20 May 2024

Understanding your customer with AI

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Understanding your customer with AI
Annabel GibsonWritten ByAnnabel Gibson

Annabel is the Marketing Coordinator at Propeller, taking on the production of social media communications, creating copy for articles and contacting external agencies for collaborations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here, and it’s staying for the long run. This irresistible software has seemingly endless capabilities, and the rate of innovation isn’t slowing down. In this article, we explore real-world examples of how companies use AI to better understand the customer’s behaviours, preferences and ultimately, their needs.

Our Top 5 Frontrunners:


A true leader in creative, outside-of-the-box advertising, Heinz launched an ad campaign with entirely AI-generated images. From a simple idea hatched something beautiful, Rethink Ideas, who were working with Heinz, noticed that prompts related to ketchup frequently produced results that look unmissable similar to bottles of Heinz’s finest. This campaign further proved Heinz’s tagline, ‘It has to be Heinz.’


Spotify makes extensive use of AI to curate and design playlists based on their listening preferences. Based on user preferences, Spotify can deliver relevant songs from the service’s list of most listened-to songs as well as introduce classics and new music. Its’ Spotify DJ program serves up songs users may like based on what the AI has learned about their tastes. 



Netflix, similarly to Spotify, utilises AI and machine learning to deliver highly personalised film and TV suggestions to each unique subscriber. These recommendations are based on viewing history, preferences, ratings and even location. Its this level of personalisation that keeps customers subscribed to the platform. Taking away the need to search extensively for the next best thing to watch after finishing your favourite series allows patrons to get back to their Netflix & Chill, or what have you…


Diageo has been paving the way for brands to develop a deeper understanding of customer behaviour as means to identify new avenues for innovation away from product. Working with AI to identify consumer behaviour, Diageo developed an immersive experience for its Tequila Don Julio brand through Apple Vision Pro. In deciding to launch with Apple Vision Pro, Diageo said it identified Don Julio’s audience as “tastemakers” and individuals who “like to be in the know”.

The Don Julio app experience on Apple Vision Pro focuses on the four key chapters in the Don Julio production process: harvesting the agave, baking the piñas, distilling the liquid, and ageing the tequila.

The Coca Cola Company

This past year saw a brilliant budding relationship between Coca-Cola and Bain & Company. Together, they utilised OpenAI to launch its own AI platform that encouraged customer participation. The campaign saw Coca-Cola prompting customers to create their own digital artwork bbased on dozens of brand assets.


Here's one our very own CEO, Richard Bruton made

Here's one our very own CEO, Richard Bruton made

The role of AI in customer understanding

AI is helping companies enhance all aspects of marketing from lead generation to customer relationship management. AI-powered tools have prevailed as crucial, real-time insights into consumer behaviour.

Recommendation software is a strong and early example of AI in digital marketing. Netflix and Spotify, as mentioned above, have embraced this technology to maximise their wealth of data on the preferences and the behaviours of their customers to suggest other content they might enjoy, that they might not have otherwise discovered. 


AI’s quest for world domination

PwC predicts that AI’s deployment in business and elsewhere will add $15.7 trillion to the global economy and boost gross domestic product in local economised by 26% by 2030.


There’s no denying the seismic magnitude of this force. With recent advancements in generative AI, artificial intelligence is in a period of hyper-growth.

McKinsey conducted research on the economic impacts of generative AI, and found that the technology “is poised to transform roles and boost performance across functions” – including marketing, sales, and customer operations. 

Fear of AI replacing human workers entirely is a growing concern. However, a more nuanced perspective suggests that AI will likely augment human capabilities rather than eliminate them altogether. While AI may automate certain tasks, this can free up human workers to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of their roles. Imagine a scenario where administrative burdens are handled by AI, allowing employees to dedicate their time to higher-value activities they previously couldn’t due to workload constraints. This shift can lead to a more efficient and productive workforce.

In summary…

AI is revolutionising how businesses understand their customers. From generating creative content (Heinz) to recommending products and services (Spotify, Netflix) to creating immersive brand experiences (Diageo, Coca-Cola), AI is adding a powerful new dimension to customer engagement.

This trend is only accelerating, with experts predicting significant economic growth driven by AI’s ability to transform various business functions. While concerns exist about AI replacing human jobs, a more likely scenario is AI augmenting human capabilities, freeing us to focus on more strategic and creative work. The future of customer understanding is intelligent, personalised, and AI-powered.

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