As we near the end of 2020 and look forward to 2021 we can start to guess which trends of the year will start to fade away and which are here to stay. As has been the case for many years, AI is and will continue to be a hot topic for marketers. At first, it was viewed warily by professionals — but now the benefits of AI Marketing are becoming clearer.
AI is here to help empower over-worked, over-stretched marketers, and help them reach their top goals. AI Marketing can revolutionize the way marketers interact with customers and enable 1:1 messaging at scale. Check out our Ultimate Guide to AI Marketing — the best guide for marketers who are intrigued by AI, but have no idea where to start. This first of its kind guide breaks down the complexities of AI and addresses how this technology can make marketing easier. Let’s examine some of the top use cases for AI within the campaign building process from the guide here.
1. Using AI to Build Precise, High-Value Segments
Batch and blast campaigns don’t cut it for today’s savvy consumers — so most marketers today now use some form of segmentation. And while simple segmentation based on demographic factors like age and location is a great starting point, it’s definitely not the gold standard of customer experience. But, scaling personalization past demographic factors can become almost impossible to do manually, which is where AI can take the reins.
The first-party customer data that brands own is growing in size and complexity, which makes maintaining segments difficult and time-consuming. But luckily, this complexity and volume of data are perfect for AI to tackle, as the more data you have the better AI will function. There are two unique AI applications for segmentation that have helped marketers find the right audiences consistently.
Propensity Scoring uses AI to calculate a customer’s probability to perform a specified action (think conversion, engagement, churn, etc.) by examining activities common before the desired action is taken to find useful patterns. This can help marketers segment high intent customers vs. low intent customers — and change their messaging, budget, and strategy accordingly.
Lookalike Audiences takes high-performing segments from your customers such as category affinity, LTV projections, and journey status, and then finds new customers with similar attributes. The “ideal customer profiles” can then be used to identify, target, and acquire customers from a third-party data source, like Facebook or Google, who look similar to your champion customers.
2. Building 1:1 Messaging with AI-Powered Recommendations
Your customers are looking for a seamless experience with personalization on every channel — which is extremely challenging given how much data customers leave behind, the sheer size of product catalogs, and how often customers browse anonymously. The key to moving past generic batch recommendations is through using AI-powered Predictive Recommendations.
Predictive Recommendations will take the input of your catalog content, customer data, and customer interactions with your catalog and produce recommendations based on a number of algorithms. Different types of personalization “blocks” within messages can include: Trending Content/Items, Recent or Expiring Content/Items, Collaborative Filtering, Similar Content/Items to Past Purchases/ Views, and Next Best Product or Offer.
3. Perfecting Send-Time with AI-Based Optimization
Customers see thousands of marketing messages each day — to rise above the noise marketers have to message at the right time to optimize for engagement and conversion. Batch sending at popular times like lunch or right after work won’t cut it, your message will be lost in a flood of other offers.
AI-powered Engage Time Optimization is the best way to ensure you’re messaging each individual at their best time, every time. Engage Time Optimization helps you optimize send times based on behaviors, (like past purchases, bursts of browsing, etc) that lead to conversions. From analyzing past messaging activity, customer attributes, and site activity, AI identifies and optimizes send times for each customer to when they are most likely to deeply engage with a brand — effectively pinpointing the perfect send time.
In addition to truly 1:1 send times, AI can also help sort and navigate sending for special occasions, lifecycle events, and much more. (How do you think Amazon always seems to send umbrella ads once it’s raining in your area?)
4. AI Selects the Best Channel for Your Goals
Customers browse across more channels each day, which makes choosing the right channel to market on really tough. Each customer often has a few favorites that are more optimal for engagement and conversion — and these might change as they continue on their journey and new trends emerge. The only issue? These “golden” channels are impossible to guess and customers typically aren’t direct about what channels they convert on (most likely, they themselves don’t notice).
Similar to send time, you can also now take advantage of AI to optimize their channel selection with Predictive Channel Engagement Scores. These scores help marketers autonomously select which channel is best for marketing to each customer by predicting the likelihood of a user engaging with a message on each channel — email, push, in-app, SMS, digital ads, etc.
These scores can be leveraged across your marketing in a number of ways:
- Choose the preferred message channel(s) based on the individual’s channel engagement likelihood scores.
- Set up a multi-channel trigger that targets a customer in the decreasing order of their channel engagement scores.
- Set customer messaging limits based on channel engagement scores.
- Suppress a list of least likelihood customers to increase email engagement and increase IP reputation.
We hope these tips gave you a clearer vision of just how much AI can do for marketers — but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Learn much more in our Ultimate Guide to AI Marketing and our free AI Marketing Course, or see AI in action in a hands-on demo with one of our AI Marketing experts.