When we think about AI, or artificial intelligence, our minds likely go to the elaborate constructs we’ve seen in movies. The lifelike humanoids of Blade Runner and Ex Machina. Or the upgraded OS personal assistant-with-girlfriend-potential in Spike Jonze’s Her. While we’re not there quite yet, you’d be surprised to know just how much AI affects our daily lives. From ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft, to spam filters in your email, and even the autopilot that’s used when you hop a flight to Vegas, AI is working behind the scenes. But what does this technology look like in the marketplace?
Technology is developing and expanding even as you read this article. If you’re a small business owner or marketer today, artificial intelligence is an extremely useful tool. In fact, you probably already use it (or soon will be). It’s reshaping the way marketers approach customers, and it’s the new face of productivity, efficiency, and profitability. For small businesses to stay competitive and succeed, they must adapt and use AI marketing to their full advantage.
But let’s start with the basics.
What is AI marketing?
AI marketing is a method of leveraging intelligence technology to collect data, customer insights, anticipate how customers will act, and make automated decisions that affect marketing strategies. It offers small businesses a better way to build more effective marketing plans, improve a customer’s journey, and improve the way a business attracts, nurtures, and brings potential new customers into the fold. It can also help turn your customers into mega fans.
A couple of core concepts support AI marketing:
The name pretty much means exactly what it suggests. Business owners and marketer stakeholders have access to large data sets which they can aggregate and profile to their heart’s content, all with very little time and work. They then use this valuable information to push targeted campaigns to the right customers, using whatever channel works best.
This is basically the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do and improve this learning over time. Algorithms parse data and then make a prediction about future behaviors.
Why is AI marketing important?
The landscape is changing. Customers now expect companies to understand their wants, needs, and expectations at every turn. This is one reason why AI marketing is literally changing the way we do business and how we market to customers. Businesses depend on customers for necessary data and actionable analytical insights, to better serve the customers they have today, and the new ones they hope to convert tomorrow. AI marketing facilitates that, and more and more businesses are jumping on board. In fact, companies are expected to spend $57 billion on AI platforms this year.
With that technology, they can access a huge amount of data analytics faster from places like email, social media, and the internet. This allows them to learn so much more about (and from) their customers. Simply put, businesses that use AI marketing as a tool, increase their chances to stay ahead of their competitors.
How small businesses benefit from AI marketing
Not only does AI marketing help you acquire the valuable insight and data needed to give your customers an experience that will keep them coming back for more, it can also be a tool that streamlines and perfects the way your small business runs.
As humans, we’re prone to error. It’s what we do. And our mistakes are one of the more significant ways we have learned and adapted across thousands of years. But, in many ways, AI can help us make fewer errors as we navigate the marketplace. AI can help reduce common problems a business experiences by learning, adapting, and reacting. One such area businesses can benefit from AI this way is data security. Data you’ve collected about your customers can be incredibly valuable in your marketing efforts, but it’s also susceptible to cyberattack. When your business is protected against cyber and data security threats, there’s more time to focus on improving and curating the services you offer your customers.
Smarter and faster decisions
AI marketing tools work faster than humans will ever be capable of working. So, it stands to reason that as technology works faster and faster, small business owners and marketers become more nimble and more responsive. AI marketing can deliver the tactical data a business needs, to make smarter, faster decisions. They’ll know what to do next based on real-time data and metrics and keep their business operating with a competitive edge.
As stated earlier, AI marketing allows marketers and business owners to better understand their customers. AI creates a predictive customer analysis, which gives a crystal-clear snapshot of their behaviors and motivations. With this knowledge, businesses can avoid wasting budgets on efforts that miss the mark and now rely on a more targeted and individually tailored experience, thus giving customers exactly what they want, and effectively increasing ROI.
Where AI marketing is headed
The advancements of AI are in no way slowing down. In fact, they seem to be gaining momentum every day. They infiltrate our daily lives, and the lives of most everyone around us.
When it comes to AI marketing, the possibilities are endless. With this technology, you can sort through data and offer your customers a more insightful, enriching, and experiential connection to your brands, products, and services. There’s no better time for businesses to start leveraging AI marketing to help bolster their marketing departments and create one-of-a-kind, personalized experiences for their customers.
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