AI and Marketing

Everywhere you turn, there is a breathless exclamation of the power and potential of AI. Tech players have a habit of hype. Is there fire with the smoke?

Definition of AI Marketing

Let’s start with what artificial intelligence marketing is. AI at its core leverages advanced and automated analytics across large sets of data to create insights about ideal customer targets (based on preferences, responses to marketing campaigns, and purchase behavior) to automatically optimize future campaigns and achieve stronger results. It identifies which consumers are the most valuable, what messaging and offer gets the highest response, when is the best time to deliver the message, how often the message needs to be delivered to get a response, and whether the response changes over time. These are pretty important and fundamental questions, particularly for those companies that rely on digital marketing campaigns. Examples would include automotive, financial services, retailers, insurance companies, movie studios, travel (airlines, hotels, cruise lines), healthcare, professional services (law firms, accountants, tax services), and even moving companies.

The cool thing is AI can be deployed 24/7, and the outcomes keep getting better as the latest data is worked into the go-forward targeting and behavior models.

AI Marketing Use Cases

  1. Data analysis is the top application of AI, as it is now possible to look at lots of data elements across campaigns and products, eliminating manual work and producing actionable insights. Over time, the most predictive attributes emerge so you are not “boiling the ocean.”
  2. AI can also be used for content creation, such as the best email subject line, web content, promotional offers, and calls to action. This is the low hanging fruit, and where we are already active as an agency.
  3. Media buying is another place where AI improves return on investment. There are so many choices for digital campaigns that AI helps you with precision targeting and efficient spending.
  4. Real time personalization can be achieved with AI, not just using the name of the prospective consumer, but also which tactic to use (web page, video, social media post, or email) with what call to action (sign up for more info, ask for a quote, make an appointment, or make a purchase), and in what sequence at an individual level.

All of which leads to better consumer engagement, higher conversion and purchase rates, and a better return on marketing spend.

Other good applications of AI are processes like customer service or invoicing, where automating routine things based on data and machine learning can bring solid value.

Benefits of AI

  1. Precise insights into your consumer behavior based on actual data in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take. Remember, not all customers are created equally.
  2. Superior targeting of future marketing campaigns and solicitations to deliver the right message to the right consumer at exactly the right time with the right offer.
  3. More time available to focus on strategic questions and decisions.

Challenges with AI

AI is sophisticated stuff.  As a result, it requires new skills sets and training, should you decide you want to give AI a go with your business. Data quality and integrity is another big deal, as the old saying of “garbage in, garbage out” applies here. The security and ethical use of such sensitive consumer data is another “must have” requirement. And the laws are constantly changing. Lastly, gaining adoption and support for investing in AI marketing is no small task. And then if you do decide to move forward, it is crucial to develop your own set of best practices on AI for your business.

To state the obvious, AI is complicated, and the technology required to take full advantage of its capabilities can be expensive. You could put a toe in the AI water and do some small proof of concept testing to see if the technology moves the needle better than what you had previously been doing. And, likely you would want to contract with a specialist to do that testing before you contemplate bringing AI in house.

Cons of AI

Since AI is all about data, it is impersonal and lacks creativity. In many cases, finding new solutions requires human judgment and inspired thinking. For repetitive tasks and purchase occasions where emotions and higher-level benefits are less important, then AI can be appropriate. But in many cases, the human touch and relationships matter more.

At Forge, we thrive on helping clients get to the next level. In our experience, that requires open and honest conversations about strategy. And then, the discovery of fresh, clever, and persuasive ideas. We have worked with many clients charting a path to ignite growth, and in some cases, reposition a brand to address blind spots or vulnerabilities.

We are here to be your partner, a member of your extended team, an objective yet vested voice. And we will always bring the conversation back to strategy. Who is your primary target audience going forward? How does your product meet and exceed their needs? What are the best ways to enhance your product portfolio? How do we maximize the market opportunity and optimize return on investment? 

Think of us as your Human Intelligence partner.

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

1.    Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize the details and get started!

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