Last year, more than one-third of enterprises said they had implemented some form of artificial intelligence (AI) over the previous four years, a 270% increase in AI usage. But many marketers don’t know where to start. The good news is that you don’t have to implement AI all at once.
AI could help marketers eliminate the guesswork that comes with customer interactions. It has the potential to work with big data analytics, machine learning and other processes to improve personalization, curate content, generate real-time buyer insights and much more.
Here are some ideas to get started with AI in your marketing strategy, including guidance to help you choose where to test it and learn from it before you make a bigger commitment and larger investments.
Low Impact + High ROI
There are opportunities throughout your marketing organization where AI can make a significant impact on your ROI without revamping everything you’re doing. If you think about where you struggle to make the biggest impact with your customers, it’s likely going to be where your customers directly interact with you and your content.
What could implementing AI to improve your website experience look like? How could it help provide customer insights or curate your email content?
Personalized Web Experiences
Your customers expect some kind of personalization when they interact with your website. Based on a customer’s viewing or shopping habits, platforms like Netflix and Amazon offer suggestions for what to watch or buy next. Your customers may not expect this much personalization when they visit your website, but they expect something.
To improve the website experience for your own customers, you can leverage intelligent algorithms and AI to analyze user data so your website displays the best offers and content for those individuals. Or use AI to help you tailor push notifications specific to individual users so they see the right message at the right time. Both lead to a more personalized user experience.
Personalization is a slippery slope, though. You must make sure your experiences and messaging are natural to your users. Otherwise, it seems aggressive. The burden is on you to find the sweet spot of offering personalized experiences your customers expect, but without coming across as creepy.
Curated Email Content
AI can analyze users’ reading patterns and topics of interest to help you recommend specific content that’s most relevant to their interests and pain points.
As I’ve mentioned, AI can help you find ways to display the most relevant content and products for individual customers based on how users have navigated through the website and interacted with your company. Similarly, AI can help you place certain ads in front of relevant users. You can buy ads automatically and then begin to personalize them at scale.
When you think of where your marketing strategy stands today, could you use AI in one of these instances to begin seeing big improvements and increased ROI? What about other instances or processes? If you can narrow down one instance or process where you believe you’ll get the best returns with AI, you can begin there.
Before You Begin
AI in marketing offers endless possibilities. It already helps marketers predict how customers will behave in the future. Very soon, AI will be able to curate or generate content. It will generate topics for writers, create initial drafts of content and help marketers map a full content strategy. It will power smart chatbots with an expanded library of real-time responses.
Much of the work to make this future possible is already happening. It’s crucial to understand some key points before you begin your journey with AI and prepare for these powerful innovations.
You Need a Lot of Data.
Algorithms and machine learning need enough data to learn from and grow. Otherwise, you run the risk of making business decisions using a skewed data set or data sets that don’t offer a truthful picture of what your customers are doing. Collect the data that will allow you to make best use of AI’s current and potential capabilities.
Focus on Your Customers.
AI has the potential to make marketers’ lives easier, but you really need to focus on how it will help make your customers’ lives easier. Look to answer the question, What kind of experiences can we deliver with AI that will keep our customers engaged and happy?
Humans Are Still Important.
Machines and AI are great for many things, but they can’t imitate genuine human emotion like empathy and they’re no replacement for human creativity. Rather than worrying about AI replacing our roles, we’re safe to instead embrace the many ways it will support our workloads and enhance our abilities.
Learn more about incorporating artificial intelligence in marketing from Alicia Esposito’s post on how to prepare your marketing team for AI.