How Deep Learning AI Can Transform Challenger Brands Into Cutting-Edge Leaders

By investing in AI technology, it ups long-term customer acquisition game and targets the 'unusual suspects'

Finding and retaining new customers is the lifeblood of any business.

A lot of people think that all you need to succeed is a great idea, and the customers will follow. However, as anyone who has attempted to start their own business can tell you, the reality is a lot more complicated than that. Without a comprehensive customer acquisition strategy, challenger brands are left spinning their wheels or spending more to acquire a customer than the customer is worth.

Fleeting tactics versus lasting strategy

Many challenger brands fall into the trap of adhering to conventional wisdom when it comes to customer acquisition. This means that, instead of building out a strategy that can sustainably and profitably bring in new customers over time, they focus all their resources on tactics such as SEO and social or affiliate marketing. The latter might bring in new customers for a short time, but they will eventually lose steam without profitable levels of spending.

The problem with this kind of mindset is that it requires marketers to constantly search for new ways to revitalize their customer acquisition or revamp their existing methodologies, thus making the process much more resource intensive—and inefficient—than it has to be.

Many customer acquisition tactics are focused on how to game the system—that is, which tags to use to ensure your content gets the most hits or determining what types of content will generate the most engagement. By taking this kind of approach, however, marketers are missing the value of an automated self-driving customer acquisition strategy powered by deep learning AI.

The key to customer acquisition is really to understand your consumer intimately and then be responsive to their needs, which means taking into account their preferences and behaviors and serving them ads accordingly. To do this, brands need access to technology that is able to provide cutting-edge insights into the behavior and habits of their audience and adjusting advertising in real-time to take those observations into account.

Automated, algorithmic advertising wins customers

Deep learning AI is a solid foundation for strategic customer acquisition. Deep learning uses neural networks (layers of computational nodes) to analyze huge datasets and find the patterns that humans (or less sophisticated machine learning tools) are unable to identify.

Take the information on existing customers and find the audiences that exist outside of those prepackaged segments.

Consequently, deep learning algorithms can find audience clusters that marketers may not have even noticed, thus giving them a new group of people and characteristics to target. These algorithms can also identify the patterns inherent in the behavior of an individual and use that information to determine the ideal method of converting that individual.

Most importantly, deep learning algorithms learn over time, meaning that marketers can be assured that their customer acquisition strategy will evolve and be able to consistently bring new clients into the fold.

Most challenger brands today rely on generic algorithms and prepackaged audience segments. As with other tactics, both of these might garner decent results in the short term, but what happens once you have maximized your exposure to those groups?

Deep learning enables brands to take the information they have on their existing customers and find the audiences that exist outside of those prepackaged segments that no other brand in their vertical is targeting. Finding the usual suspects is easy, but it is deep learning’s ability to find the unusual suspects that enables scalability over time and enables brands to keep their growth momentum going.

Challenge the status quo and think long term

That said, deep learning requires investment, both in terms of time and resources. It takes several months to build and train a neural network until it begins to show its optimal value. Most companies might also feel they lack the resources needed to bring on data scientists and engineers with the skills necessary to build custom algorithms.

However, this mindset is a profoundly limiting one. Investing in deep learning now is the bold, forward-looking strategy that separates industry leaders from the also-rans.

Of course, there are also other actions that brands can take to establish themselves. Building a strong corporate culture that promotes interdepartmental cooperation and familiarity helps companies find and retain talent, which in turn will enable them to deliver better products and make a lasting impression on the market. In addition, by creating a strong brand identity straight out of the gate, companies can develop yet another way to differentiate themselves from the competition.

All too often, companies choose to rely on a series of short-term solutions that may provide rapid boosts but leave the underlying problems intact. Most customer acquisition strategies are quick fixes that leave marketers perpetually stranded within a hamster wheel, struggling to get ahead without any long-term progression while their competitors forge ahead.

Being a challenger brand is all about challenging conventional wisdom, and when conventional wisdom has failed to provide a long-term solution to an industrywide problem, it is time to move on to something new.