Artificial intelligence is being used by major global companies to streamline marketing strategies source

Here’s how to boost your marketing game with AI

The advent of new algorithms, faster processing, and massive, cloud-based data sets is making it possible for companies in all industries to experiment with artificial intelligence (AI), said a report by eMarketer.

Without even realizing it, people have become accustomed to interacting with AI.

“When you use Facebook or Google or Apple, you’re using it,” Karim Sanjabi, executive director of cognitive solutions at independent media agency Crossmedia told eMarketer.

“It’s recommending your picture, it’s reading your email and giving you relevant ads back against that in Gmail. You probably interact with AI 30 or 40 times a day and may not know it.”

Advertisers such as Google and Facebook have machine learning capabilities built into their systems. Source: Shutterstock

Benefits of AI in marketing

AI is also heavily influencing the marketing world, but companies must go beyond the hype and ensure AI is working directly for them.

“The Artificial Intelligence Marketing (AIM) market like other markets, is currently enjoying decreasing costs in new technologies such as AI, AR and VR. This decrease in cost makes information about customers much cheaper and more accessible in real time for marketers,” Gregory B Mutale, CEO at American Canadian Economic Research Organization, said to Tech Wire Asia.

“Marketing automation allows computers to perform a variety of manual tasks repeatedly at very low costs.”

Marketers are using AI systems in a variety of ways, including marketing intelligence. This method employs AI to crunch huge amounts of data collated across different platforms, including data management platforms (DMPs), data warehouses, data lakes and other repositories of structured and unstructured data. This data can then be used to enhance business intelligence, market research, and forecasting accuracy.

Another benefit of using AI in marketing is to strengthen customer experience management. Using AI-enhanced call centers, bots and virtual digital assistants, marketers can assess the customers’ needs quicker than if a human were processing the data.

AI is also beneficial for content creation and brand building. Having a unique style, tone and of course USP, is crucial for any business. AI can create on-demand advertisements, articles, summaries and promotional material using the data being fed to it.

As long as the quality of the in-fed data is good, the AI systems can create content more quickly and easily than a human. However, this technology can also be used to customize and personalize niche campaigns that reinforce brand messaging.

For consumers specifically, “AI-powered ‘ad personalization’ already delivers their favorite products and services more effectively than previous forms of marketing such as non-personalized mail order,” Mutale said.

The systems being used are undoubtedly helping streamline the marketing industry, but of course, there are always risks when working with technology. So, it is imperative to understand the best practices to employ with AI in marketing.

Define project and goals first – then pick the most suitable technology

Technology is fun, revolutionary and desirable, especially when it is set to boost revenue and increase workflow. But companies should be careful not to grab the shiniest, most innovative technologies before they know how to work towards a solution.

“We see a lot of money spent on pilot projects that don’t translate into any real business impact or success,” said Thomas Prommer, CEO of digital agency HUGE to eMarketer.

Often business leaders think that technology can solve every problem in the company, when actually “it’s a case of stepping back and asking, ‘How do I drive leads?’, ‘How do I increase average value on my website?’ and, ‘Can that actually be done through an AI tool?’” Jessica Chapplow of MEC, explained.

Choose partners wisely (and beware of the hype)

Spend time researching various vendors that appear to offer the same thing. Ensure you understand and establish your desired outcomes, before revealing all your plans to an AI vendor. “Some vendors are going along with the hype a little too much and they may not have what it takes to do things,” Crossmedia’s Sanjabi said.

Always challenge your chosen partners to be completely transparent and collaborate with you. You should be working with them to create the best results.

Understand as much of the technology as possible

There is often confusion around what exactly AI is and what is just data analytics. AI is a hot topic, but it is crucial that you can answer questions such as, Who’s developing the algorithm? Can it change my role?

Without product knowledge, you might as well buy an office elephant and try to convince your staff it will revolutionize the way they work.

Understand your data needs

Being able to analyze data is essential for any job, from trying to find the cure for cancer, to selling consumer goods – your company can only be as good as the data it produces. And of course, AI systems aren’t any different.

Make sure you’re capturing the data that is going to help you. Make sure it’s clean. Make sure you have an infrastructure that can process it in a timely way. And then you can use the results and, “be sure that they are timely and correct,” explained Jeffrey Nimeroff of Zeta Global to eMarketer.

Understand human needs

Working with advanced technology is only half the battle. It is essential to remember that your end goal is revenue driven, and the only way to create money-flow is through engaging customers with strong campaigns.

You have to draw people into the process and allow them to form the data that you will learn from. AI will share with you in real time, the best parts of a campaign, making it easier for you to reach out to your clients, safe in the knowledge that what you are producing holds value.