Marketers are bombarded with the message that they need to use AI, but what does that mean?
Earlier this summer, Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report, pronounced artificial intelligence (AI) to be the technology where marketers expect to experience the most growth. Around the same time, Accenture released its prediction that AI will produce 14 trillion dollars worth of economic value by 2035. These announcements joined thousands of other articles, reports, and thought pieces all urging the necessity of using AI in business, and particularly in marketing. The urgency is clear, but the instructions aren’t.
Saying that marketers should use AI is like saying salespeople should use a cell phone–AI itself is only a tool, and it has many different applications, but some are more talked about than others. According to Buzzsumo, the majority of the most heavily shared articles about AI in marketing are focused on automation and chatbots.
Both of these technologies ensure your customers feel instantly attended to and save money; they are incredibly valuable tools with real business benefits. However, these applications of AI mostly offer a sustained (or quickened) version of a normal human job (hence, the rising fear of job displacement). But AI’s value can do more simply mimic human tasks. One major way is through large-scale analysis, like Narrative Analytics.
The Natural Language Processing and AI that Protagonist uses canvasses the entire universe of public information, rather than being confined to the limited data set of existing customers or some small sample of what’s been written. Where other AI-marketing solutions create unprecedented efficiency, Narrative Analytics delivers unprecedented insights and data. Too often, marketers are tasked with creating messages, programs or content for audiences they have little data or information about, which is where wide-reaching AI becomes so valuable. This type of AI is less talked about, but is as important as automation.
The best value for businesses is to find a way to balance both types of AI–efficiency focused technologylike automation and chatbots, and insights platforms like analytics– and build an AI stack.
Four Steps for Better Marketing Through AI
1. Use analytics to understand your brand’s current standing and the positions of your competitors, as well as which messages are likely to resonate. Narrative Analytics can tell you how your brand lives in the broader context, and compare that against your competitors. It can also tell you which types of people are most likely to think and speak positively about your brand and what specific story they’ll tell. It can let you know which times of year you had the most influence in the conversation of your industry, and it can tell you which types of stories your customers are most likely to care about–amongst many other applications. You can use this information to determine which types of marketing are worth investing in for your audience, to understand where you’re at risk of falling behind your competitors, and to expose opportunities to make a more powerful impact.
2. Create and distribute dynamic campaigns that appeal to those sensibilities. Once you understand the messages that resonate, the next step is to orchestrate them. This is where automation AI can help. There are dozens of incredible automation platforms and services that enable you to create personalized, contextual marketing campaigns based on user behavior. Tools like IBM Watson, Curata, and CaliberMind enable us to reach huge audiences with experiences that you can develop specifically for them. This type of AI is flexible, so you can alter campaigns at will to reflect new events, product updates, or even just a change of heart. The automation of AI gives businesses the chance to make a big impact, quickly.
3. Measure message traction and changes in the narratives relevant to your product. If you want to understand how well your efforts are working, you need information more detailed than the number of likes or shares via social media or conversions on your site. Oftentimes, people see ads, absorb messages, read content, and never actually click a specific link. Other times, they do click the link, but the message doesn’t resonate. The only way to really understand how well your efforts are working is to look at how narratives about your company change over time. Analytics AI can help you here. The same technology that informed your initial messaging decisions should continue to inform them as your audience evolves.
4. Ensure consistent support with chatbots. The most hyped iteration of AI in marketing is, of course, still valuable. While analytics informs your strategic decisions and automation empowers you to carry your campaigns out, chatbots give your customers and potential customers a resource for questions, issues, or even wishes they might have in real-time. This layer of AI preserves the feeling of complete support that your brand should offer at all times.
By implementing AI for these four complementary functions, marketers can create science-backed, dynamic stories that help them achieve their goals.