Artificial intelligence and machine learning will transform the world of business in many ways, namely through automation and more streamlined operations.
When combined with nuanced data and behavioral information, it can both predict and react to various events, doing things like offering incredibly accurate customer recommendations, creating personalized experiences, and much more. Of course, this rolls directly into AI marketing campaigns or machine learning platforms that are used for marketing and promotions.
AI marketing campaigns are just a small slice of a much larger pie, in regards to what fields AI will take over. Although it’s dated now, an early Accenture report reveals that AI technology will boost business productivity by up to 40 percent. Additionally, Venture Harbour reports that 80 percent of business and tech leaders say AI already boosts productivity at their company. And 61 percent of marketers say AI is the most important aspect of their data strategy.
The future is bright, but what’s the relevance here and now?
The Practical vs. the Impractical
AI is promising, yes. Advanced, yes. Intelligent, of course. But it’s also important to understand that there are practical ways to deploy AI and not-so-practical ways.
Some methods and strategies just aren’t ready for primetime. For example, handing over the reins of a business to an AI platform, sans any human input, is just not possible, and may never be. AI will not replace humans, and that’s a common misconception — one you may even hear often.
Fortunately, we are inching much closer to advanced levels of automation. AI chatbots and customer service platforms are definitely possible and work well, especially after hours when human reps are at home, nestled in their beds. They provide extra and virtual support to customers, like Alexa or Siri do. But that’s not the only lucrative way to leverage AI.
How can you use AI marketing campaigns to your benefit? What are some more practical uses of the technology today?
6 Ways to Use AI in Marketing
1. Personalized Customer Experiences
Back in 2016, Starbucks began using AI to create personalized recommendations for customers within its mobile ordering app. This is remarkably similar to what Netflix has been doing for movie and show recommendations on its platform.
The AI tools use customer patterns and behavior to understand likes and dislikes, but also to make highly personalized recommendations, which ultimately improves the entire experience for users. Starbucks also utilizes predictive analytics to serve customers more relevant marketing media and messages — like a discount code for their favorite coffee when near a store.
It’s these kinds of experiences that deliver top-notch and contextualized events for customers, encouraging more spending at stores and venues.
2. Enhanced Research and Insights
An age-old technique for understanding customer needs is to collect feedback directly from the customer. This may come in the form of written or media reviews, comments, or even polls and questionnaires in which people take part. Sometimes, however, customers cannot put into words what they’re experiencing. AI can, though.
That is exactly how AI can help improve products and services, ultimately increasing revenue thanks to better-served customers. The how is simple. Just like Starbucks and Netflix have leveraged consumer data, mixed with AI, to deliver more personalized recommendations, the same can be done for improving products.
Amazon, for example, recently discussed using AI to predict the context of customers’ search queries. In other words, they practically know what you’re looking for and what you want, sometimes well before you do.
Brands can use this information, specifically how customers are enjoying and prefer to interact with products and services, to enhance existing offerings and provide much better service.
3. Smarter Conversations
A core part of marketing comes from serving customers, whether you’re talking about answering queries, providing support, or promoting existing and future offerings. This can be handled, at least initially, by AI marketing campaigns with chatbots and intelligent customer service tools.
They can do tasks like data entry and query response, and they’ll also drive automated chat services, including during off-hours. Conversica is an excellent example, as the team provides AI-powered assistance through genuine conversations.
Creating a chatbot is not difficult, especially since there are so many third-party tools for doing so today. What’s more, you can expect to increase customer engagement by as much as 80 percent to 90 percent, with higher response rates.
4. Effective Email Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns can be incredibly successful with the right messaging and content, but they’re also notoriously difficult to optimize. AI can make things a little easier, alleviating some of the burdens the marketing and content creation teams have.
eBay partnered with Phrasee, an AI-based computational linguistics team, to create custom copy for its email marketing campaigns back in 2016. With the tool, eBay has improved the brand’s tone and customer service, and crafted highly effective materials and content.
In the years since, the team saw a 16 percent average uplift in email opens, and a 31 percent average uplift in clicks, with over 700,000 incremental opens per campaign. The key was using AI tools to produce more engaging marketing copy.
AI and machine learning can help marketing teams really dive into the natural conversations that happen between customer and brand, and then hone the language so it drives revenue. In other words, if you want an email marketing campaign that sings, engages customers, and encourages them to support your brand, you don’t have to look further than the best AI optimization and automation tools.
5. More Successful SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) tools are abundant, and there are a ton of really helpful platforms out there. But AI can change the game by delivering a competitive keyword analysis report, like what Bramework is doing with its AI content generation tool.
Many of these technologies are not quite advanced enough to create content on their own, but they can certainly provide much-needed support for bloggers and content marketers who are looking to boost their visibility in web search results.
They can even provide more advanced tracking and analysis across published content, allowing content creators to see who’s reading their material, what they like most, and what generates the most activity — like clicks and purchases. It’s like putting your content insights on autopilot.
6. Targeted Advertisements
Advertisements are everywhere these days, making it more difficult to get the right promotional content in front of the right eyes. Not to mention, ad fatigue is a very real thing. Predictive AI marketing campaigns can help avoid this problem and create much more effective media.
Pattern89 is one of the more popular providers of such a platform, helping to improve Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads for many clients. It “matches consumers to creative ideas” and processes.
In short, marketers and content creators get access to a more robust series of tools for planning and creating content that will play a critical role in upcoming campaigns. There are a handful of comparable tools, like IBM’s Watson Advertising, Adstream, Cardlytics, and many more.
AI Marketing Campaigns on the Rise
As the technology grows more powerful and more effective, AI’s prevalence will grow within all industries, not just marketing. That said, AI marketing campaigns are the next frontier for all professionals in the space, and while they won’t replace humans entirely, they will support more creative and successful endeavors in the future.
Targeted advertisements, better customer personalization with contextual experiences, smarter email marketing campaigns, and enhanced SEO practices are all perfect examples of the technology in action. We’ve already seen real-world uses of the technology with proven results.
At this point, it would be silly not to be on board with AI in the marketing field. It’s already changed so much about how we work, and it’s only going to get better from here.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.