How marketers can better leverage artificial intelligence

15th Feb 2018
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The ultimate role of AI in marketing is to add value and purpose to both brands and customers. AI is a great tool that can augment the idea and capabilities of human marketers.

According to the 2017 State of Inbound Report by HubSpot, generating traffic and leads and proving RoI, and lack of budget for marketing activities are the leading challenges that marketers face even today. Data overload from multiple sources, limited resources and time to implement activities, a crowded marketplace and increasing customer expectations make the job all the more difficult. Traditional marketing campaigns are far less efficient in gaining and retaining a customer. Artificial intelligence (AI) helps to gain the competitive advantage in this connected, real-time world by reducing manual workloads, rapidly personalising decisions that too at scale and improving their targeting.

Over the past few years, AI has paved its way into marketing, helping brands enhance customer experience, product planning, marketing and sales strategies in a sizeable manner. There are many ways in which marketers can use AI to assist their current plans and devise new and engaging ways to capture customers’ mindshare and wallets. These include:

AI-enabled intelligent marketing and sales forecasting: The AI-enabled marketer will enable reliable consumer insights and predict their behaviour, allowing them to build audiences based on possible future actions. AI tools will also help marketers to support decisions through real-time and up-to-date gathering, forecasting and trend analysis, and send messages at the right time when a customer is most likely to engage. Danone, the food products company, used analytics with machine learning capabilities to assess their demand planning. It led to a dramatic rise in forecast accuracy (92 percent), 30 percent reduction in lost sales, six-percent increase in net RoI in the first year and the workload cut in half.

Provide real-time recommendations: Taking into account a number of parameters such as purchase history and disposable income and use of predictive intelligence to target leads that have the highest levels of buying intent, AI tools are helping marketers understand customer behaviour and preferences and personalise their offerings. AI-powered tools can allow sales and marketing teams to provide recommendations in real time and channel their efforts to derive the best possible outcomes as they are designed to learn and reason.

An intelligent AI tool can integrate with the company’s CRM system and send contextual messages at scale.

Predicting churn: Disengaged customers are the biggest bane of marketers. Customers who are fully engaged, according to Gallup, represent a 23-percent share of profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to the average customer. Machine learning algorithms can help gather data about disengaged customer engagements, build a predictive model and validate that model on real customers. AI-powered churn prediction can keep more of your customers engaged, leading to the high lifetime value of the customer.

Social AI: Several enterprises have already adopted social AI, which is the fusion of AI and social media. Social AI aims to improve customer experience by providing enterprises better insights through analyzing data centered around the customer, online behaviour, preferences and buying patterns. It is useful in monitoring and analysing social communication and guides marketers to post the best content in their blogs, forums and websites.

AI bots can help the marketing team figure out what kind of posts are not working and avoid posting content that may not do well.

Companies like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook have already adopted social AI. While LinkedIn acquired bright.com, Pinterest bought Kosei.

Content creation: By 2018, Gartner predicts that 20 percent of the business content will be generated by machines. Currently, machines can create content like profit and loss summaries, quarterly business reports, real-time stock insights, sports game recaps etc. The writing style is established by the rules and formats established by the brand. Marketers scan use predictive AI tools to generate email content, personalised reports or messages that record the customers’ past behaviour allowing marketers to personalise messaging. As the messages will be more targeted and relevant, it will lead to less wastage, lower spending and generate higher returns.

Intelligent email content curation: Delivering personalised emails to every customer is the dream of any marketer. Even with a segmented smart subscriber list, it is not possible to personalise each and every email. AI helps to overcome this by analysing customers’ reading patterns and topics of interest to recommend specific content most relevant to that person. AI can also help the marketing team analyse historical emails and open rates and can help determine the best time for both individual customers and larger segmented audiences. By knowing when each customer is most likely to read an email, marketers can better target them and deliver messages at the moments they are most likely to engage. The use of AI-powered tools can significantly contribute to increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of content, ensuring that the investments in content are paid back in high-quality leads and more deals won.

The ultimate role of AI in marketing is to add value and purpose to both brands and customers. AI is a great tool that can augment the idea and capabilities of human marketers.

More and more companies are embarking on the journey to make better marketing decisions with AI.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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