AI Transforms Marketing Departments. Here’s How
As published by Money Inc,
Wall Street has always required quick, nimble thinking and the ability to act swiftly, and innovation happens every day on trading floors. It comes as no surprise, then, that the industry has embraced artificial intelligence. AI complements the familiar image of traders and brokers reveling in the chaos of in-the-moment number crunching and decision-making.
Traders use technology to consume vast amounts of data in real time, using algorithms to determine actions. AI allows for even faster, more effective visualization of data. It turns insight into action and allows for continually smarter decision-making. Relying on technology to more quickly and effectively execute can mean earning substantial profits or avoiding loses. If a trader can understand how weather affects retailers during winter and make a trade more quickly than competitors, he or she can lock in profits that might otherwise have resulted in a loss.
From Trading Floor to Marketing Department
AI’s ability to drive smarter, faster decision-making has great appeal for marketers as well. Predictive analytics and AI can accomplish the same goals in sales and marketing that they do on Wall Street. Investing in predictive analytics and AI lets marketers leverage as much data intelligence as possible on target customers, using algorithms to organize and prioritize that intelligence and recommend actions. From there, marketers can integrate the intelligence into account-based marketing tactics from programmatic display advertising to email, direct mail and more. If a marketer can understand that a target customer is using a product that is end of life, has been consuming content online related to this product and visited the product page of the marketer’s website, all of these data points and more can turn into the right marketing message and tactic at the right time with the best likelihood to convert into a sales opportunity.
At some of the world’s top technology companies, AI has already transformed traditional marketing departments. Where long-lead campaigns and projects with soft deliverables and minimal tracking used to be standard, prompt implementation, as well as real time analysis and measurement, has become the norm. For a marketer, just as with a Wall Street trader, having superior technology has a direct influence on profits. A marketer who uses AI to consume data about accounts and launch marketing tactics rooted in that insight is more likely to reach the target account with a message and tactic that resonate than are his or her competitors.
For years, marketers have had access to tremendous amounts of data, and the sources and amount of intelligence on customers only continues to grow. But access to greater and greater amounts of intelligence isn’t enough – knowing how to apply and act on that data and learn from the results is the critical last mile. AI allows marketers to not only make meaning of data, but to turn it into action quickly and effectively. Just like stocks, data about demand units changes fast, and AI allows marketers to keep up.
Marketers and salespeople often talk about demand generation as a tenant of their goals and success metrics. Predictive analytics and AI give marketing and sales departments the ability to better visualize demand. Thinking of demand as something that needs to be generated doesn’t quite capture the full picture. There are always potential buyers, but marketers have a hard time understanding the nuances of their buyer intent. AI helps marketers see which accounts show demand, where those accounts are in the buyer journey, and even which marketing tactics will best serve different types of accounts.
AI also helps marketers better personalize and segment their marketing efforts. With AI, marketers can better scale their efforts, since AI offers them the ability to create infinite amounts of segments, all the way down to segments of one. Content also becomes more personalized with the rise of AI. It allows marketers to go beyond insert-first-name-here personalization and use real insight to drive messaging personalized to a particular account’s pain points and needs. This results in AI applying the right content at the most applicable time and through the most impactful tactic.
Thanks to the immediate impact AI and predictive analytics can have on day-to-day marketing operations, rigid, long-lead marketing campaigns are a thing of the past. Because data can be viewed, analyzed and acted upon so much faster, marketing content and tactics can be augmented in real time, not weeks or months. Marketers no longer need to base their plans on long timelines and instead can act like Wall Street’s day traders – using real-time insight to make decisions and execute.
AI also means continuously improving marketing operations. When marketers relay outcomes of each customer interaction back to the machine, the machine gets smarter. AI adds additional data to the equation as it ingests feedback from previous marketing outreach. As the machine learns, marketing execution becomes smarter and more effective each time.
These differences yield long-term changes to how marketers find success. AI and predictive analytics offer marketers the opportunity to completely transform their operations. Those who hesitate to embrace AI in their marketing technology stacks will fall behind, losing sales to competitors who can move more quickly and have more effective communications with prospects thanks to AI.
Day Traders of Marketing
AI is irreversibly transforming marketing strategy. Long gone are the days of inflexible marketing campaigns based solely on marketers’ intuition rather than data. Today’s most successful marketing departments look a lot more like trading floors as marketers deftly react to real-time insight with tactics, messages and timing that drives prospects through the sales funnel and delivers return on investment.