AI: The New Way to Market Intelligently

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Artificial Intelligence – say those two words and everyone in the room turns their head to you. It’s a term that has been lurking around ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger went back in time to neutralize Sarah Connor. Of course, we soon learned that Artificial Intelligence isn’t simply a robot that will replace humans (or try to destroy them), and is actually applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.

Artificial Intelligence is a broad term and involves several capabilities within the marketing field. It combines machine learning technology with marketing automation, which in turn enhances data collection and analysis so campaigns are optimized at scale. Campaign timing, content and channel distribution become a breeze.

Imagine getting a briefing from a prospect B2C client and hear that they are expanding into a new market. As a communications professional you jump to the usual platforms, social media and other media outlets, and start searching for the relevant topics. You are now faced with thousands, if not tens of thousands of different opinions with no way to pre-classify them and no way to make it easier, you will have to manually read and classify these “posts” or “articles” into different categories and sentiments to be able to analyze and compare them. Enter, AI. Think of all the time you have invested in going through thousands of customer profiles, analyzing their behavior and preferences, trying to guess what triggers the purchase decision. This becomes a thing of the past. Other areas expected to benefit from AI are predictive lead scoring, content recommendations, and email acquisition.

There are some who speculate that AI is coming to take our place and simply automate every aspect of communication, from translating data science into powerful execution, to ensuring that each customer gets the right message, delivered where and when they are most likely to respond. Gartner even predicts that a full 20% of business content will be written by machines starting in 2018. But you shouldn’t tap into that retirement yet, thankfully these abilities mean nothing without a person’s creative touch, extensive experience and strategic adaptable thinking. In fact, the more machines are used, the more humans are needed to interpret their output.

Since emotion plays a major role in today’s purchasing decisions, marketers are required to push the sale over the line. While AI will place the product in front of the consumer via a PDA, based on the big data analytics and knowledge of the consumer’s preferences, the campaign’s creativity will need to connect emotionally with the customer to close the deal, making it the perfect blend of art and science.

For most organizations AI is still in its infancy; however, embracing AI will become increasingly crucial to future marketing efforts. Do not fear the acronym. Instead, use AI to become a superstar marketer creating a positive image for your brand, engaging customers in a meaningful way, and driving sales and business growth.