How artificial intelligence will revolutionise marketers’ lives

How artificial intelligence will revolutionise marketers’ lives Steven Ledgerwood is managing director UK at Emarsys.


Marketers are usually the ones responsible for creating the buzzwords that follow us everywhere we go; that is, until artificial intelligence (AI) turned the tables and made the whole marketing industry buzz with excitement. But will AI make life easier for marketers or will it, in the end, replace them?

We believe that AI will not replace marketers but enhance their knowledge and experience. AI will help unlock deeper customer insights, communicate with prospects and customers more effectively and eliminate the more monotonous, impersonal aspects of our jobs.

But what does AI marketing do?

Artificial intelligence is a broad term and within marketing involves several capabilities. It combines machine learning technology with marketing automation, which in turn enhances data collection and analysis so campaigns are optimised at scale. Campaign timing, content and channel distribution become a breeze.

What’s more, by effortlessly translating data science into powerful execution, AI ensures each customer from your database gets the right message, delivered where and when they are most likely to respond.

Want to automatically determine the best type of discount for each customer instead of sending a blanket discount to all potential buyers? AI can do that for you. This ensures each customer gets the right incentive, preventing overspending on customers that don’t need a ‘push’ to buy products. Want a higher return on your email campaigns and increasing open rates? AI automatically does this. With clever time optimisation, AI uses behavioural data and learning algorithms to identify the best time of day to trigger an email for each individual recipient, ensuring the message is sent at the exact time the customer is most likely to engage.

Sounds good? Think of all the time you have invested in going through thousands of customer profiles, analysing their behaviour and preferences trying to guess what triggers the purchase decision. This becomes a thing of the past. Other areas expected to benefit from AI are predictive lead scoring, content recommendations, and email acquisition.

It’s not sounding promising for the human marketer, is it?

Don’t send yourself to retirement too quickly. Thankfully these abilities mean nothing without a person’s creative touch, extensive experience and strategic thinking. In fact, the more machines are used, the more humans are needed to interpret their output.

This can be seen with innovations such as Amazon’s Echo. As people become increasingly busy, machine to machine transactions are gaining traction. Consumers have a massive number of choices and are too busy to sift through the ocean of available brands and products.

As a result, consumers are looking to personal digital assistants (PDA) such as Siri, Cortana or Alexa to make their lives simple and easy. For common, basic necessities, such as cleaning products or groceries, we will happily let the machines make the decisions for us, as long as they comply with our parameters regarding price, delivery time, or other special requirements. Machines based purely on the parameters set by the consumer can order these types of items without any input from their masters. For such transactions, the best algorithm will win the purchase.

Larger, more emotional purchases require a human marketer to push the sale over the line. The AI will place the product in front of the consumer via a PDA, but the campaign’s creativity will be needed to connect emotionally with the customer to close the deal. The perfect blend of art and science.

For most organisations AI is still in its infancy, however embracing AI will become increasingly crucial to future marketing efforts. Do not fear the acronym. Instead use AI to become a superstar marketer creating a positive image for your brand, engaging customers in a meaningful way, and driving sales and business growth.

Read more: A guide to making marketing human in the age of artificial intelligence
Read more: Why AI should excite rather than scare marketers

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