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Marketers are standing at a precipice when it comes to strategy and automation. Advanced systems are seen as the next step in marketing, but for many businesses, the concept is still uncharted territory. However, those who don’t adopt the rapidly advancing technology into their marketing plans will quickly be at a huge disadvantage.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the U.S. market for AI-powered software, hardware and services is expected to break $120 billion by 2025. The marketing intelligence firm also found that banks and retailers were the biggest spenders on AI, with retail having already invested upwards of $5.9 billion in these systems for marketing alone in 2019. And spending on these advanced systems for this specific purpose has only increased since then. It is evident that algorithmic systems are the future of marketing, and those who don’t invest in them will be left behind.
Automations powered by machine learning can help businesses with several tasks, such as identifying patterns, analyzing data and making predictions. These are all essential to marketing. By using AI and machine learning (ML), businesses can automate many of these tasks, freeing up time for marketers to focus on other aspects of their jobs, such as creating content or strategizing.
AI can also help businesses personalize their marketing efforts. Advanced algorithms can analyze data to identify patterns in customer behavior. This information can then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to convert.
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Individual marketing enhances conversions
According to a recent study by Accenture, 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company that knows their name. Creating these individualized marketing plans or honing marketing content so that it speaks to the customer on a more personal level has become easier with the use of AI.
Advanced systems can forge an instant connection with customers that outweighs the noise and marketing content that competitors may be putting out. Customers today are looking for a more personalized relationship and better recommendations from the companies they do business with, and AI can help businesses provide that level of customer experience.
With the help of advanced technologies, companies can connect with thousands of people across a list, create personalized experiences, and more.
What are marketers missing out on?
Using AI generates a 40% bump in marketing productivity, according to MobiDev figures. The use of algorithmic systems can lead to hours of savings in managing accounts, resulting in greater or equal returns with less budget. Using AI-powered adjustments reduces the manual intervention required in advertising.
In another study, 41% of marketers reported revenue improvements after using AI in their email campaigns, with a 13% improvement in click-through rates on average. And this was with early automation tools, tools that have gotten significantly better at improving conversions. New studies will likely point to revenue improvements that greatly exceed these early numbers.
Compelling creative work will still be required for successful campaigns. Technology can’t replace creativity, but can free up more time for creative work that nets effective results. With advanced technologies, businesses can now understand user behavior better than ever and create content that appeals to users more personally. Marketing departments will still have to build solid creative content that can lead to impactful results and be tailored to customers’ needs.
Marketers are responsible for creating value for their customers and for the stakeholders in a business. Without using tools like AI, a marketing team could be spending hours of extra time on manual adjustments, and be consistently slow in bringing their message and branding to the market. Even small tools like automated bidding for ad platforms create efficiencies that boost productivity and deliver an edge over competing brands.
Automation offers too many advantages for companies to ignore. From increased productivity to better customer relationships, it is the future of marketing.
Is AI marketing a set-and-forget solution?
ML requires the ongoing perception of data points; it’s technology that can’t be used blindly. As such, even with algorithmic assistance, marketers still have to put in work to monitor campaigns and interpret the data. In particular, these technologies need help when it comes to protecting an organization’s brand, because you may have specific guidelines on where and to whom you want your brand to be promoted. These nuances can be tricky for these technologies, so you’ll need to establish guardrails and regular tasks to adjust and monitor.
According to Salesforce data, 56% of buyers are interested in purchasing only from brands that they perceive as innovative. A set-and-forget strategy may work at creating personalized content to start, but it will need to be monitored to ensure it’s still effective.
Continuous optimization will be required to maintain a successful marketing campaign that uses AI. The use of ML can require more work upfront but can offer better results and increased productivity over time.
What marketing tasks can AI assist with?
Automation using AI and ML technology can fill many organizational roles. Machines are the first to replace routine tasks because they are the easiest to automate. Marketing is filled with many everyday tasks that can be automated, freeing up time for marketers to focus on more critical studies.
Advanced automation can assist marketers with such tasks as:
- Complex decision-making
- Predictive analytics
- Anomaly detection
- Media buying
- Content generation
- Real-time personalization
As ML technology develops, AI could eventually replace more strategic roles such as brand management and customer acquisition. However, this is still many years away, and there are many jobs that machines will never be able to do.
For now, marketers need to properly utilize and fine-tune their systems to stay ahead of the curve.
Why are many marketers slow to adopt automation?
Marketers need to focus on using technology-driven automation to help them in their roles rather than see it as a threat. With the right creativity, innovation, and customer focus, marketing teams can use AI, ML and other related technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
Algorithmic systems can provide direct information on the nature of conversion rates from advertising, automating customer service interactions, or making emails more personal. Still, the software must be adequately tested and monitored for consistent effectiveness. Technologies like AI will only be effective if the inputs for automation are solid and the data you are choosing to interpret is a fundamental metric for your specific business goals.
Technology will not replace marketers
There is no doubt that marketers can increase their productivity and the quality of their work using algorithmic automations. However, the technology hasn’t yet evolved to the point of complete automation. As such, marketers won’t be replaced by machines any time soon because they will still need to be involved in interpreting data and developing campaigns. But AI can help innovative marketers stay ahead of the competition by enhancing processes and workflows.
Like it or not, AI is now a regular aspect of marketing, and its use amongst marketing professionals continues to rise — and they are also planning on adopting this technology for other tasks in their routine. So, now is the time to leverage these tools if marketers want to stay relevant.
Jason Johnson is Chief Marketing Officer at Cupid Media.
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