Over the last decade, companies and marketers have been moving towards marketing automation – outsourcing the repetitive tasks to bots and machines. In the early stages, marketing automation was linked to the email or direct marketing only. However, with the passage of time, the scope of machine learning or AI-powered automation has widened.
Today, we’re living in the era where, business decisions are being made with the help of machines and powerful algorithms – and being implemented with active support from artificial superintelligence.
It’s a major tipping point where people and companies who have been slow to adopt machine learning will find it harder to compete with those who have already explored and adopted machine learning technology into their operations.
If you’re part of the same club (who haven’t explored AI), this article will provide you a basic framework as to why and how you should prepare for AI-powered marketing.
The Market Trends
Before we move to the suggestions part, here are some statistics that may help you get an idea of where do we stand today.
According to a report published by CMO.com:
- On average, 55% of B2B companies are currently using automation tools
- 91% of the most successful marketers agree that ‘automation’ is very important to marketing success today.
- 77% of CMOs at top-performing companies agreed that adoption of AI-powered tools have helped them grow revenue.
- By 2019, machine learning market is projected to reach $15.3 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 20 percent.
- Predictive analytics software market will see massive growth, reaching $6.5 billion worldwide in 2019 (from $2 billion in 2012).
- AI market is projected to be worth $16.06 billion by 2022 (Growing at an average of 62.9% from 2016 to 2022).
- Modern technology could automate 45% of the activities people are paid to perform
Are You Prepared?
Machine’s ability to make a quick and informed decision, analyzing data quickly, and performing repetitive tasks on our behalf, have made them an integral part of the modern businesses. Being declared as revolution engine, AI is reshaping the dynamics of modern marketing.
Though there are a number of areas where machine learning or AI are contributing to effective marketing, I am listing down only 5 key domains.
1. AI in Content Marketing
While we do not mean you to outsource your content strategy and production to the machines, there are certainly some areas where AI can be an extremely valuable source of help in content marketing.
Generally, artificial intelligence can offer help/recommendation into the following.
1. Content Strategy – What type of contents to product next
2. Campaign Strategy – Which channels and mode of communication to use, what should be the sequence and type etc.
3. Personalization – What are the people’s unique needs and which customer segment requires/likes/dislikes what (based on behavior)
4. Content Curation – Curate recommendations to keep customers engaged and continuing to subscribe.
In addition, there are AI-powered content production tools that help in crafting marketing material. So, machine learning can not only reduce your cost of production but also help in analytics, retargeting, and strategy development.
2. AI in Video Marketing
Video marketing is a vital element in modern marketing mix as it helps in winning better visibility, attracting traffic, building a brand, and generating revenue. But do you know that video marketing can be improved with the help of AI?
AI can help video marketers easily express stories, share experiences and develop deeper relationships in a cost-effective way. While working as an extension of human creativity, machine learning can help in video production, creative management, and experience optimization.
Magisto has recently launched an AI-powered video marketing platform that helps marketing teams in refining their message, producing core narrative, and A/B testing. In fact, there is a range of video marketing tools that help in crafting compelling video messages as per the platform and market behavior.
3. AI in Customer Experience Management
Many folks may confuse this with the web design, but this is quite broader than that. Studies indicate that 73 percent of consumers prefer buying from the brands that personalize their shopping experiences. In fact, personalization has been found as a fundamental element in cultivating loyalty in customers.
Due to the same, e-commerce companies are using artificial intelligence to gain deep analytics about their prospects and personalize their customer experience based on behavior. If you want to experience this, visit Amazon, Netflix etc. and see the type of recommendations you’re offered (based on your search history).
In CX management, you can seek AI’s help in design, content production, user journey management, and content curation. If you want to see a live demonstration, check out some AI-powered web design tool like The Grid or Firedrop.
4. AI in Search Engine Optimization
Search engines like Google are using AI to refine search results and provide more relevant results for searchers. However, the story does not end here as AI is also helping and changing the way marketers address people’s appetite for content by producing more relevant and quality content.
In recent times, voice search and Google’s RankBrain have a big impact on search results and behavior. As a marketer, you cannot ignore innovations like Echo, Siri, and Cortana as they impact (not only) search results but behavior as well. A lot depends upon how algorithm interprets queries and processes responses.
For example, if a person is searching for “president”, Google might interpret it with your interest in knowing who the current president is – and serve you with the information about the individual – Donald Trump.
Moreover, people (searchers) are less using the keywords and more relying on queries. For example, instead of “the best restaurants in Milpitas”, they’re likely to say “where should I go for lunch in Milpitas”. Hence, you need to put more focus on queries, answers, and long-tail keywords – and produce contents that are aimed to serve those (Seeking help from conversational AI).
5. AI in Marketing Automation
Businesses are using the power of machine learning to customize their marketing messaging based on customer preferences and behavior. As a result, this not only leads to be better engagement but also results in more conversions.
Using AI-powered analytics tools, you can study the behavior of your prospects and customize the content of your newsletter/emails accordingly. Segmentation (on the basis of interests) is another area where a marketer can take help from ML and send out customized content as per each recipients’ lifecycle.
Finally, there are a lot of repetitive tasks (like follow up emails) that automation and ML can perform, saving your invaluable time.
I’ve cited just a few examples where AI is impacting marketing. While I stand by earlier comments to use IA to lower the cost and optimize ROI, there are still some gray areas.
Like, AI cannot replace human being (at least for the moment) and the best case scenario is AI working under the supervision of a human being. Both (working together) can be very efficient and achieve their goals faster as compared to each stakeholder doing things separately.
As a marketer, don’t consider robots, bots, and AI as taking over your jobs. Instead, take them as helping hands and tools to achieve your goals.
(This piece of mine originally appeared on Business2Community last year. However, since the topic is still very important, resharing it to refresh the thoughts and learning. You can check out my other articles on Business2Community here.)