Almost two decades ago, digital marketing saw a huge wave of change with the rise of marketing automation. By taking away the effort of carrying out repetitive tasks, marketing automation enabled marketers to go beyond executing campaigns manually and focus on designing meaningful customer journeys.
Now, it is Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is taking digital marketing to a whole new level of hyper-personalised user engagement. AI is transforming every piece of user data into an actionable piece of information for data-driven marketers.
Well, if you understand the right ways to knit AI into your marketing automation strategy, you can scale greater heights of marketing success.
However, the speed at which AI is flourishing, it might get overwhelming for you to know what best practices to implement, how your brand can benefit from using marketing automation with AI, and how you can make the most out of this effective combination.
According to AdWeek, until late 2017, 86% of marketers believed AI will make their work more efficient and effective. But, a recent article by Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute says that only 58.7% marketers have started researching and testing Artificial Intelligence tools, and only 11.5% have an advanced understanding of Artificial Intelligence.
What does that tell you? Simply that adoption of AI within a brand’s larger marketing strategy hasn’t picked up as much steam as initially expected.
What does Artificial Intelligence actually do?
Artificial Intelligence has made it possible to gather large amounts of user data in real-time. It helps process and categorises all the data, producing actionable insights that help build a unified view of the user, or distinct user profiles/ personas. AI then enables you to target personalised marketing messages to these personas. This lays the foundation for establishing long-term customer relationships driven by personalisation at scale.
After you deliver the campaigns, AI again collects the data related to users’ interactions with the messages, processes them to provide further insights into customer behaviour, and provides you with recommendations to create the next wave of personalised digital experiences.
How can Artificial Intelligence power your marketing automation engine?
Regardless of the industry you belong to, these are 6 ways in which AI can help your marketing automation strategy become more intelligent and efficient:
1. Segment your users better
Intelligent user segmentation lies at the core of successful marketing automation strategies. Traditional segmentation was based mostly on static demographic attributes, but with AI, you can segment users based on their online behaviour, in-app activities, channel preferences, transactional history, and various other metrics. Creating such intelligent, data-driven segments enable you to direct your marketing automation efforts towards:
- Accurately identifying which user segments to focus on
- Crafting highly-targeted content that resonates with specific user segments
- Doubling down on your campaign spends, relevant to each engagement channel through precise targeting
2. Deliver a truly omni-channel experience
Marketing automation is not driven by a “if the user doesn’t open the email, send him an SMS” formula anymore. Every marketing communication you send involves costs in terms of your revenue, effort, the user’s time, and opportunity to connect with him/her.
As a data-driven marketer, you can’t afford the traditional trial-and-error method on which early marketing automation was based upon.
It is also important to identify which users are most active on which channels across precisely which devices. Engaging with your customers across multiple digital and mobile touchpoints is critical to marketing success.
In this backdrop, AI empowers you with the ability to analyse user behavioural data, and understand:
- Which channels your user is most engaged on, and
- What time of the day and which day of the week are they most likely to respond to your communication
AI-powered features like Send Time Optimisation and Preferred Channels enable you to further optimise your marketing automation efforts by firmly placing the user at the centre of the engagement puzzle.
3. Craft and deliver content that resonates with users
While marketing automation was always based on delivering the right message to the right user at the right time through the right channel, AI actually provides the fuel to marketing automation engines to achieve this.
There are a host of AI-powered features that marketing automation flows can leverage to create highly relevant messages:
• Utilising real-time data related to the geographic location of users, absolutely relevant campaigns can be triggered to target them. Check how can you Leverage Geolocation Targeting to Power your Mobile Marketing Game
• Using AI-based sentiment analysis of the users’ reaction to the content sent in the past, subject lines and titles of your communication, across channels such as push notifications and emails can be optimised
• Behavior-based actionable insights and trends like RFM analysis, cohort analysis, etc. can be fed into the marketing automation workflows so that the users receive content that is relevant to their stage in the customer journey
4. Drive predictive marketing
Based on its capabilities, the AI engine in Marketing Automation platforms may also be able to proactively predict what users want based on their past behavioural footprint. AI churns the ocean of user data to present insights on users’ activity patterns, purchase trends, spending habits, content interactions, likes, and dislikes.
Based on these, you can anticipate what your users might be interested in and predict future user behaviour. Feed these insights into your marketing automation flows:
- To send relevant product recommendations
- To deliver contextual offers, messaging, and deals that nudge them towards making more transactions across both web or app platforms
5. Reduce manual supervision
Once your marketing automation platform is integrated with AI, it will no longer rely on pre-determined patterns and wait for triggers to execute a specific action.
AI has the ability to aggregate information and make ongoing decisions without supervision. You do not have to hold a lead’s or user’s hand through the entire customer journey any longer.
As you capture greater volumes of user data, so does the capabilities and efficiency of your AI-powered marketing automation engine.
6. Achieve greater ROI
Since AI helps you accurately categorises your users into separate stages of the user lifecycle, the marketing automation engine targets them and engages with them at the perfect touch points with the right messaging.
By getting your 4 Rs spot on, i.e. reaching the right user on the right channel with the right message at the right time, you increase the chances of driving higher conversions. The better your conversions, the more you can optimise your multi-channel engagement campaigns to hit a superior marketing ROI.
Today, every user follows his own unique customer journey which clearly implies that traditional marketing tactics are not going to work.
Marketing automation has to transform itself into intelligent marketing automation. Coupled with AI, it can help you provide incredible user experiences, deliver more efficient content, execute better-performing marketing campaigns, and achieve your business goals. For more understanding on how to leverage AI to boost your marketing automation efforts, get in touch with our experts today!