AI and Machine Learning

Transforming Customer Engagement Through Creativity and AI

Team Braze By Team Braze Jun 20, 2024

If you work in marketing, you know about AI. It’s mentioned in emails. Brought up in meetings. And touted by brands on TV. This sudden ubiquity represents an industry-wide inflection point. Brands of all sizes are learning what AI is and what to do with it. But the category leaders are already invested. These top brands understand AI. And they’re finding creative ways to use it.

The AI phenomenon isn’t limited to marketers

AI also has the attention of developers, engineers, and product managers. They’re wondering about AI, too. Specifically, how to build it into their products.

Here at Braze, brands are asking us: How does Braze use AI? How do we take advantage of it? Well, sit back, relax, and follow along. Here’s how marketers approach AI. And how we do, too.

We’ve done the research

In our 2024 Customer Engagement Review, we surveyed 1,900+ marketing execs and found the following consensus: When it comes to strategy and creativity, AI adds fuel to the fire. Makes sense, right? Good strategy + good creative + AI = better results.

In the survey, we asked brands if they’re using AI. A whopping 99% of respondents said they are. So…either everyone’s using it. Or everyone’s afraid to be the one not using it. Maybe both?

Either way, brands can agree AI is important. But can they agree on how to use it? Not so much. In that same survey, we asked respondents how they’re using AI:

  • To Generate Creative Ideas: 48%

  • To Automate Repetitive Tasks: 47%

  • To Enhance Data Analysis: 47%

  • To Power Predictive Analytics: 47%

With this quick, near universal adoption, it’s like marketers skipped the “early adopter” phase and went straight to the “late majority” phase. Seemingly everyone’s using it. But no one agrees on how.

The Flamework Framework

To help brands figure out AI, we created The Flamework Framework. This methodology helps you evaluate and implement new ideas, no matter where you’re at with AI. The approach works on three levels: Match, Spark, and Flame.

1. Match: You can’t light a fire without a match. This first phase involves implementing simple, automated features.

One feature that’s popular at Braze is AI Item Recommendations. This feature uses AI to analyze customer data and surface relevant items to those who they are most likely to resonate with.

2. Spark: You’ve got a match—now spark it. This phase is all about adding data components on top of AI overlays.

At Braze, brands are combining AI Item Recommendations with zero-party data to forge tailored, meaningful interactions between brands and customers.

3. Flame: Let it burn. This fiery phase represents big ideas—the exciting ones that hit you in the middle of the night.

Beyond personalization, this step is about creating memorable experiences that convert customers and take over the internet.

Use cases to spark your imagination

To help spark ideas, we created two fictional (yet totally viable) use cases. No matter where you’re at with AI, this is a great place to start: is a fitness technology company. Via app, they provide personalized coaching and support to clients. This includes nutrition, workouts, and wellness. After surveying users, saw an eye-popping stat: Half of new members quit gym memberships within six months. Knowing that, created a marketing campaign to inspire users to get fit—and stay fit. Considering the Flamework Framework, here’s what did at each level:

Match: created a motivation matrix. They served up motivational triggers to see which ones users reacted to. Through personalized A/B testing, was then able to match users with the reminders that mattered and resonated the most.

Spark: launched in-app surveys to compile data like schedules, fitness goals, and favorite workouts. Analyzing this data, customized plans to inspire users to continue their fitness journeys.

Flame: After compiling these distinct personas, used Tone Control by Braze to pair users with coaches with the tones that they were most likely to respond to. Some needed inspiration. Some asked for former athletes. Others just needed a swift kick in the butt.

Smart Carts

Smart Carts is a technology company focused on grocery shopping. Despite economic inflation, they help grocers create value for customers. Smart Carts used AI to offer relevant deals on-site and meal-planning tips online. Here’s a look at their Flamework Framework:

Match: Using past purchase data, Smart Carts texted customers “Deals of the Day” personalized for every user as they entered the store.

Spark: Smart Carts used zero-party data to customize meal-planning via email. Each week, users received meal inspiration according to price, family size, meal size, and dietary restrictions.

Flame: Smart Carts added a third layer of personalization by having users connect their Pinterest accounts. Here, AI analyzed pinned recipes and past purchases to generate relevant meal recommendations that always hit the spot.

The Braze 427° Innovation Lab

Our Innovation Lab is a cross-functional team of creatives, consultants, solutions engineers, and strategists. This group dreams up ideas to inspire our marketing clients to create more engaging work using new tools like AI.

Last year, this team collaborated on a guide called Melting Points: Where Creativity Meets Technology. In essence, this was a fun rundown of our latest feature releases, intended for a wide variety of industries. However, given the rapid emergence of AI, we decided to dedicate this year’s guide entirely to it.

Final Thoughts

This is the era of endless choice. The channels, content, and conversations never cease. Opportunities with AI are greater than ever before. Thankfully, marketers are up to the challenge.

Our advice? Harness AI’s potential in combination with human creativity. Start automating tasks and enhancing data analysis. This won’t just lead to better results. It will give you more time to focus on the high-level, strategic work that matters most.

Want to learn more about how Creativity + AI can help your brand? Download this year’s book: Melting Points AI: New Flavors of Creativity. Or, join our Innovation Lab Webinar: Melting Points AI Use Cases.

Team Braze

Team Braze

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