The purpose of a marketing solution is to directly address a specific business-related challenge. Solutions can take many forms, but all tactics that are deployed should be grounded in strategy and designed to accomplish a stated goal. As technology continues to drive marketing programs and initiatives of every size and scope, companies should be paying particular attention to disruptive technologies. One in particular that’s garnered significant attention of late is artificial intelligence (AI).

AI is creating a shakeup in the industry. The power and potential of AI are compelling marketers to take notice and adapt their marketing approaches. AI has become a driving force in popular culture over the past 10 or so years, and it’s also made its way into the marketing world by helping to usher in a future of marketing automation. Tools like visual search, image recognition, predictive analytics, as well as chatbots and conversational AI, intelligently predict your marketing needs with learning algorithms.

For example, in 2010, IBM launched Watson, a SaaS-based digital marketing automation platform that uses behavioral data from any source to create campaigns across email, web, mobile push, SMS, social and group messaging.

When it comes to integrating AI into marketing programs, there are lots of options available. Yet, before jumping on board, consider: Does it make sense to utilize it in your marketing mix? Does it help propel your business strategy, solve your business challenges and meet your business objectives? Or, are you risking conformity for the sake of wanting to be part of the larger conversation and staying relevant with the latest in this technological trend? As a marketer, how can you make sure your company stands out in today’s digital age? The most important thing you can do is determine how your company currently uses its technology and automation. To make that determination, ask yourself these questions:

Is my company using Big Data to the fullest extent, if at all?

Big Data can be used to identify the needs and wants of clients and customers by providing insights into key areas like engagement, retention, loyalty, marketing optimization and performance. It can also include objective metrics that measure the quality of marketing processes in areas such as marketing operations, resource allocation, asset management and budgetary controls.

Are we automating the data we collect and, if so, how are we analyzing that data?

Data analytics is a useful and insightful tool when utilized correctly. Yet, many marketers don’t know what to do with the data they’re collecting. SEO is an example of data analytics reliant on human practitioners that are often bombarded with a huge amount of data to analyze. SEO dashboards can be helpful but, with AI, the process could be automated, personalized and self-guided. AI like Watson can help tease out more insightful data by automating processes to gain efficiencies, and provide indisputable proof that the data used by the AI system is useful.

Read more about the value of analyzing Big Data for your business in our recent blog.

What are ways we can implement this technology to create a better, more efficient customer or client experience?

Every business wants to provide the best client experience possible, but human interactions with those experiences have created a flawed system with the potential for inaccuracy and delays. Automated systems have been put in place as a potential solution to those flaws, but they are not programmed with instructions to handle every imaginable client account. Providing a clear and logical experience across all touchpoints requires the discovery of patterns through a vast number of data points. AI can take the data held by an organization about its client and their experiences, and help create a consistent, accurate and holistic representation of that data for process improvement analysis. Chatbots are a perfect example of an AI-based conversation agent designed to simulate human interactions, and eliminate frustrating delays and errors typically found in real-time client service.

Read more about how chatbots can improve customer experience in our recent blog.

AI can seem scary and daunting if you’ve never used it before. One of the most prevalent concerns is the fear that AI will take over the workforce and make humans obsolete. This is not the first technological disruption to happen in human history; humans remain a necessity, and this will continue as AI’s presence deepens.

Technological disruptions like AI have the potential to continue to develop well beyond our imagined predictions in years to come. This reality means marketers, and the companies they serve, need to be open-minded and consider ways to integrate AI that strategically meet business objectives. Embracing this disruption in marketing intelligence will help companies stay ahead of competition and connect to clients in meaningful ways.

Do you have questions about artificial intelligence in the marketing industry, or other marketing questions? Please contact Donéa Boiner, at 440-449-6800 or dboiner@skodaminotti.com.

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