2023 State of the Connected Customer Report

Here are 6 ROI-Ranked Strategies to Build Stronger Connections

1. Look Beyond the Point of Purchase (High ROI)

78% of respondents in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report revealed that they discover things after their first purchase that make them loyal to a brand. This statistic emphasizes the significance of post-purchase experiences in fostering customer loyalty and, consequently, a higher ROI.

Actionable steps:

Become obsessed with customer success: Proactively resolve issues, offer personalized support, and increase satisfaction and retention, translating to higher revenue and reduced churn.

Fuel organic advocacy: Leverage AI to identify brand champions, personalize their post-purchase journey with exclusive content and features, and offer opportunities to share their voice, driving organic advocacy.

Banish generic interactions: Craft personalized post-purchase journeys with tailored content based on preferences to enhance engagement and build loyalty, drive adoption, and consumption, and increase customer lifetime value.


2. Ditch the Megaphone, Embrace the Microscope (High ROI)

McKinsey & Company research demonstrates that companies employing personalized marketing actions and tactics achieve 40% higher revenue. This underscores the effectiveness of personalized approaches in maximizing ROI.

Actionable steps:

Optimize marketing spend with AI-powered attribution: Directly impact resource allocation and maximize ROI.

Niche target: Uncover hidden customer segments through GenAI segmentation and launch targeted messaging and campaigns for each segment, optimizing targeting and messaging to drive higher conversion rates.

Hyper-personalize customer journeys: Tailor experiences based on preferences and increase engagement, advocacy, and customer lifetime value.


3. Personalize and Predict for Customer Success (High ROI)

The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals loyalty thrives on trust. 67% of respondents would remain loyal and advocate for a brand they trust even after missteps. This underscores the importance of proactive care.

Actionable steps:

Hyper-personalize engagement: Continuously refine customer profiles for personalized interactions. Adapt to evolving behaviors to foster loyalty, repeat business, and positive referrals, resulting in a substantial impact on ROI.

Use predictive analytics: Update your AI model continuously for accurate predictions. Anticipate customer needs, minimize downtime, and foster trust, leading to increased customer lifetime value and significant ROI impact.

Build trust through transparency: Use GenAI to identify challenges and communicate openly. Ensure that customers understand proactive measures, as this fosters trust, leading to increased loyalty and positive referrals.


4. Empower Sales Conversations (Medium ROI)

86% of business buyers are more likely to buy if companies understand their goals, but 59% feel unheard by most sales reps as reported in the Salesforce 2023 State of the Connected Customer Report. This disconnect represents a significant opportunity to unlock hidden ROI.

Actionable steps:

Identify patterns and trends in customer behavior: Use AI to identify patterns across your customer base, revealing valuable insights into buying signals, objections, and preferences.

Deliver personalized content through the right channels: Utilize AI to identify the preferred communication channels for each customer and deliver personalized content through those channels.

Generate dynamic sales scripts: Generate customized scripts tailored to individual customer profiles and deal stages, improving sales confidence and performance.


5. Build Authority by Elevating Experiences (Medium ROI)

The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report reveals a powerful shift in the last year: "Person like myself" gained the highest increase in perceived credibility. This highlights the importance of authenticity and personalized connection in building trust and authority.

Actionable steps:

Amplify diverse voices and personalize experiences: Celebrate diverse customer journeys, partner with authentic creators, and leverage data to personalize interactions. This fosters deeper connections, reveals hidden desires, and fuels engagement, conversions, and trust.

Co-create: Create interactive types of engagement where customers can brainstorm ideas, vote on features, and participate in product development roadmaps. This fosters a sense of ownership and belonging, leading to increased brand loyalty and advocacy.

Cultivate informed partnerships: Leverage insights into customer needs and preferences, deliver personalized experiences, and foster a collaborative decision-making process. This cultivates stronger relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and shared goals, ultimately driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.


6. Tap into Your Power of Transparency (Medium ROI)

41% of business leaders rely heavily on customer reviews for software purchases according to Gartner Digital Insights, 2023. These reviews are powerful indicators of transparency, revealing the customer's true experience and shaping their perception of your brand.

Actionable steps:

Uncover churn risks: Analyze customer sentiment across all touchpoints to identify at-risk customers, proactively address their concerns, and prevent churn, maximizing ROI through increased retention and customer lifetime value.

Listen, learn, and act: Utilize AI-powered tools to analyze customer reviews and social media sentiment. This real-time feedback allows you to identify areas for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to customer-centricity.

Demystify AI with explainable AI (XAI): Provide clear explanations of AI decisions and build customer trust and understanding, mitigating potential concerns and fostering long-term relationships.

I'm excited about this as an opportunity for freedom of expression for marketers and the audiences we serve.

We must be careful to look beyond the immediate gratification of numbers and embrace the long-term value of genuine relationships. By harnessing the power of our empathy, creativity, and intelligence, amplified by GenAI, we can unlock growth fueled by real connections.

About the graphics

The pop art style serves as a visual metaphor for the intersection of individuality and mass engagement. Andy Warhol's repetitive portraits make me wonder: how do we form meaningful connections while reaching audiences at scale?

About me

As a B2B enterprise marketer, I'm on a quest to define our unique value proposition in the age of AI. I'm the writer and editor of The Strategist Blog, where I explore AI's power to transform content creation and empower fellow marketers to shape the future of their work. That future is human-first, AI-powered. Let's go!

More posts in this series

Making GenAI Work for Work: Find Your Use Case

Making GenAI Work for Work: Create a Marketing AI Council

Making GenAI Work for Work: Nobody is Coming to Save You

Referenced sources


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