Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have escaped the world of technology and are now invading the rest of the world. We can find software powered by smart algorithms in all sorts of industries, from customer service to retail and from healthcare to administration.
However, this is not news for marketers, who have been dealing with smart platforms for a while now. Marketers need real-time data to understand their target audience, but they also need processing power and smart tools to sort through the huge amount of data that is constantly pouring in from a wide array of sources.
Without reliable data and powerful processing tools, every strategy and campaign is based on estimations which can be a mistake in today’s business world.
Luckily, there are Business Intelligence platforms that use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to change the face of marketing and bring fresh ideas and tools into the game.
So, if you’re ready to see and understand how these two technologies will shape the future of marketing, you are in the right place!
Today we’ll focus the discussion on AI and ML and their influence over the world of marketing. We’ll cover a wide array of topics from ‘how new tech can help marketers’ and up to ‘should marketers take Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning courses’, so nothing is off-limits.
Identifying the Right Niche
It is a well-known fact that, if you want to succeed with a new product or service, you must find the right niche. However, with so many channels available and so many companies competing for the same audience’s attention, it can be quite difficult to find a niche that works for you. That’s why marketers have to carve it out and create a campaign that speaks to the very basic needs of people.
Let’s take the fidget spinner as an example. This tiny toy that brought customers of all ages into a craze was not initially designed for entertainment. It was, in fact, a device for people suffering from anxiety, ADHD, stress, and other neurological disorders.
As you can imagine, the niche for this scenario was not too big and the producer was not aiming for greatness or large ROI. However, a clever marketing campaign rebranded the product for people who want a bit of entertainment without staring at a screen. And the result was incredible!
However, this rebranding may not have happened without the right data that indicated an unexploited niche in the entertainment industry. So, once the door was opened, the product simply rode the wave of fame into a great device that’s even notorious today.
AI and ML algorithms give early adopters the upper hand in a market that’s already full to the brim with competitors.
Even more, marketers now have the possibility to personalize their campaigns by approaching each individual according to their preferences. Artificial intelligence algorithms can sort through piles of data in a matter of seconds and indicate, with accuracy, the main factors to follow.
No More Mundane Tasks
When you think of marketing, you think about creativity and strategies, not filing documents and analyzing numbers. However, without AI and ML, marketing can be quite boring at times.
Luckily, the new technologies are smart enough to cover routine tasks like analyzing data, sending emails, and can even simulate a friendly conversation with a customer.
Customers like to feel they matter for your brand. They love those little touches like a card (or email) for their birthday, a newsletter informing them on new products that match their preferences, notifications on events they may enjoy, and so on.
However, this can be an incredibly boring and time-consuming task for humans. But, with the use of intelligent platforms, we can now set various email templates for different scenarios and the software will cover the rest. As such, you can send personalized welcome emails to customers that match their referrals. Or, you can send personalized newsletters and offers based on customers’ past behaviour on your site. According to marketing automation statistics, automated emails generate 320% more revenue.
The customer service industry is quite extensive and intertwines with a wide range of sectors such as finances, healthcare, administration, and marketing (to name a few). Currently, the industry is dominated by call centres, where people are employed to reply to customers’ requests via phone, chat, or email.
Still, we now see a trend of intelligent chatbots powered by AI algorithms that can sustain a full conversation without hinting they are, in fact, a robot. Smart chatbots can make recommendations, answer basic questions, and even perform transactions and most customers don’t even know they’re chatting with a bot. Many such platforms are easily available online, but you can also see examples on Facebook, Skype, or Slack.
Voice Search is a Thing
Have you ever talked to a friend about a topic only to start seeing topic-specific ads in your browser? It’s a bit scary, especially if you think new technologies are here to spy on us.
There is a bit of truth to this. Google (and other tech giants that use voice assistants) created a powerful artificial intelligence algorithm based on machine learning that’s designed to listen and learn patterns. Furthermore, these algorithms are now integrated into the search engine, which is why marketers have access to a whole new list of features when it comes to personalization.
So, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, now is the perfect time to optimize marketing campaigns for voice search.
Predicting A Client’s Purchasing Journey
As human beings, we are not always governed by logic when it comes to purchases. First of all, emotions and moods play a huge role in the type of products & services we buy. Second, the differences in culture and social status also influence our choices (among others).
Now, a marketer’s job is to understand their audience and find the triggers that drive them towards a specific product or service. And to do so, marketers need data that showcase everything that influences people’s purchasing decisions. But, without AI to sort through and interpret the data, marketers could never make sense of what’s right in front of them.
For instance, an AI-based algorithm could point out that certain products are frequently bought together. The algorithm does this by analyzing millions of shopping patterns from a specific geographic area and for a specific type of product.
In a different scenario, AI can be used to find the perfect time in the day/week to send a newsletter. The algorithm analyzes a series of factors such as clicks, conversion rates, open rates, and more from previous campaigns and offers recommendations. Now it’s only a matter of choosing the recommendation that works best for that specific campaign based on the marketer’s experience and intuition.
Engagement is crucial for a successful marketing campaign because it shows people are interested in the product and gets the word of mouth going (especially in social media). However, anyone who has ever participated in a marketing campaign will tell you that engagement is not that easy to achieve.
Even if the product or service hits all the right sports, there are a series of other factors involved when it comes to getting people interested. You need to make sure the campaign is released at the right time, that it includes the right channels, and that it talks to the right audiences. Now, all this information can be obtained by analyzing historical data from previous campaigns for similar products or services.
It also helps to understand the previous buying patterns of the target audience and identify their favourite channels of communication. This way, marketers can use these channels to target specific behaviours and get a reaction out of people.
Lastly, artificial intelligence-powered bots and machine learning algorithms can be used to identify the type of content that will get the most engagement out of viewers.
What Does This Mean For Marketers?
It’s important to know that AI and ML are not going anywhere for the following time period. The trend is already settled in, the algorithms are developed and running, and the devices are easily affordable.
So does this mean marketing employees should take AI and ML courses? While it’s not a request (yet) it does help to know how these algorithms work and the technology they use. You should also be up to date with the latest developments in tech, especially the ones that can impact your marketing strategy.
The competition is fierce, regardless of niche, geographic location, or product/service. Moreover, the fight over audiences’ attention happens at a global level due to smart devices and easy access to the internet.
Right now, based on the points mentioned above, artificial intelligence and machine learning are the best tools a business could integrate into their marketing and sales strategies to gain a clear competitive advantage.