In August 2019, an American Marketing Association survey revealed that the implementation of AI had jumped 27% in the previous year and a half.
Following that, a 2020 Deloitte global survey of early AI adopters showed that three of the top five AI objectives were marketing-oriented.
These three objectives were, in no particular order, enhancing existing products and services, creating new products and services, and enhancing relationships with customers.
What I'm getting at here is that AI is very much at the forefront of marketing's future, so it stands to reason that you should get your foot in the door before it's too late and you're just playing some sort of catch-up game. So, let's figure out how to design an AI marketing strategy, and why you should start right now.
Why Should You Design Your Very Own AI Marketing Strategy
The adoption of AI among Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) is on the rise. According to a survey conducted by the American Marketing Association in August 2019, the implementation of AI had increased by 27% in the previous year and a half.
A global survey by Deloitte in 2020, focusing on early AI adopters, revealed that three out of the top five AI objectives were related to marketing: enhancing existing products and services, creating new products and services, and improving customer relationships.
AI is now being utilised by many companies for various purposes. It is employed to handle specific tasks like digital ad placement (also known as "programmatic buying"), assist in broader tasks such as improving prediction accuracy, and augment human efforts in structured tasks like customer service.
AI Throughout the Customer Journey
Throughout the customer journey, AI plays a significant role. During the "consideration" phase, when potential customers are researching a product, AI targets ads to them and guides their search.
For example, Wayfair, an online furniture retailer, uses AI to identify customers who are likely to be influenced and selects products to showcase based on their browsing history.
AI-enabled bots, such as those developed by Vee24, assist marketers in understanding customer needs, increasing engagement during a search, guiding customers in a desired direction (e.g., a specific web page), and facilitating connections with human sales agents through chat, phone, video, or even screen sharing.
The Sales Process
AI also streamlines the sales process by leveraging detailed individual data, including real-time geolocation information, to create highly personalised offers for products or services. It further assists in upselling, cross-selling, and reducing cart abandonment rates.
AI bots can provide testimonials to motivate customers to complete their purchase, such as sharing examples like "Great purchase! James from Vermont bought the same mattress." These initiatives can significantly increase conversion rates.
After the Sale
After the sale, AI-enabled service agents, like Amelia and Interactions, are available round the clock to handle customer requests.
They excel at managing fluctuating volumes of service inquiries, surpassing the capabilities of human agents. They handle simple queries about delivery times or scheduling appointments and escalate more complex issues to human agents.
AI can also analyse customers' tone and provide suggestions for responses, coach agents on satisfying customer needs, or recommend intervention from a supervisor.
But how does it work throughout your marketing team? Let's start with:
AI finds applications in various other areas as well. In content creation, AI tools can assist writers in overcoming writer's block, generating content briefs and outlines, quickly producing long-form content, and creating blog titles and descriptions on a large scale.
However, it's important to note that AI-generated content still requires human review and editing for quality assurance.
Search Engine Optimisation
For search engine optimisation (SEO), AI can aid in keyword research, creating outlines based on search engine results page (SERP) research, producing high-quality articles at a faster pace, optimising older content to combat content decay, and generating blog titles and meta descriptions in large quantities.
Although AI outputs are improving, human review and editing are still necessary before publishing.
Email marketing can be time-consuming, especially with large lists and complex campaigns.
AI content tools can accelerate the process, enabling salespeople to craft personalised emails for prospects, lifecycle marketing managers to send promotional content, and customer service teams to respond quickly and personally to messages, comments, reviews, and support tickets.
Social Media Management
AI content writing tools are also valuable for social media management. They assist in creating social media copy and even generating images for various platforms, including Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and TikTok.
In the field of design, AI is making its mark by providing tools that can spark creativity and produce incredible visuals quickly for tasks such as brand redesigns, infographics, ebook covers, and website visuals.
However, AI should complement the work of designers rather than replace them.
Target Group Segmentation
AI, combined with predictive analytics, has revolutionised target group segmentation in marketing. It allows marketers to accurately identify the optimal target groups for their campaigns, based on data-driven insights.
This approach not only speeds up the process but also helps identify new segments with similar attributes.
As a result, marketers can present more personalised offers to customers, fostering unique and stronger connections that would be challenging to achieve without AI.
So, let's follow a step-by-step guide.
A Step-by-step Guide to Designing an AI Marketing Strategy
1. Defining Objectives and Leveraging AI for Goal Achievement
Setting clear goals is a crucial component of an effective AI marketing strategy. Without well-defined objectives, valuable resources and time can be wasted. Once your goals are established, AI can be harnessed to optimise your marketing efforts, enabling personalised and targeted campaigns.
2. Gaining Customer Insights
Understanding your target audience is paramount to the success of your business.
AI aids in comprehending customer behaviour, allowing for more effective marketing strategies. Whether it's analysing websites, social media, or emails, Artificial Intelligence accurately predicts customer needs. By leveraging AI, you can process and extract data that aligns with your marketing strategy, augmenting the power of your campaigns.
3. Enhancing Content Strategy
AI empowers you to stay ahead of content trends. Technological advancements provide valuable insights for strategising content creation to maximise business benefits.
With clear strategies in place, AI can analyse vast amounts of data, contributing to content marketing in various ways, such as selecting the most suitable images for social media or offering guidelines for product listings. Embracing an AI-based marketing strategy significantly increases the chances of effectively reaching your target audience.
4. Elevating Customer Service Quality
Designing an AI marketing strategy offers the significant advantage of enhancing customer service. Customers are at the heart of every business, and AI technologies like Chatbots play a crucial role in providing efficient and prompt customer support.
Unlike humans, AI Chatbots can handle a higher volume of customer queries swiftly and without losing interest. Ensuring customer satisfaction is the ultimate marketing success, and AI interactions also provide valuable insights into customer preferences, enabling the generation of better leads.
5. Constructing an Optimal Marketing Funnel
By evaluating online interactions, Artificial Intelligence can predict the typical customer journey. Employing an AI marketing strategy allows for identifying pivotal touchpoints in the customer decision-making process.
This enables businesses to effectively guide potential customers along the marketing funnel, ultimately converting them into paying customers. Constructing a well-designed marketing funnel is key to developing an impactful marketing strategy.
6. Selecting Appropriate Software and Applications
While the importance of AI marketing strategies is widely recognised, businesses often struggle to choose the right software and applications to execute these strategies effectively.
To ensure success, it is crucial to select suitable software through careful auditing. Identify the specific marketing challenges your company faces, such as decision-making, performance measurement, and conversion tracking.
This will enable you to choose the appropriate tools for your marketing endeavours and design an AI marketing strategy that yields tangible benefits for your business.
In conclusion, the adoption of AI in marketing has witnessed a significant rise, with Chief Marketing Officers increasingly recognising its potential.
From targeting potential customers with personalised ads to streamlining sales processes and improving customer service, AI offers a wide range of benefits.
It assists in content creation, search engine optimisation, email marketing, social media management, design tasks, and smart segmentation, allowing marketers to enhance their strategies and deliver more personalised experiences to customers.
However, while AI brings valuable capabilities, human oversight and creativity remain essential to ensure alignment with brand values and maintain quality control.
As AI technology continues to evolve, it is poised to play an even more significant role in shaping the future of marketing. CMOs and marketers should stay abreast of the latest developments, continually exploring how AI can be integrated into their strategies to drive growth, foster innovation, and create meaningful connections with customers.
By embracing AI as a powerful tool and harnessing its potential in conjunction with human expertise, marketers can unlock new opportunities, stay ahead of the competition, and navigate the ever-changing landscape of the digital era.