AI is here to make you work smarter, not harder
Nikolas Kairinos, CEO and co-founder of Prospex and Fountech, explains why artificial intelligence is set to radically transform sales and marketing, and what businesses need to know to take full advantage of this technology.
AI as a marketing tool to help businesses deliver a better customer experience was once considered an advantage reserved only for large and resource-rich organisations.
But the widespread proliferation of AI technologies means that companies large and small can leverage its potential to generate powerful sales and marketing (SaM) initiatives. Excitingly, this can cost significantly less than traditional big-ticket campaigns.
Businesses are clearly waking up to the potential of AI; two-fifths (40%) of marketing and sales teams already recognise the importance of this technology, in particular machine learning (a subset of AI) in ensuring they are able to pursue and accomplish their growth targets.
Yet while AI adoption is becoming increasingly more prevalent, the term conjures up only a vague understanding for those who are not well-versed in its applications, causing many to turn a blind eye to its capabilities.
That’s why at Fountech, we recently released a whitepaper to explain the many ways in which SaM professionals can easily embrace AI to enhance their offerings - and here's what we found.
Reducing the burden on marketers
Through its ability to scan, sort and analyse vast swathes of data, AI can be thanked for offloading mundane tasks that SaM professionals typically face on a daily basis, freeing up their time to take on more high-end tasks that require strategic thinking.
Rather than spending countless hours trawling through different data points, professionals can enjoy accurate, intelligent and up-to-date information that is provided by algorithms; AI machines learn in real-time by observing subtle trends in engagement with different offers, promotions and campaigns, and thanks to machine learning, have the capability to re-learn each time the consumer engages.
The information shared with marketing professionals is therefore continuously improved, so only the most relevant and useful is communicated.
This in turn empowers people to work faster and smarter, with a greater ability to divert their attention to more creative and value-adding aspects of marketing, such as coordinating projects and campaigns.
Understanding your consumer
Although it might at first sound counterintuitive, AI enables marketers to create highly personalised consumer experiences. It does so by offering a deeper understanding of the consumer, particularly when it comes to how they perceive and interact with the company and brand.
By analysing input such as social media activity, marketers can harness real-time data to see what is being said about their brand and specific marketing campaigns, and then use this information to modify the messaging to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Data-driven AI solutions are also a massive aid when it comes to creating personalised marketing campaigns that gets the right message across to the right people.
Previous data that was available to marketers was typically made up of demographic data such as age, location and gender. Now, there’s an abundance of much more informative data that is readily available to capture and analyse, including customers' past and present behavioural patterns and previous interactions between the two parties. Just think how much time it would take a small team to capture and analyse each consumer interaction!
AI tools can gather this data, identify patterns within it, and build comprehensive consumer profiles that offer guidance to SaM professionals as to the best ways to deliver the right content, to the right customer, at the right time and via the right channel. This information is then used to perform customer segmentation to send more relevant offers, guide sales and marketing strategies, and hyper-personalise the overall customer journey.
According to Marketing Charts, over half (56.5%) of American CMOs use AI in marketing for content personalisation, while 40.9% are using it for customer segmentation. Importantly, the benefits of a more personalised approach are clearer than ever; 74% of consumers feel frustrated when the content they receive isn’t personalised, while a study in Internet Retailer found that 80% of people like it when emails from retailers recommend products based on previous purchases.
That should signal the huge importance of integrating AI into your sales and marketing strategy. With the potential of AI poised to continue expanding, there’s no time like the present for marketers to explore the many ways they can embrace these solutions.
The reality is that AI will reshape - and already is reshaping - how marketers engage with their customers, and I would encourage business leaders to prioritise experimenting with different strategies that will convert a marketing budget to direct sales and ultimately support their long-term ambitions.