As a busy marketer, do you feel like your work is never done?
You run marketing campaigns across multiple channels, and it seems like no matter how hard you try, the tasks never end.
You spend hours every day manually creating and optimizing campaigns and dealing with data overload. Finally, you want to personalize your messages but don’t have enough hours in the day.
So now you’re thinking of automating some of your processes to save time and increase efficiency—and want to use artificial intelligence (AI) to do it.
But the world of AI and marketing automation can feel complicated, especially with new AI-driven technology constantly popping up. Where should you begin?
In this article, we’ll explore what AI and marketing automation are; how they can benefit your marketing strategy; and where you should implement them into your workflow.
What is AI marketing automation?
AI marketing automation refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and machine learning algorithms to automate repetitive tasks, optimize marketing campaigns, and personalize the experience for your customers.
It could help you analyze large amounts of customer data in real time, segment customers based on their behavior and demographics, and create highly personalized marketing campaigns that speak directly to their interests and needs.
Now that you understand what AI marketing automation is and some of the things it can do, let’s break it down further into its fundamental parts: artificial intelligence and automation.
Artificial intelligence vs. automation
When talking about AI and automation, it’s important to distinguish between the two terms. Let’s define them and explore how they can each be used to improve your marketing workflow.
How automation is used in marketing
Simply put, marketing automation is the use of technology to complete mundane or repetitive tasks without human intervention.
Automation follows predetermined rules and actions. While it can’t improvise or learn from past experiences, it does a great job of simplifying and streamlining certain marketing tasks.
Have you ever scheduled social media posts to get published at optimal times? That’s automation in action. Have you ever used a tool to automatically send personalized emails based on customer behavior? Also automation.
From targeted email campaigns and social media posts to personalized website pop-ups, automation helps marketers save time while simultaneously improving the customer experience.
According to Ascend2’s The State of Marketing Automation 2022 report, 43% of marketers cite better customer experience as the key benefit of automation, followed by more efficient use of staff time (38%), and improved data and decision-making (35%).
How artificial intelligence is used in marketing
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a type of technology that can analyze data, spot patterns, and make decisions.
AI goes a step beyond automation. If automation follows predetermined rules, AI can interpret and respond to new situations by analyzing data.
In other words, AI can think and learn on its own—without the need for human intervention.
It’s easy to see why so many marketers are excited about AI. Marketing relies on data and analysis, and with the help of AI, marketers can gain deeper insights into and make more informed decisions on their customers’ data, as well as create more personalized experiences for their customers at scale.
According to a July 2022 Statista survey of US marketing professionals, 33% of those polled saw time savings as the top benefit of using AI marketing tools in their programs.
In the same report, 31% of marketers said AI helped provide better insights into trends, customer preferences, and audience behavior. Another 26% of them said that AI assisted them in optimizing content.
But AI also has many other applications, from predictive data analytics to sentiment analysis.
Whether personalizing emails, optimizing ad campaigns, or segmenting an audience, AI can help you do it faster and more accurately.
Factors to consider when using AI and marketing automation
If you want to maximize the benefits of AI and marketing automation, make sure your internal processes are properly organized and efficient. Automation and AI are only as effective as the data and systems they operate on, after all.
To pull that off, you should consider these three factors:
- Data hygiene
- Tech stack organization
- Cadence and content
Customer data is the lifeblood of any marketing initiative. Before attempting to automate your marketing processes, make sure you have clean data that is properly segmented.
Your algorithms might be sophisticated, but if the data they’re running on is polluted (i.e., duplicate entries or missing information), you won’t get the results you want.
Before you start automating and using AI, make sure your data is up-to-date and accurate. To do this, you’ll need to:
- Remove duplicate contact information
- Address missing values (i.e., names, emails, phone numbers)
- Standardize your data (i.e., abbreviations, spelling)
By cleaning up your data and maintaining its integrity, you can leverage AI and automation to identify patterns in customer behavior and classify customers into meaningful categories.
Tech stack organization
For your automation and AI efforts to be successful, you need to have your tech stack organized. After all, it’s the platform your automation and AI efforts will be built on.
Here are some steps to ensure your tech stack is set up for success:
- Assess your current technologies: Identify mission-critical tools and consider their return on investment (ROI).
- Prioritize important tools: Prioritize tools that directly support marketing automation and AI, as well as cross-functional collaboration.
- Encourage collaboration: Encourage open communication and information sharing between teams.
- Plan for growth: Plan for future growth and keep an eye out for new tools that could enhance your marketing automation and AI capabilities.
Cadence and content
Your marketing automation and AI initiatives need to be aligned with your content strategy.
Ensure you understand who you’re targeting, their interests and needs, and content formats they prefer. Then, use AI and automation to create personalized customer experiences at each stage of their customer journey.
For example, you can use AI and automation to track customer data, identify patterns and preferences, and deliver personalized emails.
But it doesn’t stop there. Once they open emails, you can use AI-driven chatbots to engage further with customers and answer any questions they may have.
How to use artificial intelligence to automate marketing tasks
Once you’ve cleaned up your data, assessed your current tech stack, and determined how to integrate AI and automation into your content initiatives, it’s time to start taking action.
Let’s go over a few ways you can use AI and automation to streamline your marketing efforts.
As a marketer, you need to publish high-quality, personalized content relevant to your target audience to stay ahead. However, creating unique and engaging content is often time-consuming and challenging.
That is where AI-powered content generation tools can help. By using natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) models to create narratives on any topic, AI writing software like ChatGPT, Jasper, Copy.ai, and Writesonic can help you create original blog posts, ad copy, web pages, and landing pages.
So instead of spending hours trying to wrangle the perfect sentence, you can let algorithms do the heavy lifting and create content in a fraction of the time.
But a word of caution: these tools are just that, tools. They can create copy for you based on the inputs you give them, but there’s no guarantee that the copy will be perfect or optimized for your audience.
So be sure to check for any potential bias or inaccuracies when using these tools, and fact-check everything to avoid SEO penalties and compromising your brand’s integrity.
Marketing is not only about content creation. You also need to regularly conduct content audits to make sure your content continues to align with your content marketing strategy.
That involves repurposing old content, updating outdated information, and optimizing your content for search engines.
No doubt, you’ve had to do content audits in the past and know how much time and energy they require. This is where AI-powered content audit tools can help.
These tools typically use machine learning algorithms to scan your content, analyze existing data, and provide recommendations for optimizing it.
For example, Concured is a tool that automates content analysis, research, and briefs using AI technology. With its AI-powered recommendation engine, the tool generates helpful insights to improve your content performance and better connect with your audience.
Sales trends forecasting
Another useful thing marketing automation and AI can do is help you predict future sales trends.
You can input past performance data, customer behaviors, and market trends, and artificial intelligence algorithms will identify patterns that can help you determine accurate forecasts.
H2O.ai and DataRobot are good examples of software solutions that offer AI-driven sales forecasting. Taking advantage of these types of services can help you make decisions with greater accuracy and confidence, leading to increased efficiency and profitability.
Lead scoring and evaluations
AI technologies can quickly analyze customer data and identify leads that have the highest probability of converting, saving marketers time and energy while increasing conversion rates.
This process gives marketing teams an edge by enabling them to focus their efforts on high-value prospects with greater accuracy than before.
HubSpot, for example, uses machine learning systems that predict the needs of clients so marketers can quickly close deals.
AI and automation can help marketers attract customers, retain them for longer periods, and predict churn rates.
By using customer behavior data, AI can forecast which of your customers are likely to churn in the future, enabling you to take the necessary steps to try and prevent them from unsubscribing, such as offering personalized promotions.
ChurnZero, for example, is a customer success platform that uses AI to help businesses fight customer churn by tracking how customers use their products, assessing whether customers are likely to renew or resubscribe to their services, and giving tips on how to improve the customer experience in general.
ChurnZero also lets you sync your customer data from HubSpot to get even more actionable insights, such as learning when customers are most engaged.
Customer experience personalization
Using AI, marketers can now go beyond traditional methods of reaching customers and focus on behaviors that give clues about customer interests.
Through predictive analysis, marketers can accurately identify which customers are most likely to engage with a product or service and can tailor their journey accordingly. That might start with sending the customer the appropriate newsletter or pop-up message, which then guides them to the relevant web page.
Peak is one platform that uses AI-driven insights to help marketers create tailored segments based on customer data and analyze the key metrics within those segments.
Final thoughts: Using AI and marketing automation to improve the customer experience
AI and automation technologies offer a powerful way for marketers to streamline their campaign efforts and improve efficiency. From content audits to sales forecasts, these tools can help marketers make better decisions, optimize content performance, and engage customers more effectively.
It’s important to remember, however, that AI and marketing automation software are only tools. Marketers should always use the data generated by these services to make decisions with empathy so that customers feel seen and understood.
Yes, you’re using AI and automation to personalize your customer experience, but at the end of the day, you still want to develop meaningful connections with your audience.
Do you have more ideas about how to use AI and marketing automation to improve marketing strategies? Share the post with your answers.