AI marketing: how artificial intelligence helps businesses to sell
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a trend that shows no sign of going out of fashion.
Each year seems to be the year of AI . Scientific and technological progress has seen the adoption of cutting-edge systems in all sorts of spaces, and when disruptive technologies are applied to long-established practices, revolutions (or at least significant change) tend to happen.
The biggest benefits of using artificial intelligence in business processes are seen in areas such as:
- Cost control
- Production optimisation
- Resource management
AI offers huge advantages, but often presents huge barriers to entry too. Indeed, the gap between those who use AI and those who don’t is getting wider and wider.
In marketing, the adoption of artificial intelligence has been swift. With the evolution of big data – a set of data that is so large in terms of volume, speed and variety that it requires special technologies and analytical tools to extract value or knowledge from – automation has enabled advanced analytical solutions that give marketers tools and insights that are more precise and effective than ever before.
The information generated by AI can be used to guide strategies and lighten the workload of marketing teams.
What exactly is artificial intelligence and how can it help in marketing?
Artificial intelligence is a multidisciplinary science that is built upon various technologies and methodologies. It is designed to carry out tasks that are usually accomplished with human intelligence. Systems that use AI can also offer capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. By taking into account their surrounding environment, these systems learn to solve problems ever faster and more effectively .
Artificial intelligence applied to the world of marketing has given us AI marketing, a suite of methods that use machine learning (a subset of AI that creates systems that learn or improve their performance based on the data fed into them) and automation systems for improving analytical and decision-making processes. Put simply, when applied to marketing, AI offers a previously unimaginable system for data collection and analysis that provides new opportunities for generating specific insights. The result is a virtuous circle of value creation for supporting marketing strategies.
In an area like marketing, where quickly adapting to change is vital, knew technologies improve productivity and boost efficiency. And these benefits are backed up by the numbers:
- 84% of firms say that allows them to gain and/or maintain a competitive advantage in their industry.
- 72% of business leaders believe that AI lets people concentrate on specific tasks by cutting workloads.
The key benefits of artificial intelligence
Applying AI to marketing can generate numerous benefits for small and medium sized businesses.
There are of course barriers to entry, such as accessing software that requires training, identifying quality data and respecting people’s privacy. But given the potential that this technology holds, investing company resources in it can pay off.
The main advantages of AI marketing include:
- Personalisation: Applying artificial intelligence to customer data can allow you to better tailor services to customers. By using customer intelligence tools that bring together data from different sources all at once, companies can obtain valuable insights that allow them to target specific customers with personalised marketing strategies, which has long been the holy grail of marketing professionals. Artificial intelligence and big data can finally help businesses to achieve this objective by speaking to people with personal and specific messages.
- Predicting customer behaviour: faster analysis of customer data enables the prediction of their behaviour and the creation of customer journey maps that are more accurate than ever before. By building a map of where and when customers interact with companies and their possible future decisions, firms can optimise these encounters and offer more effective customer service. What’s more, thanks to sentiment analysis tools, it’s possible to know – in real time – what people are talking about online and what they think about your brand. Artificial intelligence algorithms are even able to identify a vast range of emotions simply by analysing words used. This once unobtainable information allows us to create precise strategic models both in the long and short term. And better knowing customers is the key to success for every business…
- Generating content: AI can help marketing teams by providing suggestions to content creators. Tools like SEMrush provide ideas for potential topics based on keyword analysis. E-commerce platforms like Shopify offer publishing tools that allow the automation of e-mail marketing and personalisation of newsletter content. And tools like Answer The Public help content writers to analyse what’s being talked about online and tailor their articles accordingly.
- Optimising decision-making: last but not least, rapid analysis of big data sets helps to make informed decisions and reduce mistakes. For example, marketers no longer have to wait for a campaign to finish to take decisions. Based on real time data and predictive models, they can correct the course of their campaign and improve the effectiveness of their strategy.
Two outstanding examples of artificial intelligence in marketing
We’ve already seen how AI marketing can be applied in a range of areas. Now we’re going to look at some ideas and examples that can serve as inspiration for using artificial intelligence in your business.
- Spotify: at the end of every year, the world’s favourite music streaming platform creates personalised playlists for each user based on the tracks they most listened to. Experience sharing has become a key part of this strategy because it has now become traditional for people to re-post their own playlists on social media. It’s a simple marketing action that leverages the company’s data to generate unique and personal experiences. It shows how firms can create lasting relationships with customers by harnessing the power of AI.
- Amazon: Two of Amazon’s undoubted strengths are cross-selling (selling people products that are related to the item that they are looking at or purchasing) and upselling (the practice of selling a customer a product of a higher value than the item they were originally interested in). This gives customers a better purchasing experience because they immediately find items that interest them. It’s also a major advantage for the company because it can drive sales by offering products that complement the original product purchased. Upselling is a very effective technique because the customer is already prepared to make a purchase and is therefore more likely to make a larger purchase. Implementing these product search strategies for your online store could be a win-win for both you and your customers.
Today’s takeaway is that artificial intelligence has the power to transform the approach of SMEs to marketing. Learning about its potential for your business will give you a competitive edge and prepare your firm for the future. The key is not to be overwhelmed by AI’s many possibilities, but carefully pick out the tools that can be truly effective in your line of business.
AI marketing is undoubtedly the future and we need to be prepared to embrace the solutions it offers, regardless of the size of our business.