Machine learning solutions get smarter the more we use them, and we get smarter too.
In the first half of this two-part series, I examined why it’s so important for marketing, advertising, and media teams to dive into AI-driven marketing intelligence initiatives — and how to assess first steps in the current landscape.
I don’t want to be guilty of fueling the Artificial Intelligence (AI) hype, so let’s examine how a marketing intelligence and automation solution that analyzes and applies your enterprise data (and then some) can transform prevailing challenges into competitive differentiators.
But rest assured, Gartner mirrors my enthusiasm. They claim “customer experience represents the majority of AI business value through 2020” and the three main sources of value are customer experience, new revenue, and cost reduction. They predict that by 2022, AI-derived business value will reach $3.9 trillion globally. That’s an upside you can’t afford to ignore.
Let’s take a closer look at current challenges and how smart marketing platforms will turn them upside down:
Customer segments are too broad to be meaningful.
The human mind isn’t capable of understanding hundreds of sub-segments — but a machine mind is. With AI support, segments can be as small as one person. You could potentially develop custom messages for each customer, at scale.
Marketing and advertising are limited by practicable scale.
It’s only possible to run and track a few campaigns at once without automation and data analytics. Intelligent automation at a mass scale means you can run thousands of highly targeted and nuanced campaigns at once — and analyze the results, feed them back into the machine learning process, and continue to optimize seamlessly.
Data ingestion is complicated and costly.
We’ve got all this great data, but there’s so much of it, from so many different sources, in so many puzzling formats. We can make better use of it when it’s mastered and harmonized, but with many platforms, getting there requires too many expensive engineer and consultant hours.
Advanced integration capabilities supported by smart, automated connectors make quick work of centralizing internal and external data sources — from Marketo to Facebook Insights to MailChimp to Weather.com. Bring your data together, run advanced analytics, and leverage visualization tools to bring it to life. A whole new world of hidden opportunities, intelligent decisions, and targeting capabilities await.
The human capacity for creativity and production is strained.
Individual creators have limits, and so do hiring budgets. Machine learning opens up the possibility of automated content creation: intelligent copy aggregation, self-designing websites, and data-driven curation, just for starters.
Marketing relies heavily on rules-based processes.
Even current digital marketing approaches are highly formulaic — website and email templates and Publisher ad formats leave little room for creativity and innovation. These formats work well enough for the marketer, but what does the customer like? Data-driven solutions will enable marketers and media companies to better align with the customer journey and serve the digital content their customers want to see — when and how they prefer to see it.
Marketing is impersonal and programmatic.
Instead of one-way, intrusive interactions with customers, AI opens up a new world of personalization through virtual assistants, voice search, language and image recognition, augmented reality, and more. The customer experience can be vastly improved by creating richer, more engaging touch points with the brand story and products. Savvy modern customers expect to be empowered, heard, and understood. AI makes that possible at unprecedented scale and in immersive detail.
There is far too much waste in marketing.
A lot of marketing and media money has been spent blindly over the last 20 years (not to mention for many decades before digital advertising). Marketing intelligence enables us to know in real time which ads and content pieces are working well with particular audiences by illuminating and capturing every stage of the buyer journey.
When driven by intelligent automation and analytics, ad targeting, retargeting, and programmatic media buying increases conversion and lowers CPA. Data visualization tools make it easier for all stakeholders to understand and act on the results, leading to more innovation and optimization.
Marketing is still too reliant on guesswork.
What will make customers buy again, what will convert a prospect, where should marketing, creative, and media teams spend their time, energy, and money? Predictive analytics can tell you. Sometimes gut instinct works, sometimes it doesn’t. Prospect scoring, dynamic pricing, customer sentiment and churn analysis — marketing intelligence goes well beyond instinct and supports repeatable, autonomous processes to personalize promotions and customer touch points.
After considering all these possibilities and more, I hope you agree with me — it’s a thrilling time to be a marketer. The ability to reach more individuals, segments, and markets with more effective messages, and to track and report on granular results through streamlined and automated processes — these are critical capabilities in the era of global, digital business.
Machine learning solutions get smarter the more we use them, and we get smarter too. Adapting to all the changes AI will bring is going to be hard work, but I am excited to see what we can do with these powerfully intelligent tools.
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