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8 ways AI can enhance your marketing strategy today

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8 ways AI can enhance your marketing strategy today

With proponents in almost every industry considering its revolutionary potential, AI looks set to change marketing forever [1]. But what can marketers do to access the benefits now?

The truth is: if you have yet to integrate artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy, you may be falling behind your competitors. You can already find AI chatbots in nearly every industry – from sales to customer support [2], consumers are seeing tangible improvements to user experience, fueling the surge in this tech revolution.

In fact, research from Demandbase [3] found that 80 percent of marketing executives believe artificial intelligence will revolutionize marketing as soon as 2020.

What do marketers think AI can offer?

  • 60 percent said AI offers increased account insights
  • 56 percent said it provides detailed marketing campaign metrics
  • 53 percent said AI assists in identifying more customers
  • 53 percent said it increases daily task efficiency

However, the same research found that only ten percent of CMOs actually using AI currently – begging the question, how can such importance be placed on a technology that hasn’t seen widespread adoption?

The answer, it appears, is to do with proving ROI. According to senior marketers, without a demonstrable impact on sales and marketing metrics like lead conversion and website traffic, AI cannot be considered a success.

So what applications of AI are available to marketers now?

1. Customer Support

The deep learning AI chatbots possess allow them to access layers of data from neural networks, including customer information that has been built up over time.

Real-time access to a customer’s preferences and purchase history gives customer support chatbots a significant edge over their human counterparts.

A great example of this can be found in the hospitality industry with the Hyatt chatbot. As a branded Facebook Messenger bot, Hyatt customers can get up to date information in seconds.

2. Content Creation

If you are tired of developing monthly content around spreadsheets, don’t worry, because there is an AI chatbot for that. Wordsmith is a writing bot that can transform structured data into a written document – albeit with varying success.

Currently the use-cases are limited to articles with a rigorous format (not long editorial pieces). In fact, there are a few notable news agencies using writer bots under certain circumstances. For instance, Yahoo has used Wordsmith to develop content for fantasy football drafts.

You may not want to trust a bot to craft your blog posts, however. Even the founder of Automated Insights, the company behind Wordsmith, noted its limited capabilities.

“The traditional structure of a news story is the who, what, why, when and how. It’s the crucial ‘why’ of the story that is the missing piece of the puzzle for AI,” Allen told The Guardian [4].

3. Seamless User Experience

Consumers are more demanding than ever before. They want information, products, and services at lightning speed. This makes a seamless user experience absolutely vital to the growth and success of a business.

One AI chatbot delivering this promise is the Uber Facebook Messenger bot.

“With this new feature, you can request a ride from a car service without ever needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation. It’s super easy and doesn’t take you away from the plans that you’re making with your friends or family,” Facebook explained [5] in a press release announcing the new Uber bot.

4. Personalization

One of the main staples of artificial intelligence is the power a chatbot has to combine information from diverse datasets. This allows businesses and brands to interact with consumers on unprecedentedly personalized levels.

Under Armour teamed up with IBM’s Watson to do just that.

Images courtesy of TechCrunch [6]

“Essentially what Record will do now is learn more about you based on your activity, sleep and nutrition data and provide suggestions on how to improve your performance,” according to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch [7].

By using data from the Under Armour Record app, it gives timely fitness, health, and nutrition advice to its users. This increases the app’s customer lifetime cycle and helps boost brand loyalty.

5. Sales

Artificially intelligent sales bots can be your most powerful brand representatives online. Using your customer’s’ previous purchases and support questions, these sales-minded AI chatbots deliver personalized product recommendations that consumers are most likely to purchase.

Many fashion industry titans are using chatbots to convince and convert right now. Apparel company H&M is one prominent examples.

Images courtesy of TopBots [8]

H&M bots [9] have a fashion sense unlike many human sales representatives. They greet customers via Kik and ask a series of questions that lead customers toward checkout.

“These recommendations allow the user to view more things that are similar to their first choice, which often increases their interaction with the brand, and can be used to increase chances of multiple conversions,” Refine.ai explained.

6. Social media reach

The F8 conference was the stage for the new Facebook Group chatbots launch. Now Messenger users can add a variety of bots to their groups and summon them when needed.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch [10]

These bots are on hand at all times, updating those in your group about sports, latest news, and even e-commerce.

“With group bots, one user could add a bot to a thread, thereby exposing its existence to other friends in the group,” Josh Constine of TechCrunch [11] said. “Both particular bots and the whole bots platform could see a rise in recognition and audience, which might attract higher-profile developers and brands to build them.”

A Facebook Group chatbot, therefore, has the potential to boost your business or brand’s visibility.

7. Protecting Against Fraud

Protecting your customers and your business from fraud and data breaches is a top priority in the digital era. Cyber security issues an ever-present threat, but artificial intelligence can now provide some protection against these attacks and breaches.

USAA, Bank of America, BBVA, and PayPal are a few financial organizations using AI to protect them and their customers from fraud.

“Card issuers and payment processors like PayPal use AI to compare current card transactions to the user’s past behavior as well as to general profiles of fraud behavior,” Penny Crosman of American Banker [12] explained.

Business owners using those services are already benefitting from machine learning technology – both directly and indirectly.

8. Processing Payments

From greeting to checkout, AI chatbots can now handle the end-to-end process.

In fact, most bots already have the ability to handle purchases. “Customers can check out with a few easy clicks, without ever leaving the Messenger app,” Facebook said [13] in a press release.

There are even banking bots that can handle your daily business purchases and invoices. Capital One’s Eno bot is one of the oldest and most respected.

Image courtesy of 9to5Mac [14]

“That means you’ll be able to ask Eno to check your account and card balances, pay bills, and get other account and card history and info,” said Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac [15].

Maximize your marketing efforts by looking at the future of marketing. Artificial intelligence is being integrated into every industry, and it is having a big impact on many businesses, contributing to business growth and success.

From AI sales to customer service, the bot revolution is underway. Are you on board?

Related reading

References

  1. ^ AI looks set to change marketing forever (www.clickz.com)
  2. ^ sales to customer support (www.clickz.com)
  3. ^ Demandbase (www.demandbase.com)
  4. ^ The Guardian (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ Facebook explained (newsroom.fb.com)
  6. ^ TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)
  7. ^ TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)
  8. ^ TopBots (www.topbots.com)
  9. ^ H&M bots (www.topbots.com)
  10. ^ TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)
  11. ^ TechCrunch (techcrunch.com)
  12. ^ American Banker (www.americanbanker.com)
  13. ^ Facebook said (newsroom.fb.com)
  14. ^ 9to5Mac (9to5mac.com)
  15. ^ 9to5Mac (9to5mac.com)
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