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How to Use AI for Marketing Automation

Marketing automation flow powered by AI

Author avatarNiraj Ranjan Rout/Startups/July 27, 2017
How to Use AI for Marketing Automation
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When you can automate something without loss of quality, do it. At Statsbot, we used to help automating analytical routine using AI approaches. Analytics cannot be separated from marketing, and we decided to tell how AI can help with marketing automation as well. Just best approaches with powerful tools.

Marketing automation has come a long way since its infant steps all the way back in 1992. From $225 million, it has become a $1.65 billion industry. Automation vendors saw a big jump when the social media revolution came into being. Tools and software were created to help marketers get more out of their social media campaigns.

The introduction of AI was one of the major factors behind the boost. Marketing automation might have made it easy to carry out repetitive tasks, but it was AI that brought new life to marketing automation software by bringing in predictive analysis and personalization engines. AI made marketing automation more human.

However, marketers still find it hard to use the full potential of their AI when it comes to automating their marketing strategies and flows. Maybe it’s the lack of knowledge, or just sheer ignorance on the part of marketers.

Using AI does not solve all your problems — using it well does.

To execute strategies effectively, here’s how to use AI for your marketing automation.

Scaling your content

How do you build a content strategy that speaks to a global audience? How do you create a tone and voice which cuts through all the language and cultural barriers, still gives the same message, and is understood in the same way? Sound a little overwhelming?

Marketing automation does provide you with the generation of basic content, but to take it a notch higher, use Natural Language Generation (NLG), a highly efficient AI.

Marketing automation flow to scale your content

  1. Quill is an NLG developed by Narrative Science that is programmed to write relevant stories. It automatically picks up the data and starts writing content. The content displayed in each country will be based on the data for that particular region, thereby helping you scale your global content with ease.
  2. Yseop is the only enterprise NLG software that can run on-premise, in the cloud, and on PC. It can derive analytics in multiple languages and bring content marketers with different native languages on the same page.
  3. Arria NLG Platform has partnered with IBM Watson. Using its Q&A functionality, the NLG software converts compliance insights into data-driven reporting. Financial companies are able to automate business processes and, at the same time, generate real-time documents.
  4. IBM Watson Text to Speech converts written text into natural sounds in multiple languages. It goes as deep as customizing and controlling punctuations to avoid any disruption in communication.
  5. Amazon Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies, the same as Amazon does. It allows you to convert text into speech, in a human-like voice, in various languages. You can select from a range of voices that best suit your brand.

Get a purchase faster

Marketing automation drives 14.5% sales productivity, because AI allows you to understand who your customers really are. AI segments customers based on their activity, purchasing habits, behavioral traits, and various other metrics. Each segment is labeled based on the personalities they exhibit, called buyer personas.

These personas help in aligning customer satisfaction with business objectives. By studying buyer personas, some of the major questions hindering your purchase cycle can be resolved:

  • It gives you actual insight into who to focus on. Not everybody is your customer. Find out who is and concentrate your marketing automation efforts on them.
  • Customize the offering that will resonate well with the target segment. Profiling your customers helps you understand what they want and what they don’t want.
  • You know the exact platforms and places to find them. You are able to carry out mass marketing automation strategies on specific locations that help you in getting the right kind of attention.

Marketing automation flow to make purchases faster

  1. Kissmetrics allows you to build segments based on any behavior or attribute. Create and export segments of email addresses for retargeting and campaign outreach.
  2. Yandex is a well-rounded software for getting customer behavior insights. From providing traditional data to visual analytics, it makes sure that you get to know your customers faster, in order to make a swift purchase.
  3. Popcorn Metrics converts user activities on your website into hard data. Based on actionable insights, create campaigns that trigger users to make a purchase.
  4. Piwik is an open source analytics platform. The cloud hosting service provides a secure, cost effective, and dependable analytics solution. At the same time, it allows you to have full control over your data.
  5. Google Analytics is a popular analytics software, which provides real-time customer segmentation. The best part about using this tool — it’s free. You can use the insights with other Google products to get more out of your data.

Go beyond the omni channel experience

“Omnichannel experience” is a widely used term but has started to wear down its significance. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that your brand should not be present on different channels.What I am proposing is: Why can’t the experience be channel-less?

Marketing automation with AI allows you to enhance customer satisfaction around the experience, not the channel.

A customer’s appreciation is based on how responsive you are to their needs, and the channel doesn’t matter.

When customer experience takes center stage, you are more proactive in reaching out to users and solving their problems before they even know it. Measure customer satisfaction to make sure that all your efforts are contributing in shaping a positive customer experience.

Marketing automation flow for enhancing omnichannel experience

  1. Pega Customer Decision Hub measures customer experience within each channel from one place. It unifies all the experience of all channels at one central location called Brain — a powerful artificial intelligence. Marketers are able to track customer behavior irrespective of the channel. It allows them to get more details on the customer journey, straight from one location.
  2. Cognigy helps to build cross-channel voice and chat UIs for creating enriching customer journeys. It is also equipped with NLG technology. This helps in creating a conversational experience for customers through multiple channels.
  3. Active.ai is a marketing automation platform specially created for banks and financial institutions. It uses machine learning to engage with customers through a host of channels — messaging, voice, and IoT devices.
  4. Boomtrain is used to supervise the customer experience across channels in real-time. You can automate marketing campaigns through email, mobile push notifications, onsite, and in-app. It also allows you to create unique user graphs based behavior, sentiments, and preferences, and analyze a unified view of each customer.
  5. Brightpearl, unlike the above software, brings omnichannel retailers (offline and online) onto a single system. It takes customer insights and helps with inventory and order management, making sure customer satisfaction is maintained.

Enriching visual aesthetics

The saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t work when it comes to promoting your brand. What you see is what you get − visual aesthetics is the name of the game.

Conventionally, marketing automation is used to send visual images through mass emailing, social media, so forth and so on. But, they never tell you how well your visuals are performing.

That’s where AI comes in. It provides analytics that help with getting more out of your visual content.

In a world where people are moving away from text and communicating visually, image recognition software has found a sweet spot among marketers.

For example, photo curation used to be a tedious task, but with an advanced AI, you are able to go through millions of images within seconds. This helps you pick images that best suit your brand’s visual style, without breaking a sweat.

Marketing automation flow for visual marketing

  1. Planorama is an image recognition solution company that helps retail marketers get useful insights from shelf photos. It automates documents based on the images in different formats. These reports are then used for planning retail layouts, space planning, and shelf sequencing, essentially improving the overall visual aesthetics of the store.
  2. Clarifai is a powerful image and video recognition software, which helps marketers automate image-based recommendations in real-time. Manage and protect your online community by identifying and flagging inappropriate content.
  3. IBM Watson Visual Recognition allows you to instantly and correctly tag images. It helps in increasing a brand’s bandwidth within the social media realm. It also helps in automating influencer marketing efforts. The minute an influencer posts an image or a video mentioning your brand, it automatically tags that post.
  4. Amazon Rekognition is visual recognition software by Amazon web services. It’s powered with a high-grade deep learning AI. It provides a detailed analysis of objects and scenes, along with facial recognition. You can create a marketing billboard that collects demographic data.
  5. Google Cloud Vision API helps in understanding the content of an image, so marketers can create scenarios to map sentiment analysis of an image. Once it has information on the image, the AI automates image meta tags.

Find leads of better quality

Lead generation is based on general customer profiling; demographics, job titles, and specific industries. But if you know the AI opportunities, then you can direct your marketing automation efforts on the best prospects.

By comparing the current customer base with would-be customers, the AI automatically creates a list of prospects and helps you define who is the best one.

AI pushes for auto-generated demands that are available to outbound marketers. Moreover, these leads can be automatically fed into the sales pipeline, with teams having a detailed profile of each prospect.

Other than lead generation, AI helps with lead nurturing as well. All you need to do is follow best practices to increase your chances of converting leads into paying customers.

Here are a few of the best practices for lead nurturing that use AI:

  • Understand the segmented list. Even if you are provided with a detailed profiling of your leads, make sure you study it well.
  • Figure out what you want. AI provides you the data, but what you want from it is up to you.
  • Select leads who want to talk to sales. One of the major reasons that almost 5–10% of leads fail to convert is because they are not interested in making a purchase. Leads which are more keen on connecting with the salesperson should be passed on to the sales team, as they have a higher chance of converting.

Marketing automation flow for lead generation and lead nurturing

  1. Growbots automates your prospecting with an efficient AI. Based on your requirements, the AI searches databases from fifteen different sources in less than 30 seconds, which means gaining a rich contact list instantly. Schedule emails to all the prospects and automatically analyze ROI of your email campaign.
  2. Conversica helps in identifying prospects with the intent of buying. The sales team can automate emails to lead, increasing the chances of conversion.
  3. Creative Guerilla understands that potential customers don’t like being sent an auto response. It makes sure that once a user shows interest, the email will be sent anywhere between five minutes to twenty-four hours.
  4. Fuse Machines not only automates your lead generation, it qualifies at the same time. Based on where they are in the sales funnel, relevant email content is designed.
  5. Infusionsoft, along with providing a strong CRM platform, helps in managing your leads. It gives data on where each leads stands, so that you are able to better communicate with them. You can customize your sales pipeline, organize which leads to sell, and which leads to follow up on.

Winding up

Using marketing automation without AI is like dancing without music. Sure, it works, but it won’t create the same magic. A quality AI can help marketers get more out of their automation efforts, it’s all about how they use it.

The above points will help marketers in understanding the various areas where AI can be applied effectively.

  • Use Natural Language Generation to scale your content.
  • AI allows you to understand who your customers really are.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction around the experience, not the channel.
  • AI provides analytics that help with getting more out of your visual content.
  • You can automatically create a list of prospects and define who is the best one.

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