Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly important within the marketing world. And those hesitant about adopting it? Well, they may soon find themselves falling behind.
In 2017, 53 percent of U.S. companies were implementing Big Data-based analytics functions, reports Dresner — up from just 17 percent in 2015. The most common advantage cited by Fortune 1000 business and technology leaders? Better overall decision-making. That helps explain why global spending on analytics and business intelligence software is expected to grow from $18.3 billion in 2017 to $22.8 billion by the end of 2020.
Already, machine learning and AI are solving longtime marketing problems. For example:
- Detailed audience profiling: Previously, marketers ran efficient campaigns based on inferences—not facts—about audience characteristics. Now, AI can approach all that from a scientific standpoint by merging data from multiple IoT sources, then applying deep learning algorithms and behavioral analysis to form comprehensive views of your customers. That saves you time and money and could help you identify new, previously untapped markets.
- Personalization: Rather than throw money at blanket marketing campaigns aimed at appealing to everyone, the latest tools gauge customer intent so they can immediately tailor responses to each customer; consider how Amazon is spot-on in suggesting products of interest to online visitors. Gartner predicts that by 2020, such personalization engines will be able to boost profits of digital businesses by up to 15 percent.
- Journey profiling: In the past, marketers were often frustrated by their inability to track customers when they switched channels for interactions, Now, they can easily be tracked through products such as Lineate’s DataSwitch, a platform that recognizes customers across all marketing touchpoints so brands can develop a more holistic view of customers and their behavior.
- Automated email and SMS campaigns: Before, designing and implementing automated email and SMS campaigns entailed a long and sometimes manual process. Nowadays, AI-enabled digital tools use algorithms to carry out such strategies on your behalf, taking care of the busywork to reach your clientele at the right time with the right message.
- Responsive websites: The websites of the past were generic, one-size-fits-all locales designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of a given population. Now, sophisticated software can monitor individual customer activity on your site and immediately respond according to the information it provides. One engaging example on the Virgin America airlines site allows visitors to tour the interior of a plane and check out the view from their assigned seat.
- Relevance at scale: Not only can today’s tools target customers much more closely, but they can do that at whatever scale is needed for your company, thanks to algorithms that instantaneously figure out which online ad venues are likely to give you the greatest bang for your buck
AI can vastly improve your knowledge about your customer base, allowing for precise marketing campaigns that are much better targeted toward their needs and pain points. If you’re unsure about how to start, consult with a specialist such as Lineate that can identify the tools that can help you meet your business objectives.
“We have to ask how AI and machine learning will spark new ideas and push the boundaries of creativity,” speculates Marvin Chow on ThinkwithGoogle.com. “With new tools, what will makers, artists and musicians design? And how will that affect the marketing world we work in? New forms of creativity will provide new ways of telling brand stories, and new media platforms as well.”