How to Leverage AI in Your Marketing Tech Stack for Better ROI After COVID
Over the past year, the business landscape has changed dramatically and now Marketing and Sales teams are being pressed hard to produce results in a new, virtual world.
Although the pandemic has forced many companies to tighten their belts and downsize, smart leaders know they must invest in the right technology to ensure that their remaining team members are successful.
Artificial intelligence can be a powerful tool to improve efficiencies, boost productivity, increase revenues, lower costs and help companies gain a competitive edge amid the uncertainty of COVID-19.
In a recent PwC survey, more than half of businesses said they have accelerated their use of AI during the public health crisis, with 86% saying AI will be a “mainstream technology” at their company this year. And 40% said they’ll be spending more on AI in 2021, as businesses look for ways to rebound and flourish in a post-pandemic world.
According to the global research firm, AI investments are “paying off in concrete ways, with benefits ranging from revenue growth to better decisions and improved customer experiences.”
For marketing professionals especially, AI can bring a substantial return on investment. Data-driven insights gleaned through AI can enhance and personalize your relationships with prospective and existing buyers, as well as identify winning strategies that your team can harness to drive future growth.
Here are four ways to ensure a full digital transformation for your marketing organization and make sure your AI technology investments are working for you.
Leverage your organization’s data in future marketing campaigns
What if you could quickly access the most timely and accurate set of organizational data, all the while harnessing the top strategies and relationship networks of your top sales and marketing people? Or examine every single step (and misstep) of every deal that’s closed in the recent history of your company? Or, more specifically, ensure that you are taking the most effective approach?
Remember, people still buy from people, and its all about relationships, so gaining visibility into your employee client network should be your first step toward achieving organic growth.
Gaining insights that could be used to drive future sales would be tremendous, of course. But the sheer volume and speed of change of data makes it impossible for most humans to feasiblykeep systems or their teams up to date with the upkeep of this data. That’s where AI can help.
Using AI and data science, you can discover and analyze your team’s history with specific clients and prospects to customize an optimal path through the sales lifecycle, by repeating behaviors that have succeeded in the past, and avoiding what hasn’t worked. To make this goal a reality, its important to gain the most up-to-date and accurate understanding of your client engagements.
You can bring new hires up to speed quickly, helping them reach quotas faster by tapping into the collective experience and vast relationship networks of their more senior colleagues.
Another advantage is thethe abilityto removethe friction between teams like sales that have the client intel and the teams that need it like marketing. Having intelligence readily accessible allows for a more self-service approach, improving theability to present and act on the most timely and relevant client initiatives.
For example, a recent conversation with a prospect revealed that getting an up-to-date list to invite clients to a CEO briefing took more than six months. Imagine, what it would mean to be able to mitigate these types of challenges.
With a solid foundation of datathat deliversa greater understanding of current engagement strength that can be used across campaigns, you can personalize your message and deliver it to the right customers at the right time. Using your intelligence surrounding existing relationships can provide the context you need to do so.
Finally, AI can help your team visualize where they are spending their time. Gaining an understanding of where top performers are channeling their energy and where problems may existcan deliver the insights you need to design the most effective coaching programs for steering your team toward success.
Automate the mundane
Many businesses are still reeling from the economic fallout of COVID-19, and companies experiencing layoffs and furloughs need to find ways to help their remaining staff work faster and smarter.
With AI, you can automate time-consuming, mundane tasks, freeing your team to focus on more meaningful activities. Automation can reduce stress and leave your team with more energy to invest in your customers and business.
You don’t want your talented marketing or salespeople spending precious time entering data manually into a CRM when they could be using it to build relationships that help drive business. You also don’t want them to be operating in a silo, relying on their own guesswork, without a historical understanding of the client relationship, about the best way to close a deal.
AI can provide the intelligence your team needs to help them make better business decisions, learn from past behavior to support the ability to meet future goals and get suggestions about what steps to take next.
Improve data quality and CRM health
When well maintained, your CRM is a powerful resource that can serve up the right data at the right time to help you connect with clients and accelerate deals.
For marketing organizations, a healthy CRM can provide a valuable map of your relationships and a clear and reliable snapshot of your customers so you can better predict their needs and tailor your message.
But the old garbage in, garbage out adage applies.
Your CRM is only as good as the data it contains. A CRM that’s neglected or riddled with inaccuracies can render the insights it generates meaningless.
CRM data automation can help improve the quality of your data and keep your CRM up to date, not only by eliminating human error, but by filling in holes and removing redundancies automatically.
By being able to share your data across all your CRM and other marketing technology solutions, you can ensure you are always leveraging the most up-to-date and useful insights to drive optimal results. When it comes to investing in AI technology, it’s all about choosing the solutions that complement and bolster your existing investments.
Level up your tech stack to grow your business in 2021
There is a dizzying amount of data available today that can help you tailor your marketing campaigns and provide the personalized experience that customers crave.
But all too often, marketers spend more time collecting the information than making sense of it or using it to their advantage.
Smart marketers are solving that problem by enriching their tech stacks with AI-based technology, such as CRM databases that ensure that data is accurate and reliable along with the intelligence you need to drive better decision making, email marketing products with algorithms that allow you to personalize your campaign and social media management tools to optimize your ability to understand and engage with your audience.
And those efforts can pay dividends. In a recent IDC Future of Intelligence Survey, IDC Artificial Intelligence Strategies program Vice President Ritu Jyoti noted that early adopters report an improvement of almost 25% in customer experience, accelerated rates of innovation, higher competitiveness, higher margins, and better employee experience with the rollout of AI solutions.”
“Organizations worldwide are adopting AI in their business transformation journey. Not just because they can, but because they must be agile, resilient, innovative, and able to scale,” Jyoti also commented.
As we move further into 2021, and into a post-pandemic world, we’ll see tremendous opportunity to capitalize on MarTech investments in AI. Forward-thinking marketing organizations are gearing up with smart strategies to fully embrace AI investments and realize significant ROI.