Many organizations are turning to marketing automation to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows. 53% of B2B organizations are using marketing automation technology today, and 37% surveyed say they are planning to implement it, according to an eConsultancy report. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) is also making waves in the industry. It’s reported that 70% of enterprises expect to implement AI in the next 12 months, according to Forrester.
While combining marketing automation with AI seems like a potential way to prepare your business for the future, you may have questions. What are some best practices to implement? What are the benefits of using marketing automation with AI? How will all this impact future business opportunities?
In this blog, I’ll examine some benefits of combining AI with your marketing automation, best practices of deploying the technologies together, and predicted trends to look out for.
Benefits of Combining AI with Your Marketing Automation
Currently, many organizations face the challenge of trying to manually manage all the various marketing efforts. This often takes a lot of resources to operate the marketing technologies stack. Marketing automation, when combined with AI, can cut down on risks created by an error-prone, manual approach and help speed up time.
More Relevance and Improved Marketing Performance
If the marketing message is not relevant to the audience, the customer will tune out. When there’s no relevance in the marketing message, the customer’s expectations are not met. However, combining AI and marketing automation can help you predict the right programs for the right people. You can input your goals and let the combined technologies guide you from broad audiences to a segment of one.
Better Customer Experiences, Increased Loyalty, and Greater Customer Value
When marketers use AI with marketing automation, they create a superpower. Marketers can enhance their campaigns and programs by drawing on everything they know about their consumers to tailor experiences with speed and precision. And this is possible on a massive scale.
Increase Ability to Drive Business Growth
Marketing is often deluged by the growing volume and velocity of data. AI can work with marketing automation to empower marketing’s ability to translate data into decisions, meaningful interactions, and positively impact business outcomes.
Tap into Real Data Insights Faster
As covered, it’s all about the data today. However, the real challenge is quickly and accurately turning this data into actionable insights. Adding AI to marketing automation can help you harness all your audience data to auto-optimize millions of experiences with precision. In short, you can turn all that data into strategic and tactical insights to drive more value.
Best Practices Deploying AI with Marketing Automation
Before you jump head-first into combining AI and marketing automation, consider these best practices:
Start Small and Test into It
It’s important to see what works for you. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hype in the industry, and many vendors are overpromising what the average company can achieve. Is the technology easy to deploy? How does it integrate with existing solutions at your organization? Is the vendor innovating or is the tech static?
Identify and Prioritize Areas
Decide where the technology can have the biggest impact. How will the AI have the most significant impact to optimize customer experiences? Will the AI technology help to orchestrate engagement?
Invest in People and Processes
AI is not about robots and machines taking over human jobs. It’s about humans teaching machines how to work smarter. Furthermore, AI needs a team as well as a plan and process in place for it to succeed. Invest as much as 5-10X more than you spend on technology.
Get Leadership Buy-in Earlier
This helps break down silos and keep everybody aware and invested in the efforts. Getting early buy-in and commitment from the C-suite can help to set expectations and goals. Many executives are excited about AI, but you want to make sure they understand how it will fit into the overall marketing efforts and technology roadmap.
Some Predicted Trends with AI and MA to Watch
Here are some predicted trends of how AI and marketing automation might work together in the future.
- There will be a rise of data lakes built on cloud platforms, i.e., Microsoft Azure or Google. It’s from these data lakes which intelligence will be gleaned, via AI, to inform marketing automation programs.
- Customer data platforms will be integrated with AI and used as the source of truth for marketing and customer data. As an example, AI and marketing automation can help reveal customer journey behavior insights to reach them at the most critical and impactful touch points.
- A blurring of the lines between lead generation and account-based marketing strategies will occur. This will cause many companies to move to hybrid strategies depending on the target market, business goals, channel performance, and level of sales engagement.
- AI-powered intelligent orchestration will help with many of the manual and rule-based aspects of marketing automation. This can increase efficiency and reduce errors often created by manual processes.
- More effort and technology will be applied to better marketing performance measurement including advanced attribution, experimentation, econometrics, and journey analytics.
We’re living in an exciting time where so many technologies are evolving and intersecting. While we can never truly predict where our marketing technology industry is heading, it’s safe to say that combining AI with marketing automation can help prepare your business for future opportunities.
What future do you see for artificial intelligence and marketing automation? I’d love to hear about what you think in the comments.