Use Artificial Intelligence to Your Advantage

Artificial Intelligence! Predicting the future! Learning from experience and following predictable patterns sounds like something we learned in school.  To have a machine do this for us has been a far-off concept in the past, but now it is here all around us.  Think how this could help when trying to find the perfect time to send an email or SMS message with the perfect subject line and content for your customer journey.  You can do that now with AI Technology.

You will find AI technology all around you. Everything from your device at home offering the perfect answer to your phone offering the perfect song or recipe for that special moment. Even talking with a Chatbot so you don’t have to make a phone call to customer service.  In marketing, this translates to assistance with the perfect content and cadence recommendations for your communications with your contacts.  AI is no longer just a wish list item, it’s here and you don’t want to get left behind.

We all remember the days of “batch and blast” when we were sending out as many messages to as many contacts as we could get our hands on. Now, we have learned from experience; this is not the best approach to reaching our contacts.  We need to be smarter so that we do not fall victim to the “select all” and delete in our customer inboxes or the repetitive swipe left on their mobile devices.   We need to be smarter and incorporate Artificial Intelligence solutions into our Marketing processes.

You will hear these solutions referred to as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Predictive.  They are all focused on helping you, the marketer, gain a competitive edge in your marketing efforts and reach the right contacts with the right content.   The days of “More is better” have changed to “Quality and timing is better.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the overarching term for when a machine runs a configured formula and solves a problem.  This is a common process for most applications today and is vast in scope. According to Andrew Moore, Former-Dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, “Artificial intelligence is the science and engineering of making computers behave in ways that, until recently, we thought required human intelligence.”

Machine Learning (ML) is a type of AI and has been around for many years.  ML is AI that can learn from the data that it collects, execute tasks and provide insights.  The learning improves as more data is collected. It is defined by Computer Scientist and machine learning pioneer Tom M. Mitchell: “Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that allow computer programs to automatically improve through experience.”

Predictive Analytics are some of the smartest types of AI.  These systems continually analyze CRM system data and promotional channels over time to improve their prediction results.

These tools are not replacing marketing or content creator jobs, but they have the ability to offer assistance in content creation and placement by anticipating your customer’s next move and improving the customer journey.  The more these AI tools are used and the more data that is gathered the smarter they get.  But don’t worry, I don’t believe they are taking over just yet

Here are a few examples of how Artificial Intelligence is being used.

  1. Collect and analyze customer data to help personalize and drive customer engagement
    1. AI can record details of purchases to enhance personalization
  2. Use AI for Customer Service to create fast self-service interfaces that help anticipate customer needs providing service 24/7
  3. Use machine learning to enhance digital ad content and guide the user journey
  4. Retailers use Artificial intelligence by equipping products with intelligent garment tags and providing intelligent clothing information to consumers
  5. Use chatbots to help guide your customer to their product preference or keep them from abandoning your site by helping them navigate where they want to go.

There are so many everyday, seemingly normal, tasks that are already feeding and using Artificial Intelligence that we probably never even give a second thought to it because it’s so seamless.  Everything from reading, writing, seeing, and even hearing and understanding.  It’s all crazy and exciting at the same time.

Remember that “Quality Content and Timing” for your marketing communications is better than “Quantity” of your marketing communications.   Many of your marketing platforms already offer AI functions.   A few to think about are:

  • Send Time Optimization – Allows marketers to send emails at optimal times for each contact, helping to engage with contacts when they are historically most attentive to emails. This function becomes more effective over time as new data is collected.
  • Fatigue Analysis – helps marketers avoid customer burnout and disengagement. Allows you to adjust your frequency as you see contacts becoming fatigued by your messaging.
  • Content Creation utilizing Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a process used to take learned data and transform it into a written document that sounds like a human writer, not a machine. Just one example is the use of Chatbots on your favorite sites.
  • Subject Line Optimization – Let the machine help monitor the performance of your subject lines bases on historical learning, allowing you to optimize your subject line based on feedback before sending.

These are just the tip of the iceberg as far as Artificial Intelligence goes.   If you have been using a Marketing Platform for a while, check out the latest updates to see if any new AI functionality is available.  If you’re looking for a new platform, do your research and find out which one offers this functionally because it is definitely the way of the future.

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