How Iron Mountain Uses Conversational AI to Increase Engagement and Income

How Iron Mountain Uses Conversational AI to Increase Engagement and Income

Rapidly evolving generative AI models promise to assist grow marketing and sales processes by automating customer interactions. Are brands willing to let digital assistants take over certain aspects of the consumer journey?

Iron Mountain, an information management and storage company, took a measured approach to implementing digital assistants and leveraging conversational AI to generate engagement and revenue growth. As a result, the company increased consumer engagement, which led to revenue growth.

Digital assistants connected with MAP.

Iron Mountain’s new digital aides are not a superficial or limited test. The company integrated Conversica conversational AI tools with Iron Mountain’s marketing automation platform (MAP), Oracle Eloqua. This means that interactions with digital assistants help clients proceed throughout the path.

“We use the application in early stage conversations or initial engagement with an active visitor to the website,” Iron Mountain senior director of field marketing, John Hansen, told MarTech. “Our objective is to handle the volume of communications to redirect a visitor to the correct support team, or to qualify them for a sales opportunity.”

This means that the conversational AI determines intent depending on what customers say. It leverages this understanding to intelligently respond to the prospect and route the prospect to the appropriate human agent further down the funnel.

“We route visitors and potential sales leads to relevant conversation tracts, based on intent scoring, persona identification and product interest,” according to Hansen.

Expanding conversational AI.

Iron Mountain has taken a methodical strategy to improving its conversational AI capabilities since its initial implementation with Eloqua in 2021.

“We added several skill sets in 2022 and 2023 to expand our usages of the platform,” Hansen told reporters.

He continued, “With a recent upgrade to our website, we incorporated Conversica’s chat functionality as a test in various European nations. Previously, we used chat functions primarily on our North American websites.”

Iron Mountain uses engagement metrics to evaluate performance on the new chat features. The digital assistants have improved engagement scores by eight to 15 percent compared to earlier techniques, resulting in enhanced pipeline and revenue performance.

“The Conversica platform has a lot to offer, and in many ways we are just getting into the full capabilities,” Hansen added. “We have added assistants across marketing, sales and customer care, and added skill sets to build a longer conversation that follows the full buyer journey, not just the early product interest where we started in 2021.”

More engaging, two-way talks

Conversica is constantly developing AI-powered communications to improve and replace many of the usual one-way interactions that marketers automate using MAP. Conversica was founded in 2007 as AutoFerret, a CRM and lead validation solution for automobile dealers. It began selling automated digital assistants in 2010, with a continued focus on the automobile industry. (In 2015, the company expanded into other industries under its new brand, Conversica.)

As digital assistants guide clients deeper into the customer experience through more meaningful, two-way discussions, the demand for one-way emails and other messages decreases. The goal is to deliver a relevant, useful experience so that customers interact with the digital assistant rather than trying to respond to an automated email and receive a chilly “no reply” in response.

The objective is to have AI conversational technology that can absorb a brand’s distinctive vocabulary and use it consistently, allowing marketers to believe that the tool is always on-brand. Conversica’s CEO, Jim Kaskade, feels that moment has arrived.

“If you look at Coke versus Pepsi, or Adidas versus Nike, they all have a completely different approach — they’re all very particular,” Kaskade added. “So now you can scale the things that are actually critical. Absolutely scale them for each individual to ensure that the brand voice is constant. I am thrilled about marketers. This is literally a game changer. And everything works, therefore this is not the future; it is now.”

Conversica has recently announced connections with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketo, HubSpot Marketing Hub, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, in addition to Eloqua.

“Marketing automation is powerful,” Kaskade stated. “It includes email, SMS, and even search marketing. It has all of these features with landing pages. There is effective campaign management involved. Many MAPs have also added social messaging features. And the content changes dynamically.”

He went on to say, “If you take all of that and say that’s marketing automation 2.0 — now add AI to it so that you’re no longer blasting to many, but targeting one, and that one feels like this is personal — and they can reply. You’re communicating to the end consumer rather than at them. “I will definitely respond more (as a consumer) to that in my inbox.”

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