The perfect partnership: when AI and machine learning meet marketing

The perfect partnership: when AI and machine learning meet marketing
Akhilesh Ayer is Head of Research & Analytics at WNS, one of India’s largest outsourcing companies, which has just launched a solution, SocioSEER, based on cloud technology and combines AI and social tracking, using machine learning algorithms to filter and classify millions of social media mentions. Using this type of analytics helps businesses understand and improve their online brand.

Marketers have found themselves in an industry that’s always on its toes. There are more social media platforms than ever before. And, while they might present more opportunities to reach your audience, they also mean a lot of other voices to compete with. It’s never been such a flooded market to get a voice across in.

On top of that, consumers understand tech more than ever before. They know when they’re being marketed to, but will only tolerate that marketing if the subject matter and content is timely to their current place in a purchasing cycle or relevant to them. Sounds like a lot to handle, doesn’t it? Well that’s just every day for those in the marketing industry. A campaign will only work if it’s tailored to the right person at the right time and on the right platform.

Imagine conducting that outreach manually. Most marketers have thousands, if not millions, of individuals in their CRM systems. As well as an email account to contact them on, each of those individuals will, on average, have 5.54 social media accounts.

That’s a lot of data to analyse on a lot of people and a lot of places to be manually tailoring content and sending it out to. It’s a struggle to comprehend how it can be done without taking up hours of a marketing team’s day – or without human error.

Right platform, right message

Given there are so many channels to reach consumers, it has reached the stage where human marketers are incapable of analysing data themselves to completely profile their own digital or social media sentiment manually, let alone that of customers – even attempting to get close to it by physically setting up different campaigns to target each of their different audiences is extremely time-consuming.

A whole marketing function could spend innumerable hours drilling down and analysing data to create customer profiles, before taking even more time setting up the latest campaigns to go out across different platforms to reach different audiences. And, in such a fast-paced industry, letting things delay by even a minute likely means you’re late to the party and miss out. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, consider how that time can be better spent – with the team actually focusing on developing creative, head-above-the-parapet content to send to consumers and get their attention, rather than dedicating man hours on the grunt work of sending basic messages out.

So, what’s the answer?

Well, this is where marketers need a platform or a program that can conduct data analytics with added machine learning and artificial intelligence to support their campaigns. For any marketer serious about driving interactions with their audiences cross-platform, AI and machine learning is a dream come true. Marketers need a solution that will tap into their existing audience data for them and analyse it. Then they need to bring in the latest digital and social media activities of those customers to ensure it’s building a ‘single view of the truth’ based on the latest market and brand insight – all in real-time. That’s half of the job done. But, the true beauty of AI and machine learning isn’t just in the analysis, it’s in the execution.

A program run with AI and machine learning can automatically work out which of your current marketing messages need to go to which audience – and on which social or digital platform. All with as much intervention as the marketer deems appropriate. Both AI and machine learning take the profiles and uses it to take care of personalisation – and with content tailored to their preferences and previous behaviours. In such a complex, saturated marketplace, we’ve hit a point where an AI/machine learning program is the only way to be running that outreach at scale.

Marketers have a lot on their plate to get the job done. Right people, right time, right platform, right message – and all at scale? That’s far more than a marketer can hope to achieve manually. But, getting AI and machine learning on-board in their marketing outreach can do the job and more – making sure consumers are getting the personalised content they require to interact with the brand. 

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