What You Don’t Know: Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation Might Kill You

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation

The digital landscape these days is evolving at a lightning-fast pace. So fast, in fact, blink, and you could miss it altogether. Okay, perhaps not quite that fast, but sometimes it sure feels that way! Especially now, with the entry of AI (Artificial Intelligence) on the scene.

We’re in the era of decision-making driven by cold, hard data and tailored personalized customer experiences, and AI is a pivotal component in this revision of marketing we’re watching unfold. So, keep reading as we explore how AI is changing how businesses market. Perhaps it’ll change the way you market, too!

Rise of the Marketing Machines

Thankfully, we’re not in the midst of doomsday yet, but AI influence and use are on the rise and a rapid one at that. It’s not some futuristic idea ‘somewhere out there’. It’s a here-and-now reality. AI is creating fundamental changes in how businesses do business and interact with customers.

Vast amounts of data can be analyzed at superhuman paces and then incorporated into your marketing strategies to provide tailored and cohesive experiences for your audience. The ability of AI to process and analyze all that data so quickly means your business can gain extremely deep insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors, allowing you to target your marketing campaigns more effectively.

AI-Driven Marketing Automation

I bet you didn’t know AI is even appearing in marketing automation tools these days! When marketing automation is integrated with AI, the result is an AI baby with enhanced effectiveness and efficiency in marketing your business.

Essentially, this refers to using intelligent algorithms in the optimization and automation of a variety of marketing tasks. That means you can tackle those repetitive tasks faster, on a scale you’d never be able to achieve with your mere human skills, and with great precision to boot.

You can use these AI automation tools for a range of things, everything from content personalization and audience segmentation to optimizing campaigns and channels you share them in.

AI can identify preferences and patterns that allow you to create highly targeted campaigns and even help predict the best times of the day you should send an email or social media post to maximize your reach and engagement. The kind of help AI can offer in its role of creating and orchestrating marketing campaigns will very quickly become invaluable to the success of pretty much every business that wants to market successfully.

AI in Ramping Up Customer Engagement

Along with the other advances of AI comes one significant area of impact: personalization. Companies are leveraging AI to help them deliver offers and content that are uniquely tailored to individual preferences. This ability for hyper-personalization can take your engagement rates with customers to whole new levels when done well.

New advancements in machine learning mean your marketing team can tap into a sea of customer data and make sense of it, helping you curate offers, product recommendations, and content that is highly targeted and personalized. It’s a step or three beyond traditional segmentation and allows you to offer your customers individualized experiences that truly resonate with them.

For instance, consider a customer––we’ll call her Pamela––who happens to be browsing a clothing store online. If the store uses an AI engine, it can use her browsing history, past purchases, and patterns in the way she engages with other products to analyze her behavior and suggest products she might like that align with her style, size, and preferences. So it might offer her a red dress because it knows she prefers the color red. It could even offer options for accessorizing.

This kind of personalization not only deeply enhances Pamela’s shopping experience, it raises the chances of her purchasing something exponentially, simply because she’s offered products that align well with things she buys already that suit her wants and tastes.

However, with great power comes great responsibility and all that jazz. To operate ethically and responsibly, your customers need to know you’re collecting their data and explicitly consent to it usage if you want your customers to continue to trust your business and remain loyal to your brand.

Using AI to Enhance Customer Service and Interaction

Using AI as part of your customer service strategy is becoming almost commonplace these days, with chatbots and AI-powered messaging apps at the forefront.

Instant, personalized replies to customers in real-time? Check! Without the heavy manpower, of course. Using AI-powered technology means improved overall customer service experiences and, hopefully, stronger customer relationships.

Not sure what one of these chatbots can do? Well, one option is using them to handle tasks like answering frequently asked questions, offering assistance with processing orders, and offering product recommendations.

This doesn’t mean you replace your entire customer service team, but it does mean you can free them up to focus on more challenging customer issues while the chatbot handles the simpler stuff. One upside is that the fast response means your customers who value quick and personalized interactions like these will regard your business more highly, improving overall customer perception of your brand.

AI and Predictive Analytics and Decision-Making

Have we mentioned the beauty of predictive analytics yet? Many businesses are embracing the AI beast to help them identify patterns in their customers’ behavior. AI does it by analyzing historical data and quite reliably predicting customer preferences, behaviors, and trends.

What does that mean for you? It basically means you can more effectively anticipate the needs of your customers and tailor your products and campaigns accordingly.

Think proactive marketing and decision-making rather than reactive. AI can be used to identify market opportunities, optimize prices, and forecast sales trends.

You can also use the power of AI to predict not just customer behavior but also the performance of your marketing campaigns. In a nutshell, this means you will be able to divvy up your budget and resources more efficiently and maximize your ROIs. Essentially, you can make stronger, more data-informed decisions for the growth and success of your biz.

Challenges and Ethics in AI

There are some challenges and things to consider concerning the ethical use of AI that you will have to navigate. One of the biggest challenges currently is incorporating AI usage into your existing marketing processes. Your staff will need to be trained on how to work with and use AI tools and how to understand and apply insights and information that are gleaned from AI tools.

If you spend any time on the internet at all, you may already be aware of the conversations happening around the ethics of using AI in many different capacities. One of the biggies is its collection and use of sensitive info about your customers. Ultimately, this just means that you will need to be extra vigilant in the way you collect, store, and use information from your customers and be very transparent about what you’re doing and how you plan on using it. You might even need to obtain explicit consent in some use cases.

There are also some arguments to be made regarding the potential of AI to perpetuate biases. Unfortunately, an AI learning machine can only be as learned as the data it’s trained with, which means if it is biased in any one direction, AI recommendations and responses could also be biased. This is a risk, which means you’ll need to be aware of it, and take steps to ensure the AI you use is trained using unbiased and diverse data points.

AI and the Future of Biz

We expect that AI usage is only the tip of the iceberg. In the coming months and years, we expect to see even more innovation in the realm of AI use, in marketing, and beyond. Ultimately, we’ll see a reshaping in the way businesses connect with their audience.

Some of the biggest trends emerging right now are:

  • Augmented and virtual reality to enhance customer interactions and create more immersive experiences.
  • Voice search optimization using voice assistants to optimize content and remain relevant and visible in the SERPs.
  • The emergence of social commerce, as social media platforms evolve into their own e-commerce ecosystems and streamline the customer journey.

Ultimately, AI is creating some pretty significant shifts in the world of marketing, and if you aren’t on board yet, you’ll likely get left behind in the wake of early adopters. Is it without challenges? Of course not. But barring doomsday, AI certainly isn’t going anywhere. It only makes good business sense to decide how you’ll begin to implement its use into your own business model.


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