Because of these new technologies, the customer experience is vastly different from what it used to be. Today you can research items online to see if they’re in stock, get coupon codes in your email or via text, and see promotions for new businesses on social media.
Corporate marketing teams already know that using modern technology and data science is vital for customer engagement in content marketing. So, in order to develop a strong marketing strategy, you should take advantage of one of the most important intelligent solutions out there: artificial intelligence (AI).
Introduction to AI marketing
First, let’s define artificial intelligence and go over what AI marketing is.
- Artificial intelligence: A type of computer software used to simulate human thinking. AI applications, solutions, and tools are used every day with computer systems such as machine learning, analytics, automation, and big data.
- AI marketing: AI in marketing is the process that businesses use to leverage AI solutions to personalize content, boost customer engagement, and gain actionable insights to ultimately drive positive business outcomes.
AI vs automation
When people think of AI, they often think of computers simulating human intelligence or robots doing simple, repetitive tasks. People often conflate these two examples into one general definition; however, these are examples of AI and automation, respectively.
AI is software that is designed to simulate human thinking, such as perceiving, inferring, synthesizing information, and analyzing. Automation is pre-programmable software made to execute specific tasks that people determine ahead of time.
In the context of marketing, here is how the two differ:
- AI marketing: Uses software to analyze collected data in near real-time and without human interaction, enabling you to improve your marketing ROI, personalize customer content, and gain valuable insights.
- Marketing automation: Uses software to complete marketing tasks and execute predetermined campaigns on a schedule, enabling you to focus on other tasks.
Why should I use artificial intelligence in marketing campaigns?
Benefits of AI in Marketing
- Gain insights by leveraging customer data
- Enhance customer experiences with personalized content
- Minimize mistakes due to human error
- Improve data management
- Boost marketing ROI
- Capitalize on a 2023 business trend
There are a lot of benefits to integrating AI in marketing, such as gaining AI-powered customer insights or producing customized content. There are also indirect ways digital marketers use artificial intelligence marketing solutions to benefit their business, like reducing human mistakes or improving workflow efficiency.
1. Gain marketing insights on customer data
Data and data tracking are vital to understanding current and potential customers. With artificial intelligence marketing, you can collect some of the most valuable insights on your target audience as well as where they are on their customer journey. These are the four kinds of customer data insights:
- Basic data: This includes demographic information such as a customer’s name, gender, location, ethnicity, or email address.
- Engagement data: This type of data is in regard to general engagement, including information on how they use your services or if they follow you on social media.
- Behavioral data: Similar to engagement data, behavioral data is more specific. This type of data covers how your audience engages with your brand directly, such as purchase history, subscription details, or free trial sign-ups.
- Attitudinal data: This type of data focuses on how your customers think and what their opinion is of your company. You can access these data insights through surveys or online reviews.
Each of these four kinds of data is important, but many marketing teams particularly use engagement data and behavioral data to understand the efficacy of their campaign’s marketing strategy.
Digital marketers also use artificial intelligence solutions to collect basic data for customer segmentation, which is the process of categorizing customers into groups based on shared demographics, characteristics, or preferences.
All of these insights drawn from marketing AI can be used to inform content creation and the marketing messages that companies use in their media strategy and marketing campaigns.
2. Enhance the customer experience with personalized content
Some of the most effective ads are ones that leverage marketing AI to understand their audience inside and out. Once you analyze your data and have your insights, your marketing team can start to improve customer experiences with personalized messages.
Personalized marketing is important for retaining customers and gaining new ones. With content like targeted advertisements, customized emails, and interactive quizzes, you can engage customers and your audience in a personalized and meaningful way. With personalized content marketing, your business could experience the following:
- A more satisfying customer experience
- Increased customer loyalty
- A better marketing ROI (return on investment)
- More cost savings with a more-focused strategy
- Better connections and relationships with customers
3. Minimize mistakes due to human error
It’s normal for people to make mistakes occasionally, but some errors can introduce risk and negatively impact marketing performance. Artificial intelligence can help marketing teams minimize errors and mistakes. With AI platforms such as machine learning capabilities, natural language processing, and automation, you can get a variety of tasks done without human intervention.
For example, you could give a certain task to an AI marketing tool that reads over your emails for grammar mistakes. Sure, having a professional editor could do the job, but you could be sacrificing quality by checking your grammar by yourself as a non-professional.
You could also use AI marketing tools to automate sending email or texts. Instead of manually checking a lengthy list of email addresses or phone numbers, you can use AI to automate when they get sent, to whom they are sent to, and what personalized message is being sent.
Meanwhile, as these AI platforms run in the background, other employees can focus on human-centric tasks, such as writing, strategy, management, or design. AI can be a powerful and incredibly useful tool when deployed correctly to support employees and free them up to focus on the jobs that people are best at.
4. Improve data management and data quality
While collecting data is a crucial first step to learning about your audience, that data could be otherwise useless if it isn’t entered, managed, or stored properly. Using AI can instead help reduce the risk of improper data interpretation and collection.
Some AI-powered marketing tools can automate data entry and ingestion. This way, you can feel confident that all necessary data has been analyzed for quality, usability, and validity. Once you have admissible data, your marketing team can create campaigns that are relevant, effective, and valuable.
5. Boost marketing ROI
As mentioned above, artificial intelligence marketing can improve efficiency by improving data collection, minimizing mistakes due to human errors, and enhancing customer experiences. With these AI-enhanced workflows, businesses can start saving money and seeing a return on their investments.
AI marketing can also help predict when the market will pivot, allowing businesses to shift priorities and adjust as necessary. AI marketing tools can help you:
- Review your automation
- Launch re-engagement campaigns
- Review or update your messaging across your campaign(s)
- Monitor customer-facing platforms, such as social media channels
- Stay attentive to upcoming shifts in the market
- Select the most effective ad placements
6. Capitalize on a 2023 business trend
AI will likely play an important role for marketing teams in 2023, so it may be time to start investing in an AI marketing strategy. Already, companies are looking to leverage AI so they can take advantage of the benefits we’ve mentioned so far, and get the right message to the right people.
Types of AI marketing solutions and how to use them
There are several AI platforms and types of software that you can use that will impact your marketing efforts. However, in order to get the most use out of your AI marketing tools, you have to start by asking yourself what you want to get out of them.
Artificial intelligence marketing and effective data analysis can only work with the information you give it, so make sure you have specific questions ready, such as:
- What are our customers looking for this time of year?
- Should we launch a marketing campaign now or wait six months?
- Do our customers know anything about our upcoming product? Should we create content to educate them?
- Will our customers interact with a social post if they see a video or image carousel?
- Is there a way we can win back lost customers from our competition?
- How much should we spend on this campaign?
Once you have questions that you would like answered, you’ll be able to collect data and use your AI marketing tools to build strategic initiatives and make the best decisions for your business.
Marketing teams use predictive analysis to create optimized marketing strategies to drive better business outcomes.
The use of data, algorithms, and machine learning to identify patterns in historical big data and use it to predict future events or trends.
For example, let’s say you want to use predictive analytics to better understand what your customers will soon look for in a fashion retail experience. You could use a predictive analytics algorithm to collect historical data about your audience demographics, purchase histories, and previous likes/dislikes. Once you have that data, your AI marketing platform can test and deploy a model that identifies the trends and experiences customers will be looking for in a retail store.
Machine learning is a large component of digital marketing where marketing teams use algorithms to “learn” with increasing accuracy and make quick decisions.
A branch of artificial intelligence and data science that uses deep learning—a layered, artificial neural network—to make connections, simulate human thinking, and allow users to act quickly on big data in real time.
Machine learning allows businesses to quickly analyze large amounts of data, enabling you to make changes on the fly and deliver more-personalized experiences to your customers. Let’s go over some examples of machine learning solutions.
Recommendation systems Also known as a subclass of machine learning, a recommendation system suggests relevant items to the user. If a customer is buying something in your online shop, you could have a recommendation system analyze their behavior and suggest similar products they may like. This can not only boost sales, but also improve that user’s experience as they interact with your brand.
Churn rate forecasting This is the practice of analyzing data to understand the percentage of customers who have stopped purchasing from your business. If your machine learning platform detects a high churn rate, you can begin to understand why customers are not satisfied and begin to pivot. Take into consideration your customer’s feedback so you can also improve customer retention.
Dynamic pricing algorithms Dynamic pricing happens when prices fluctuate from supply and demand. If demand rises, so do prices and vice versa. With an AI marketing tool, you can understand customers’ purchase behaviors, product prices, and market trends to adjust your prices in real-time.
A dynamic pricing algorithm can also take other factors into consideration before you re-price your products, like fixed costs, variable costs, competition prices, employee wages, and customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction.
Marketing teams use programmatic advertising to autonomously create content, purchase ad space, and place ads in those spaces to best impact marketing efforts.
This form of advertising automates the process of finding, purchasing, creating, and placing digital ads on websites, apps, and social media platforms.
Your business can get real-time insights, trace the performance of your ads, and get a better sense of your budgets based on how effective each ad is. For example, you could deploy AI tools to autonomously place bids on digital ad spaces and negotiate in real time.
Here are common online ad formats, as well as resources to learn more about how to utilize each one for your digital marketing campaign:
Other AI marketing solutions
- AI-managed push notifications: With push notifications managed by an AI marketing platform, you can send relevant content to your customers at the best time. There are several types of push notifications that can notify customers about a variety of topics, such as upcoming sales, subscribed contacts, or left items in online shopping carts.
- Automated image recognition: This type of AI marketing solution analyzes images and provides data that can boost efficacy or automate tasks. For example, it can compare the efficacy of your campaign’s images, automate writing alt text after scanning/classifying images, or identify specific places, people, or objects in a selected image.
- AI-enhanced PPC advertising: PPC stands for pay-per-click advertising, meaning this AI marketing solution allows digital marketers to adjust current ads or bid on ad space in real time. It also allows you to predict customer behavior, take down old or ineffective ads, and insert dynamic ads based on user browsing history.
AI investments are your key to success
The saying “knowledge is power” particularly applies to digital marketing. Artificial intelligence, big data, and analytics are paramount for understanding the customer journey, improving day-to-day business tasks, and streamlining workflows.
Once artificial intelligence has given your marketing team members the answers to questions—like “do our customers know anything about our upcoming product,” “How much should we spend on this campaign,” or “Should we launch a marketing campaign now?”—you’re ready to take your marketing programs to the next level.