The Biggest AI Opportunities on the Horizon for CMOs
The reality of an AI-powered world is here and is making its mark across every industry. The intersection of AI and marketing is particularly meaningful, and there’s no question that artificial intelligence will continue to revolutionize the digital space.
Organizations are catching on as AI is gaining widespread traction as an effective way to solve complex problems and achieve tasks that once seemed impossible. The International Data Corporation predicts cognitive and AI spending will grow to $52.2 billion in 2021, and 75% of enterprise applications will use AI.
At its core, AI enables humans to make better decisions by using machines to continuously learn as humans do. In order to effectively harness the powers of AI, recognizing the exact challenges you’re aiming to solve is the first step. Once clear-cut objectives are defined, tasks can be delegated over to AI tools to remove time-consuming tasks off employees’ hands and drive marketing efficiency.
As a digital marketing executive search firm, we know the future of AI and marketing is exciting, to say the least. As machine intelligence advances, it will provide more capabilities to marketing teams and endless opportunities for brands innovating in this space.
By recognizing how AI enables change in the business, CMOs can successfully explore the opportunities that lie ahead. Let’s take a look at the top AI opportunities that welcome marketers to embrace the digital-first world.
An influx of customer data
AI technologies are fueled by big data in order to provide valuable insights and deliver optimal outcomes. However, marketing’s ability to gain such data has surpassed its ability to make real data-driven actions.
AI presents marketers with access to customer data like no other technology can. It brings in an influx of insights from all data sources, empowering marketers with a holistic view into customer behavior and the customer journey.
While there’s an abundance of technology that can process big data and identify valuable patterns, marketing teams must be equipped to properly leverage it. Marketers must truly understand their customer on a deeper level in order to target and optimize their efforts based on the insights AI provides. AI is fundamentally useless if marketing teams aren’t equipped to translate data into meaningful action.
However, once they master the understanding of AI’s insights, the possibilities marketers have at hand to improve engagements with their customers are limitless.
Enhancing the omnichannel experience
The big shift to omnichannel marketing has become a key to marketing success as today’s consumer interacts with a brand across multiple channels throughout the purchasing journey. From a physical store, to a website, to a mobile app, consumers expect a fully frictionless and integrated experience regardless of channel or device.
AI can help marketing organizations predict where a customer is along the funnel to deliver the right message at the right time through the appropriate channel. Thus, marketers can better streamline omnichannel processes so personalized content can efficiently get to the customer with maximum impact. AI serves a huge opportunity for companies with brick-and-mortar stores to make the in-store experience smarter and more seamless.
Personalizing the customer experience
The most critical part of a marketing strategy is a great customer experience. And there’s no way to enhance the CX more than delivering hyper-personalized, relevant content. AI helps support the CX in recognizing which content is the most relevant based on historical data.
Consumers expect highly-personalized communication through all channels, and brands that aren’t able to meet their expectations will lose ground to competitors that can. When a consumer finds a brand’s messaging relevant, he or she is far more likely to convert and become a loyal customer.
The closer you are to the customer and the more you understand their buying patterns, the more potential you have to deliver a level of innovation and personalization that will exceed their expectations. Brands that create individualized interactions across every channel by leveraging insights from AI will stay ahead. Those that are slow to catch on will lose their competitive edge and their customers’ interests.
The customer should always be at the forefront, and the speed at which companies respond to customer concerns is critical in an increasingly competitive digital world. Not only do consumers expect personalized digital experiences, but they also demand them in real-time.
A challenge for marketers today is to understand what’s exactly going to trigger the next customer interaction and how to act on it in real-time. As AI-fueled marketing evolves, CMOs and their teams are increasingly responsible for resolving unique customer pain points by responding through their preferred channel at their preferred time in micro-moment bits.
One of the core things customers look for in a great digital experience is a speedy response and solution to their problem. Fortunately, AI provides data in real-time, allowing marketers to leverage it and engage with consumers efficiently and effectively. Automated AI-based chatbots can support customers through the buyer’s journey where they can access help as if they were talking to an actual customer service person at their own convenience.
Marketing is at the center of the AI evolution, and leaders must be prepared to embrace and adapt to it in order to sustain an edge over their competition.
While it’s still an emerging innovation, CMOs and their teams can never be too prepared when it comes to digital transformation. The high-powered optimization AI offers provides a significant opportunity for marketers to leverage customer data and encourage more intelligent marketing. As long as CMOs view artificial intelligence as a long-term organizational shift rather than a quick solution because it’s the “new hot thing”, organizations will successfully differentiate themselves.
It’s critical to remember that humans are at the core of marketing on both the business and consumer sides. And AI should be used as a tool to help marketers enhance their work; rather than completely replacing human intelligence. As long as marketing leaders acknowledge this and use AI to complement human creativity, they will successfully unlock the potential of such revolutionary technology.