How AI Is Helping Businesses Anticipate Needs and Drive Engagement

How AI Is Helping Businesses Anticipate Needs and Drive Engagement

An overflowing warehouse.  A service company expanding to a new city.  Another grocery store within three blocks.

What's the one thing that's most needed in these three cases?

Proper forecasting, of course. And a smart strategy for customer acquisition.

Both of these are crucial for any business to sustain and grow.

And Artificial Intelligence is the wanted technology on the block to steer businesses towards accurate insights for forecasting, customer engagement and beyond.

Unlocking the Power of AI in Real-World Business Scenarios

We're living in a volatile world; add to it the COVID-19 crisis and the balance is bent out of shape now. Running a business in these unprecedented times requires a fairly good understanding of customer behaviour – from the past, present and future.

And Artificial Intelligence is the missing puzzle to connect demand, personalization and engagement.

We can no longer rely on the data gathered a year ago. We need to continually adapt to the current situation and AI can make that happen. In fact, AI has proven useful in the real-time decision-making process with the swift insights gathered outside the box of standard data sources.

According to a McKinsey report, the potential value unlocked by AI applications in marketing and sales comes up to $2.6 trillion, while in supply chain management and manufacturing, it's at $2 trillion.

With such a huge impact by AI on real-world business problems, it's only a matter of time before AI makes a regular appearance in most companies' customer acquisition strategies. And that would include a whole lot of market predictions and delivering personalized experiences that drive engagement.

Forecasting Demand – For Product Supply as Well as Customer Expectations

The conventional process of forecasting by statistical methods will no longer work in an unpredictable world.

Why? Because the historic data, its accuracy and the baseline parameters keep changing frequently and it's becoming a challenge to adapt to it.

AI applications with specializations in demand forecasting and predictive analysis utilize short-term data, market scenarios, customer reactions and behaviour to anticipate the demand.

How Are Companies Using AI to Forecast Demand? is one AI application that runs on a machine learning model and is specifically used for forecasting inventory. It clubs the traditional statistical forecasting data with external data collected from reputed sources with point-of-sale data to predict the demand.

While predicts the demand of the product based on the customer and market conditions, Crayon uses a novel approach.


Crayon is a competitive intelligence AI that prepares companies based on what their competitors are doing! It does an efficient job of understanding the market and helping businesses shift to a proactive marketing approach.

Usually, a marketing and sales team has to wield thousands of alerts and inputs from the market. It makes the job difficult as the company grows in size to filter out the gold from the noise. Crayon's AI monitors, filters and categorizes useful information and even prioritizes them. So, the businesses can anticipate and create proactive recommendations for the sales team and marketers.

Talking about recommendations, how can we create personalized ones for our customers?

Hyper-Personalizing Customer Experiences – As We Rightly Should

Personalizing for customers isn't just something that businesses need to do as an added strategy. It's becoming the common demand from customers too.

50% of the consumers say that they're likely to switch brands if a company doesn't anticipate their needs. And 52% would do the same when brands don't make an effort to personalize communications.

From sales and marketing to customer service, we need to be one step ahead of our buyer's needs, anticipating it all the way and delivering more than they expect.

AI combined with machine learning and real-time data has the potential to connect with customers on a personal level. When we can hyper-personalize our marketing specifically for every customer, we can drive high engagement and improve customer loyalty and brand trust.

How are Companies Using AI for Personalization?

Invoca is a conversation intelligence platform that gleans useful insights from customer conversations and prepares companies to do so too. This AI tool gathers the customer information from various touchpoints like ad copy, web copy, calls, chats, social media content and practically anything else.

Based on the various inbound leads, the tool detects the topics and outcomes with AI-powered conversational analytics. When you know where your customers are from and what they're looking for, you're in a position to deliver a super-personalized experience.

How Can We Anticipate Demand in Times Like the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the usual forecasting algorithms out of the window. Companies that were relying on the traditional rule-based strategies to progress their business suddenly found themselves with no proper channel to predict what's to come and how to prepare for it.

This is when the Demand Signal AI of helped companies to manage the crisis by focusing on short-term demands and pivot business growth with near-term insights. With's forecasting Artificial Intelligence solutions for manufacturing and supply chain, many companies could generate insights based on the recent past and prepare for the recent future.

How Did Do It? reshaped the demand curve by making modifications to the existing data models using:

  • Internal data like sales, orders and context
  • External data like value chain, supply chain length and current consumer behaviour data
  • Including product modules to reconcile datasets

Artificial Intelligence is no longer a technology that only the top organizations can use. Every business can leverage AI to understand their customers better, hyper-personalize the interactions to increase engagement and take real-time decisions. All it takes is the right AI application to start the revolution from within.

About Lakshmi Padmanaban:

Lakshmi Padmanaban is a freelance copywriter working with big data and AI-based startups and SMBs to help them expand their organic reach and establish their authority through practical and actionable onsite blogs and emails.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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