AI is changing marketing and is only set to get bigger.
When used appropriately, AI enables personalization at scale, making segmentation less labour intensive. Dependent on your data, AI can identify behavioural patterns to promote relevant products to your customers and real-time personalization helps to improve the customer experience. It can save time and money on creative costs and can be deployed quickly for rapid returns. With the ability to predict future trends for your business and the market it could also help you gain a competitive edge.
It’s Here and it’s Growing
AI isn’t the future, it’s already being used to accelerate consumers’ progress through the purchase funnel. AI-driven insights from customer data can improve decision-making, inform campaigns and shape strategy. According to research from IDC, customer behaviour and preferences are the key drivers of digital transformation for 55% of companies. With this in mind, investment in AI is skyrocketing, forecast to reach £12.5 billion at the end of this year and AI insights-driven businesses are forecast to take £1.2 trillion in revenue away from those that are not by 2020.
Data and AI – The Perfect Pair
Data is frequently described as the “fuel for AI” and it’s the key to using AI effectively. With an effective AI platform utilising your customer data (GDPR compliant of course!) you can:
- Monitor millions of events across all channels, such as browsing history and all transactions
- Understand consumer preferences (selections such as brands, sizes, price band, or reviews and check-ins)
- Create segments defined by marketing KPIs (personas, loyalty schemes, Recency/Frequency/ Monetary models, etc.)
- Understand third-party data (social, societal, climactic)
- Pinpoint unique identifiers (device ID and type)
So what does AI actually look like in Marketing?
- Using behavioural pattern monitoring and purchase history, sites can make product recommendations
- With location mapping and social media, make retail or restaurant recommendations
- AI can quickly and effectively segment customer demographics down to granular details
- Before AI – Ceri told a company she wants to hear about restaurant offers
- With AI – Ceri’s browsing history shows her favourite types of restaurants / recipes and she posts about Chicken Nuggets a lot on her social media. Now she can be targeted by email recommending a trip to her nearest McDonalds on Friday lunchtime with an offer on nuggets!
3. Landing Pages
- AI can use segmentation and smart funneling to send target demographics to personalized landing pages
- This dramatically increases CRO, as well as brand engagement
- It’s easily monitored for quantifiable results – heatmaps, abandoned shopping baskets and exit points and can be a way to harvest even more data
- AI can make search results more accurate, more relevant and increase likelihood to buy
- It can even make suggestions for SEO or onsite SEO
- Can predict trends for PPC campaigns, keywords
- Creating a more competitive market – if you don’t use it, your listing drops in rankings
- AI is developing for voice & visual search and also image / facial recognition
5. Propensity Modelling
- AI can create a statistical scorecard that is used to predict the behaviour of your customer
- Identify those most likely to respond to a particular offer, language style, design
- Highlight your brand ambassadors – who’s talking about you, your positive reviews
- Create future behavioural pattern predictions
6. Content Marketing
- Show the right marketing to the right demographic at the right time, in the right way
- Advertise products via email and social media – banner ads, blog posts, paid advertising etc.
- Can be highly personalised and done in real-time in relation to new and world events
- By 2019, it’s predicted that 30% of all business content will be authored by machines
- Quick and effective, personalised customer service – FAQs
- Faster response time and can reach a wider audience
- Can push customers towards sales funnel by showcasing services and products
- 80% of users think they are talking to a person when it’s a chatbot
What does this mean for marketers?
This week the Bank of England weighed in on the impact of AI on our lives, specifically jobs in the UK, by questioning whether we had the digital skills available to compete with AI to avoid becoming ‘technologically unemployed’.
While AI is great at making sense of data, it struggles with context and creativity. The right AI implemented in the right way will make marketing smarter, faster, more personalised with a bigger revenue outcome. AI is developing quickly and will be more heavily adopted in the next few years so it’s an important skill to have, or at least have a basic understanding of, in all marketing positions.
Harvard Business Review puts it starkly: “Over the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t.”
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