JUL 7, BY MATTHEW MAY
Smarter Marketing, Sales & Service: How Artificial Intelligence Will Drive Next Generation CRM.
A good AI marketing platform is built from the ground up on artificial intelligence while utilizing several of the techniques that comprise the technology, including machine learning, predictive analytics, and natural language processing, among others, rather than a set of capabilities or software with machine learning bolted onto them. It should consolidate processes across channels rather than let unnecessary tech platforms segregate the activities that must be connected. And AI marketing platforms should be simplifying tech stacks to the point that it doesn’t take a technical expert to run a great campaign.
What Every Stack Needs.
So many tech solutions have flooded the market that there are an almost infinite number of different approaches and software combinations that can make up any given marketing stack. With so many different vendors offering various tools and functions across channels, hunting for the optimal set of solutions and vendors can quickly become dizzying.
Despite the array of options available, every good marketing stack can be boiled down to four simple groups of solutions: central data repository, content management, product information, and execution/optimization software. As we will soon discuss, artificial intelligence will play a major role in helping marketers better manage the execution, optimization, and analysis of campaigns and interactions, pulling from myriad data streams to target and autonomously identify new user groups with relevant content without the need for much human intervention.
Central Repository for Customer Data/Web Analytics:
Every company needs a central database where customer data is stored. Contributing to this central repository of behavioral and demographic data are the various web analytics platforms you’ve plugged into your campaigns, as well as any Internet-of-Things-connected sensors and devices you may own. AI must connect all these disparate data streams to identify user groups, and consolidate them into a firm understanding of what messaging is appealing to which groups.
IT professionals should ensure the data collection mechanisms are properly and automatically transferring new information into this database, but management of it should not require much effort on the part of human employees. AI-based optimization and execution software pulls from this database and acts as an administrator for the analytics accounts- first to develop insights that will influence the development of content, then to strategically place that content in front of those users who are most likely to convert.
This repository often takes the form of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, but larger companies may also use a data warehouse that stores data that will influence both marketing and general business decisions.
Featuring both the published content on your CMS or website and the creative material for future and still-active campaigns, your content must be centrally stored and structured so that it can be used by your optimization and execution software to target particular users based on the information stored in the central repository.
Strategic ideas and creative concepts will be driven by humans, and the automation of other tasks should free marketers to more fully embrace this vital role. Artificial intelligence merely supports marketers in this role- first by informing their campaigns with data on user behavior and consumer trends, then by properly targeting and placing those campaigns once the content has been created.
Execution and Optimization Software:
A crucial part of your stack, the execution and optimization software, must work across your marketing channels to inform, coordinate, and adjust campaigns in real-time, saving creative teams hours of tedious data analysis. An Intellitek Systems survey discovered that 94% of respondents want a tool that enables their teams to analyze and act upon customer and marketing data in a continuous and real-time fashion. Because this kind of capability requires analytic work at a pace and scale that is impossible for humans to accomplish on their own, your execution and optimization software should run 100% on artificial intelligence.
This AI platform must also be able to integrate with every other piece of your tech stack, using information from your central repository to target users with the right campaigns; to create one-to-one user correspondence with those campaigns, the platform must have access to where both content and product information are stored. While many companies today use several execution/optimization tools at once to work with different channels and devices, this defeats the essential point of using such software in the first place: simplicity and ease-of-use. The best possible software works to optimize campaigns across channels, requiring little or no extra coordination on the part of marketing or IT staff.
Digital marketing will still require the coordination of many different technologies in order to effectively reach audiences across markets and channels. But it shouldn’t require dozens of intermediary tools and vendors/agencies that only further silo the respective tasks and channels that marketers are expected to manage. The artificial intelligence in a flexible platform like OASIS reduces siloing by replacing, consolidating, and automating many of these channel- and device-specific systems.
The ultimate result of this leaner, smarter tech stack isn’t just reduced costs, but more time for marketers to focus on the creative material that will draw users to your brand. Marketers must abandon the mindset that their employees have to spend their time watching over technology rather than focusing on messaging and branding, especially as more channels are added to their brand’s repertoire.
Today’s consumers demand more personal, more creative marketing than ever, and AI offers marketers the time and money they need to deliver it- all they need to know now is how to deploy it. Intellitek Systems can help.
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