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As technology evolves at a rapid pace, the nature of marketing evolves with it. One of the most crucial innovations in the marketing landscape is artificial intelligence (AI).
But what exactly is AI? Put simply, AI is a system that can learn, reason and solve problems. And marketers see the potential. Here’s a brief look at how this technology can change the way marketers reach their audience.
Understand and Grow Your Audience
Thanks to the Internet, there’s an overwhelming amount of customer data available to marketers. It would take humans an absurd amount time to sort through it in a meaningful way. But now marketers can use AI-powered software to quickly connect data from multiple sources, like email, social media and search engines. This can help you understand who your customers are, what platforms they use, what content they like to read and what products they typically buy. And AI connects the dots in an instant.
But that’s only the first step. Using all this data, AI marketing software can perform predicative analysis. That means it analyzes the data and makes predictions without the need for programmers to develop their own algorithms. Then, AI can form a lookalike audience — that is, prospects that have similar behavior to your customers — based on their digital footprint. Facebook first initiated this for ad targeting. If you can identify a lookalike audience, you can reach new customers who are likely to respond.
Another way AI can help marketers understand their audience is by tracking the customer journey. A product like Customer Experience Analytics from IBM Watson lets marketers see how the customer moves through a marketing effort. Then, it pinpoints areas where consumers might have trouble. This can help improve engagement and boost conversion rates.
Create Segmented Lists
So you can use AI to gather data, understand your customers and grow your audience. Then what?
Well, AI-powered solutions use this information to create highly segmented lists, dividing into subdivisions based on lifestyle, interests, buying behavior, social behavior, location and more. With this data, AI can learn about your audience and identify which segments should be included or excluded from your marketing efforts.
Apply this concept to email marketing, for instance. Marketing software can already track which emails get opened, which buttons get clicked and who interacted with your website. But AI goes above and beyond simply providing click rate statistics. It can pinpoint which audiences are most likely to interact with certain campaigns. Then, it can create hyper-segmented email lists and deliver specific messaging to each segment. Think: not just Jeep drivers, but Jeep drivers who live in Michigan and are likely to purchase new tires. This degree of specificity allows you to get your message to people who will respond.
It’s an effective way to increase open rates and conversions. When you get the right message to the right customer at the right time, you get results.
Personalize at Scale
Personalization is vital in today’s marketing landscape. In fact, according to a Salesforce study, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs. That means personalization can make your message truly resonate with customers.
Machine-learning algorithms can optimize content at a scale that humans can’t match. By creating segmented lists, AI can learn your audience, accurately target messages and personalize them more specifically.
Let’s revisit those Jeep drivers, for instance. An AI-powered algorithm can personalize an email campaign to each driver’s specific make and model of car. Some forms of AI, like IBM Watson, can even trigger a campaign deployment based on weather in each customer’s area (think: a promotion for snow tires deploying to areas expecting heavy snowfall in the next 48 hours). This takes the decision-making process out of the hands of marketers.
This highly personalized messaging resonates with customers — and inspires them to act.
All of these points relate to one big idea: AI helps marketers get relevant messaging to customers who will respond. Segmentation, personalization and customer insights help marketers understand their audience and deliver what they want to see. AI will power the future of marketing — and marketers need to use it to get ahead.