If you think of Skynet from the Termination when you hear artificial intelligence (AI) you may be reading this article with trepidation. Yet while that computer wanted to wipe out the human race, marketers today are seeing a lot of good from this technology. Let’s consider the ways AI is revolutionizing our marketing efforts.
In the past, you could easily track an increase in sales if you pulled a lever such as increasing TV advertising or cutting prices at a local store. Now, there are so many ways customers can be introduced to your product — influencer? social ad? experiential? print? — it’s tougher and tougher to determine which activities are actually providing a return on investment. As marketing grows more and more complex, artificial intelligence can help manage the many fragmented media channels.
84% of marketing organizations are implementing or expanding AI and machine learning in 2018. — CapGemini
Conquering the Mayhem
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can make it much easier for marketers to streamline processes in today’s omnichannel environment. With smart technology helping ensure individualized content gets to the right consumers, personalization becomes smoother.
In fact, the technology has come to the point that your customers can even communicate with AI chatbots and enjoy such human-like interactions they don’t know (or mind). Their needs are being met, which is creating a stronger relationship with your brand, while your brand is consistently represented to its audience.
A good example is the chatbot concierge, Rose, used at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Rose assists guests and provides a unique interactive experience. With Rose the hotel has seen a 39% increase in on-site spending and 90% of guests who interacted with Rose reported that they would recommend her.
Drawing on the ability to process many data points at rapid speed, this technology is also good at getting your content to the target audience in real time, right when they’re making purchasing decisions. According to Capgemini, 75 percent of enterprises using AI and machine learning enhance customer satisfaction by more than 10 percent.
At the same time, powerful AI tools can bring together data insights from across departments and regions. Incorporating behavioral data (e.g., page views and other digital footprint data by your customers on your website), internal data (e.g., CRM), and external customer data, the AI can derive the insights you need to make intelligent targeting choices.
Marketers have reached a point where their ability to capture data has exceeded their ability to take data-driven action — Forrester
Crunching the Numbers
Getting the computers to do the math is a big help too. Smart MarTech today calculates how much you should allocate to each marketing activity based on expected returns. The technology can help with price optimization and identify and define sales projections based on specific micro-segments too. Also, if you input the results of the campaigns and AI decisions regarding allocations, the software usually learns to be able to make even better choices going forward.
In addition, AI technology is helping retailers address the last mile delivery problem with machine learning analyzing and observing historical trends and predicting patterns and AI doing quick cost benefit analyses to determine how to get that package delivered most efficiently.
With AI and machine learning doing the heavy lifting of analyzing the data and gaining insights while also streamlining manual tasks (e.g. planning budget allocations, preparing reports) marketers benefit from greater freedom. Instead of poring over spreadsheets, we can focus our efforts on the elements of marketing that require the human touch:
- Digital experience design
- Content creation
- Brand messaging
Happily, for most of us, those are the parts of the job that are more fun! No wonder marketers today are taking advantage of the rise of AI and machine learning tools. This emerging trend can mean more efficiency and make our lives easier too.
I’m a color commentator trapped in the body of a marketing strategist. So, while the marketing guy consults; the color commentator writes these articles. You can connect with me on Linkedin.