Connecting and engaging with prospective customers, nurturing them along the journey to become actual customers and continually demonstrating value of your products and service is the entire purpose of marketing. Whilst marketing might share a common purpose across industries, products and services or B2B/B2C, the needs, motivations and buying cycles of customers have unique characteristics and require tailored strategies, tactics, touchpoints and key messaging to persuade and engage along the consumer journey. Fortunately for marketers today, there have never been more powerful tools in digital marketing to make this possible.
The digital marketing landscape is broad and encompasses a variety of channels such as programmatic display, video, social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), email marketing and content marketing – each of which plays an invaluable role in a company’s marketing strategy and migrating customers along the marketing funnel. This landscape is set to become even more diverse as the likes of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) rise within the space. All of this has been made possible by increasingly sophisticated technologies, data capture and analysis techniques.
How AI can be used in Digital Marketing
AI and machine learning present immense opportunities in digital marketing owing complexity of many different and interconnected systems and the abundance of data they create. When combined with the right AI tools, this raw data is the fuel that enables data-driven decisions and intelligent automation that helps maximise efficiency and cut through that is needed in increasingly competitive and cluttered marketing environment.
Hyper-personalisation of customer experiences
There is more data than ever available on customers preferences, interests, spending patterns, demographics, psychographics, hobbies, buying behaviours. The goal of many marketers is to translate this data into understanding and actionable insights that enable digital marketing tactics to better engage and drive conversion, in other words ‘hyper-personalisation’.
This is where AI and machine learning excel. AI and machine learning can identify trends in these expansive data sets and use it to tailor experiences to certain groups or even individuals. This can be in the form of customising an advertisement, tailoring a discount or promotional offers to a specific user, adapting UX/UI or even the entire customer journey to individual user needs and preferences.
Predict customer behaviour and take proactive action with predictive analytics
AI and machine learning guide decisions and action in the present. But what could be truly game-changing for marketing, is the ability to analyse data and identify patterns and trends to predict events that might happen in the future and adapt to them.
A familiar application is the recommendation systems on e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Netflix or YouTube. These systems analyse data on purchase and content history, browsing behaviours and even similarity to other customers to provide tailored recommendations for products or services. The business case for these systems is clear, with McKinsey &CO estimating that approximately 35% of products purchased on Amazon and 75% of content viewed on Netflix comes from algorithm suggested content.
Predictive analytics can also be applied to customer segmentation by grouping customers or website visitors based on certain preferences or behaviours, thereby enabling the hyper-personalisation of advertisement and promotions rather than engaging them based on generic criteria. AI and machine learning can even help understand the customer journey such as predicting churn likelihood based on their behaviours - such as decreased usage or negative feedback - and supporting marketers with re-engaging customers with tailored promotions, deals or benefits that can help avoid churn.
Marketing is one of the industries that has changed drastically as we have shifted from traditional to digital marketing and this will become more pronounced as we develop new ways to combine data and technology to provide better, more customer centric experiences. As businesses seek to improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing campaigns both online and offline, AI will play a pivotal role in achieving these goals and differentiating brands, products and services in market. With the opportunity and benefits available, it makes sense to start exploring how AI can maximise your marketing efforts and transform your business.