Do you use AI?
According to Adobe 72% of marketers are now using some form of artificial intelligence to improve offer personalisation.
This number sounds high – perhaps a little too high – but should serve as a wake-up call to any marketers who are yet to investigate how this tech can help them in the future.
Over the next five years, artificial intelligence will become a key foundation of any successful marketing strategy.
Avoid it at your peril!
Like marketing futurist Bernard Marr, we believe that AI offers more agile companies a particular opportunity to really compete with and outsmart their older competitors.
Marr points to Stitch Fix who are using artificial intelligence to ‘learn’ the style of clothes a customer likes from data such as pictures they have shared on social media.
Their technology then selects appropriate items from their catalogue and predicts the likelihood that a customer will like the overall look the AI has created.
After a quick once-over by a human stylist, the entire package is sent out to the customer who can choose either to keep or reject any of the items they send.
Marr believes services like these offer a real challenge to Amazon.
He argues that many goliaths like Amazon are swimming in so much data that it makes real, 1-2-1 personalisation very hard to achieve.
Stitch Fix’s smaller, but highly specialised dataset enables them to provide much more tailored recommendations using AI.
Customers are willing to offer companies like these access to much richer data in exchange for a better service.
Marketing AI: What’s on offer to you
AI is being used in many forms across the marketing technology landscape.
Companies like Google and Facebook have been using AI for years to help target more relevant ads at potential customers.
Vendors are now incorporating similar technologies into their marketing clouds.
The focus for most vendors is on personalisation with many offering capabilities that the likes of Netflix, Google and Amazon have long been used to:
- Offer recommendations
- Product recommendations
- Content recommendations
- Send-time optimisation
- Smarter analytics
Increasingly, artificial intelligence is also being used to produce personalised creatives with some mixed results.
These built-in capabilities offer a lot to marketers looking to try out AI, but the real marketing gold is found when you develop your own AI models, tailored to support your own use-cases.
In the context of marketing automation and eCRM, AI can be used to trigger personalised marketing automations for individual customers.
Predictive models can be developed to identify customers who look likely to:
It can also be used to develop clusters of customers unique to your business that can help you segment and analyse your base in incredibly profitable ways.
So while this more bespoke AI answers much narrower questions, used correctly these answers provide much greater value to your business.
So the robots are coming?
Make no mistake, the marketing robots are already here and they are advanced, but perhaps not as advanced as vendors would like you to believe.
AI won’t be running your marketing department any time soon, but it will start to take tasks off your hands and do a much better job than you.
This can sound scary – maybe it is – but learning how to use this technology early will ensure you stay one-step ahead.
Above all, remember to embrace this technology for the benefit of both your customers and your business.
As more interactions move online, AI will become a huge source of competitive advantage and those who don’t embrace it will be left behind.