We are on the threshold of a sea change in marketing with self-optimizing and autonomous marketing systems that would have been considered science fiction only a few years ago.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming almost every industry, and marketing is no exception. AI and machine learning is at the heart of hyper-personalized marketing, rapid identification of market trends and threats, content and message optimization, predictive pricing, lead conversion optimization, improved attribution modeling, and automated visitor engagement. This trend will only continue.
At its core, artificial intelligence is about data processing and making decisions or predictions using that data. And, since most successful marketing programs are already data-driven (using that data to qualify leads, set up automated responses and more) AI and machine learning are a natural next step.
AI-based tools will add their most value when there are massive data to be analyzed and interpreted. With the appropriate data AI is really good at finding patterns and then using those patterns to identify and make predictions. For example,
- which prospects are most likely to become customers?
- which headline will capture the most interest?
- what time is best to send this email to this lead?
- what is the optimal pricing for this product?
AI can also support lead-to-customer interactions through chatbots and virtual assistants. This is done by training the system on the common questions/answers asked during different types of engagements. Here, again, you need the necessary data for the chatbot to respond appropriately, and the system needs to be able to interpret the underlying meaning or intent of various questions, even though they may be phrased differently, so as to provide the proper response.
How can I get started with AI in my marketing program?
Tools that leverage artificial intelligence are already making a big impact in marketing. If you are using one of the major marketing platforms such as HubSpot, Marketo or Pardot, you can already take advantage of predictive analysis and other AI-powered functionality.
Plus, there are a host of standalone tools that are being developed and refined. Here are just a few companies that are already providing unique marketing capabilities powered by AI and machine learning.
- Bloomreach — individualized customer journeys and personalized experiences
- Conversica — AI-powered business conversations (chatbots)
- Crimson Hexagon — consumer insights using AI analysis of social media and other public data
- Crayon — AI-driven market and competitive analysis tools
- Cubed — Intelligent attribution modeling driven by AI
- Optimizely — customer experience optimization through rapid experimentation
- Optimove — customer retention through AI-supported relationship management
- Phrasee — uses AI to generate customized email subject lines that generate response
- Retention Science — target, engage and retain customers using AI
- Rocco — AI-powered social media marketer
- Sentient Ascend — conversion optimization enabled by AI and machine learning
You should expect to see even more development in this area as new companies are formed and existing marketing platforms acquire or develop this technology to extend the value of their products. And if you are not convinced that you should begin using AI in your marketing program you cannot afford to ignore how this technology will be used by your competitors to improve their messaging, response rates, conversion and retention.
My friend, Magnus Unemyr, has written a fantastic book on AI and data-driven marketing that gives a marketers perspective on AI a comprehensive list of many AI-powered marketing tools.