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4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Making Marketers Smarter

Allen Nance
Allen Nance , CMO

How Artificial Intelligence Marketing Makes You Smarter

Artificial intelligence. The very name of the underlying technology hints at its wonder and, in a sense, its translucent or synthetic nature.

To simplify dissection of the term, it’s an intelligent source, but it’s also artificial. In this sense, artificial doesn’t mean “not real” —  AI is very real and is already serving as a game-changer for marketing teams across the globe.

Think of AI as an added mind or team member to your marketing efforts, one whose IQ is light years above any human. This new hire can understand customer behavior and intention, can reason and draw conclusions based on data, can make judgments about what’s most likely to happen, and act with a greater vantage point than humans can and at much greater scale. AI makes you smarter by doing reconnaissance on your entire database (and even on potential new audiences), informing you of all possibilities, making recommendations and suggestions for best courses of action along the way, and executing on those insights.

“Think of #AI as an added mind to your #marketing efforts (one whose IQ is light years above any human),” says @AllenNance      CLICK TO TWEET

It’s your own built-in marketing “intelligence” agency — and quite literally makes you look, seem, act, and operate smarter with every stroke of the keyboard, every campaign created, and every customer touched.

AI Helps to See the Unseen and Uncover New Business

What are the most effective activities your marketing team is working on? I mean — what’s working best? If you’re like most, social media marketing/ads, marketing technology, email marketing, and data management headline your arsenal.

Most effective tactics marketers are using include social media marketing and ads, email marketing, martech, and more. Source: 2018 Digital Marketing Plan Survey, Ascend2

Artificial intelligence marketing is like an underlying current of energy — an electrical circuit — that can illuminate EACH of these tactics. In and of itself, AI isn’t actually its own, standalone tactic — it’s an approach, a decision, a flashlight to light up all of which is currently in play.

As a form of marketing intelligence, AI is mostly helping brands improve (Data source, Forrester):

  • Customer satisfaction (47%)
  • Loyalty/retention (45%)
  • ROMI (43%)
  • Brand awareness (42%)
  • Time-to-value (41%)

AI doesn’t require a reinvention of what you’re already doing. As part of an all-encompassing marketing strategy, artificial intelligence has potential to help automate menial tasks, elevate efficiencies, and improve marketing outputs. Here are four actionable ways artificial marketing is making marketing teams smarter and more precise.

How AI Is Making Marketing Organizations Smarter

1. Automating email marketing programs with customized content

A one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing is a BIG missed opportunity and can silently damage e-commerce companies with a diverse and fluid database of customers. AI can offer an added level of intelligence to both the content of the emails and the time they’re sent.

Luisaviaroma is a luxury fashion brand, for instance, that uses automated email campaigns and creates content sections relevant to a customer lifecycle stage or status. They serve up automated treatment layers that deliver individually tailored content.

The brand uses “event triggers” for campaigns that automatically tailor treatment and content according to individuals’ calculated value to the brand. Once they began implementing these tactics, they ultimately saw a 900% increase in automated email revenue and a 21% increase in overall email revenue.

Poster XXL, a German poster company, sends emails to customers that automatically populate with up-to-date content no matter when they’re opened. This added element of interactivity enabled by AI creates a flare of drama, enticement, and urgency to an otherwise stale or static HTML email which most brands still send.

Curated, customized content — like product recommendations — and live email elements like countdown clocks are both AI-fueled techniques that you can use in emails.

How it works to make you smarter: Two game-changing applications of AI in emails include content personalization and Open Time Content — both of which are geared toward boosting engagement and experience. 

2. Creating lookalike modeling to target individuals with similar propensities as existing contacts

AI can help you do “customer matching” where you can mirror profiles of existing database contacts — based on shared characteristics of those existing buyers — and target them on various social platforms like Facebook and Google.

How? Algorithms can take what you tell them about a certain portion of your database (say, highest spenders when offered a 20% discount), then devise “lookalike” profiles of those buyers, and target them with interesting offers and incentives aimed at getting them to join your fan club and buy from your brand, too.

Build lookalike audiences in your martech solution in conjunction with Facebook to target and acquire new customers that mimic the behavior of certain existing segments.

How it works to make you smarter: Rely on the machine to identify and find new prospects in a giant social pool of potential customers.

3. Using existing historical data to measure purchase patterns on the fly

GREAT marketing is personalized down to the very lowest level — that of the individual — and draws on customer data to make complex cross-channel connections that inspire relevancy.

Outnorth is a Scandinavian outdoor brand that wanted to leverage all of its gathered customer data to make decisions on the fly. Its combination of historical data analysis, intelligent behavioral segmentation, real-time customer lifecycle status reporting, and cutting-edge automation enabled Outnorth to measure customer behavior as it happened. The brand can now make sense of customer data  — revealing information about customer types and shopping behaviors, and then infusing their marketing strategy with those insights.

Outnorth leverages AI features as an underlying component of its entire marketing strategy.

As a result, Outnorth saw a 25% uplift from its First-Time Buyer programs!

How it works to make you smarter:  AI runs on data. Without existing or incoming data, AI is virtually useless. Use data to power your various AI-enabled tools for maximum ROMI.

4. Rejuvenating plateaus with new acquisition and retention techniques

Cosabella is an online women’s intimates retailer that had plateaued in both revenue and resonance.

Prior to their investment in a martech solution that could help operationalize their marketing, Cosabella’s marketing team was manually doing almost all marketing outputs. And it wasn’t a data access issue — the marketing team had access to an abundance of customer data from its email campaigns, boutique locations, and website, but there was simply too much information to manually sort through, analyze, and convert into actionable insights.

Cosabella uses AI-enriched martech to effortlessly communicate customer lifecycle impacts on revenue and overall longevity. It uses a recommendation and personalization engine allowed to respond faster to opportunities to provide exceptional customer experiences. Results were as follows:

  • Efficiency gains. Time spent creating newsletters decreased by half.
  • Database growth. The brand doubled its email database.
  • Email effectiveness. Email-generated revenue was up 60% following adoption.

How it works to make you smarter: AI is, by nature, self-learning. Use AI martech to supplement your efforts, not replace them, and watch as a new world of efficiency and acquisition opens before you.

Final Thoughts

The future of AI is bright. AI ultimately makes you smarter and adds intelligence to your marketing campaigns by giving you previously unattainable insights, options, and outlets.

You’ll then be able to execute your strategy in a precise fashion, without wasting time and resources.

AI works as your satellite and compass, directing you from above, and also as your engine (fueled by data), igniting your marketing from every angle you let it. It’s up to you to start revving that engine. ◾

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About the Author


Allen Nance is CMO at Emarsys, where he cultivates education internally and externally about the impending, AI-driven marketing revolution.

Allen is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and marketing technologist. Co-founder of TechSquare Labs — a technology hub in Midtown, Atlanta created to help startup dreamers bring their vision to reality — Nance is also an advisor to a set of companies that generate more than $500 million a year in revenue and employ 3,000 talented individuals.

Connect with Allen: WebsiteLinkedIn@AllenNance