The marketing world has gone through an undeniable shift in the last 20 years.
From the rise of big data to the use of predictive marketing techniques, traditional forms of marketing have largely fallen by the wayside as the role of a marketer has quickly evolved from a largely creative, loosely data-driven role, to one fueled almost entirely by powerful customer insights.
If you think marketing has reached the height of change and is just starting to get settled, think again.
Artificial intelligence (AI, otherwise known as “machine learning”) has made its way from the pages of science-fiction into reality. While the primitive forms of AI that existed in the early 2000’s left quite a bit to be desired (remember “robopets?”), today marketers stand on the precipice of some truly remarkable advancements in AI that seem likely to change the way marketers collect, analyze, and make use of customer insights in developing campaigns.
How is Artificial Intelligence Changing Marketing Today?
If you were still on the fence about whether marketing is truly an art or a science, the recent development of machine learning tools to enhance, and at times replace, the work of marketing teams certainly brings the question into the spotlight.
Artificial intelligence takes predictive marketing strategies to the next level. Like a scoop of ice cream on top of a warm slice of pie, AI is taking a great thing and making it even better.
It does so in a few key ways:
By leveraging more of your data.
In a twist of bitter irony, marketers have gone from the days of too little customer information in the pre-internet age of advertising, to almost too much information today.
There is so much out there that it becomes nearly impossible for any team of marketers to truly squeeze all the juice from the fruitful nuggets of customer information a company collects (or could collect).
Of course, good data management software gives you a tremendous advantage in that you can unify multiple data streams into a single-source system that cleans and enriches customer data, allowing marketers to paint a fuller picture of their customers. However, AI takes things a step further, by activating otherwise disregarded data streams and even bringing new ones to the table through customer interactions with chatbots.
It is not just about collecting data, it is also what AI does with the data that is so impressive.
By spotting trends your average marketer might have missed.
Machine learning enables marketers to segment customers in new, interesting ways that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. For marketers already employing a predictive marketing strategy, this step is absolutely critical.
Not only can AI make intelligent recommendations about ways you can create new target segments for your campaigns, but it can also continuously engage with those target audiences in real time.
Instead of creating a segment and then creating an email campaign that leads to a simple landing page, you can create a landing page with a segment-specific AI chatbot that is programmed to ask the right questions in the right voice to the site visitors who clicked through from your email.
AI makes seemingly impossible concepts like live chatting with each and every one of your site visitors possible; it also helps automate a number of other tasks that slow down the daily flow of even the best marketers.
That is the third major way AI is impacting predictive marketing.
By automating repetitive, mundane tasks.
Though big data absolutely made it easier for marketers to target the right customers at the right time and demonstrate return on investment for their campaigns, it did not necessarily make anyone’s job easier.
As any marketer will tell you, there are still routine, often mundane daily tasks that must be done to make campaigns run efficiently and effectively.
Again, AI steps up big in this department. If you fear that means your job will soon be outsourced to robots, that does not seem to be likely (at least not anytime soon).
In fact, AI’s contribution to daily, repetitive tasks like analytics reporting has freed up more time for marketers to return back to a more creative role when it comes to campaign development.
By putting data analysis into the more capable hands of a cognitive machine, marketers are free to experiment with new campaign strategies, better content development, and stronger plans around long-term demand generation.
Of course, that is a huge win for marketers when it comes to proving return-on-investment as it relates to your overall marketing strategy.
However, as with most aspects of a success marketing plan, success hinges on clean, quality data and a great data management platform to help make it happen.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization, and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean, and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.