While Artificial Intelligence is conquering the chatbot world, something similar is happening in the Marketing Automation industry too. Innovative, new technologies are appearing day by day that reinvents the way we – marketers – do our daily routine.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence fundamentally change our job description: solves different pain points we and our company face and help us move to a more strategic position. We need to know what type of skills we have to learn before it is too late. Therefore I asked 14 seasoned experts about their opinion: how could Artificial Intelligence be used in Marketing Automation?
1. Automatic optimization
Conversion rate optimization is one of the tool sets that can radically improve our campaigns’ performance. The most important procedure is AB and multivariate testing. The problem is that we have to perform high volume of little experiments, pay attention continuously, send enough volume of traffic to make our results significant, interpret the data the right way… And everything is performed manually. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence could save a lot of time when it comes to optimizing our messages and emails.
“Most marketers test manually… imagine several iterations automatically populating and optimizing in real-time. Exciting stuff!”
“One opportunity I see for artificial intelligence, in regards to marketing automation, is the ability to optimize the marketing and sales funnels automatically. It could help form the top paths for a successful conversion down to the close of a customer. This could also allow for easier multivariate testing and knowing that the best version of your test will automatically be used when verified as the winner. Then through the knowledge gained in the tests, other suggestions could be made for you that are furthering your funnel’s clarity and optimizing it further.”
“I love the principle of Artificial Intelligence in marketing and I think currently there is not enough investment of time and resource placed on this by SME’s, I believe this may be down to a lack of understanding by business owners/marketers as to what Artificial Intelligence actually is? e.g. The Terminator.If the uses of Artificial Intelligence in popular websites such as Facebook, Airbnb & Amazon was better explained, I think a greater number of people would pay attention to it. PPC campaigns would benefit from Artificial Intelligence, being able to split test your headlines whilst optimizing you bid amount automatically would be a massive time saver and may even provide better results. I also think being able to understand exit intent from users would be a massive success using Artificial Intelligence, being able to predetermine if someone intends to your leave your website and generic a specific offer would help increase conversions no end.”
– James Pluck, Marketing Manager
“I believe that Google may already be doing this, but using AI to drive the best marketing medium for the stage the customer is at in the sales funnel. I believe this also utilizes a cost function to determine if the increase in conversion rate of a certain more expensive medium, such as direct mail, would ultimately lead to an increase in profits and not just revenues.”
– Cam Lizenby, Business Intelligence Analyst & Consultant
VP Demand Creation Services
2. Do the dirty work
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Who said it? (LMGTFY) Well, you know, marketers should be lazy. Work smarter… and focus on the more important things.
“So much of what marketers do in automation workflows is a slight step up from manual labor – it’s “clicking”. And this “clicking” could save us all a ton of time if it was replaced by smarter AI. Clicking the “winner” in an A/B test. Clicking on a set of dates to test. Clicking on a “pop up” or a “slide in”. I want AI to take away all my clicking for me, and handle all the testing that goes along with it. Just don’t take away my job ENTIRELY.”
– Tim Chard, Marketing Director
3. Highly personalized buyer journeys
Personalization is one of the most effective ways to imitate one to one communication. Doesn’t matter whether you are a B2C or B2B company, in fact, you have to perform H2H (human to human) communication. At least this is taught by the science of persuasion and the experts. But in the era of social isolation, it has to be more and more targeted and specific. We need to understand our prospects and clients as deeply as never before. In addition, we need to understand their success milestones that are unique to every person! Therefore no surprise: setting up buyer journeys are becoming more and more complex and we are failing at it. A brand new, A.I. supported technology is needed to perform what humans simply can’t.
“Artificial intelligence has many applications throughout marketing automation. The most common today are helping to select personalized messages for individual customers and prospects. We are seeing AI used to select the best timing for messages and the best channels, again on an individual basis. This points to a movement away from conventional campaigns, where the marketer decides at the start to select a group of people who meet specified criteria, to a journey management approach where the system will assess the current stage of each customer and automatically send messages appropriate to that stage. This will free the marketer from much laborious campaign design and instead allow her to focus on creating better offers and products to optimize long-term customer value.”
– David Raab, Marketing Technology and Analytics Expert
“We’re already seeing a significant acceleration in the use of big data and predictive analytics to drive personalized marketing and performance. I expect artificial intelligence will advance that further, making it easier to customize conversations with a wide and unlimited number of prospects moving forward.”
– Matt Heinz, Sales Acceleration, Demand Generation, Pipeline Management, Customer Lifetime Value
“It will revolutionize the user experience in e-commerce stores! For example, there is a trend to use AI in loyalty marketing. It will be soon a big hit among the features that loyalty programs, like Antavo, offer to marketers. The concept here is that based on certain loyalty members’ behavior, for example, if your loyalty member is on level 4th, and you know when they have their payday, then during those weeks, the members automatically can double their points by purchasing products from your store. BUT! And here is coming the smartest thing: the AI will create different cohorts from your loyalty members, and each of them will be notified via emails with different kind of offers (not just double points days, but an invitation to Twitter contests or about the fact that a limited reward available in your store). The AI will measure which offers mobilize your loyalty members the most, and smartly send out those incentives to larger groups that drive more results for you. And this very same technology can be used other fields of ecomm marketing, like email marketing (Automizy), personalized product recommendations based on search results (Findify.io).”
– Zsuzsa Kecsmar, Co-founder & CMO
“Artificial Intelligence in Marketing automation can certainly help marketers drive more sales by optimizing click-through and response rates via improved personalisation that truly caters to the needs of the customer. Using AI to understand individual-level preferences will remove numerous conversion barriers and will definitely improve customer satisfaction – which is the ultimate sustainable differentiator for growth.”
“In classic marketing automation, you create the state machine upfront. No chance to reflect to personal circumstances, e.g. the usual time the user most engaged with the software, social preferences, feedbacks about the message (it was boring, annoying, irrelevant – users more active in telling their feelings when they are pissed off). AI can help make the campaign be more personal, therefore more valuable for both party.”
– Janos Feher, Lead Developer
4. Supporting all levels of marketers
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is a high-end solution, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. Just think about your car: you can drive it without being a F1 racer. You just sit in your car, push the pedals and control the wheel without knowing anything about the digital signals and software that make your car move in the direction you want. It’s the same with Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Automation too.
“It’s just a matter of time before artificial intelligence (AI) will be used commonly in marketing automation. AI, with its science, data, machine learning, and algorithms, will take all the behavioral, transactional, and demographic data in marketing automation to create better interactions with prospects and customers. AI and marketing automation will make marketing more targeted, predictable, and actionable for all levels of marketers.”
– Kelly J. Waffle, EVP – Help Sales & Marketing generate more revenue via technology, processes, content, strategy & data
5. Merging data
We all experienced at least once in our life how important is to find answers to our questions at one place. For example: how frequently should I send emails to my clients? It would be even better if we could have one answer that is true and based on actual data. Not lots of suggestions, results of not representative research and similar unreliable or even contradictory information.
“How artificial intelligence can be used, there’s a lot of judgment calls in marketing. What keywords to target, how to design a landing page for conversions, what time to schedule tweets, and so on. The marketing technology space is producing more and more software companies focused on these specific problems. What could be really cool is these companies leveraging their data from all their customers to run machine learning to solve each of these problems. For instance, Unbounce announced at their Call to Action Conference that they were exploring machine learning with their landing page creators. This is both an astute business move (try competing with Unbounce “who designs winning pages for you”) and great for marketers – you can merge your insights with existing data to get better campaign results.”
– Ed Fry, Growth
6. Content creation
Writing your messages is a very tiring task. And it is even more difficult if you want to personalize every message. Artificial Intelligence is not very far away from solving this problem for you.
“I’m awaiting the day when an AI will actually draft emails and landing pages. There’s some nascent tech for that advanced natural language generation, but it’s only used to generate reports at the moment. The follow-up step would, of course, be to individualize the messages based on augmented data collected on its reader.”
– Denis de Bernardy, Head of Marketing
Do you know why startups are disrupting industries? They are agile and able to react to the market much faster than bigger companies. Therefore lots of multinational companies started to support their intrapreneurs, created spin-off projects and more. It seems that the faster you react, the better your situation is. But imagine what happens when you are not just reacting fast but able to anticipate your future? This is what we call “proactive”.
Artificial Intelligence suddenly became a big part of our everyday life. It’s not just an interesting approach that will work in the far future and only can be read in books. Because machine learning algorithms are allowing us a 24/7 market research. From the programmatic buying POV, robots help advertisers continuously improve the performance of their campaigns and widen the scope of ads by recognizing patterns that are hidden from the human mind. So adaptation to the fast-changing market has never been easier. And it is not only about fast adaptation but also about proactive actions. You take action even before something happens on the market. Predictive analytics is the solution for that and this is where A.I. could be used more and more!
If you have anything in mind about the question, please share it with us in a comment or on social media!
Viktor is a rock star guitar hero who loves climbing to new heights. He began self educating on topic of inbound marketing while in university. He is Co-Founder and CMO at Automizy. Eager to learn more about the marketing automation challenges companies face and help them achieve their business goals efficiently.