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3 June 2019 / Mike Fieldhouse

AI and Machine Learning; they’re already part of your marketing mix

It’s easy to think of AI and Machine Learning as something that’s on its way; the reality is that it is already here and that your firm may well be using it. In this quick blog, we highlight some of the key uses for AI in marketing – and particularly how it applies to professional services and B2B. And in this sister blog, we look at how you can introduce AI into your WordPress website.

1. Programmatic ad targeting

Let’s start with the obvious one – if you’re using any form of online advertising you are probably using AI. AI is used in programmatic advertising to determine elements such as the best time to serve an ad, the likelihood of an impression converting, or of a user engaging with an ad that appears in the middle of an article they are reading.

AI is also used to guide bidding which is linked into predictive analytics and the ability to model options that could previously only be determined by reviewing past performance.

2. Product & Content Recommendations

Whether you are using this type of AI depends on your website platform but with a system such as WordPress and many of the automation platforms such as Hubspot, AI is used to tailor content to your visitors needs. Once a visitor has read one article, say on VAT on biscuits (and who hasn’t), they’ll be presented with related articles based on the experience of how other viewers have used this section of your website.

In the B2B space, this technology is in its infancy but builds on what market leaders such as Netflix and Amazon have been developing over many years.

3. Copywriting

Not an obvious one, but this is an area of AI that is rapidly developing and that can be very helpful in improving the SEO ranking and the marketing performance of your text. Gmail users will recognise how the software ‘helps’ you create emails. But AI is increasingly being used to generate product descriptions on eCommerce website as well as subject lines in email marketing. Check out Phrasee to see this in action as well as their new systems that generate social advertising copy.

4. Chatbots

Ah! Yes chatbots. So much promise and not quite there yet – we have trialed them with a couple of clients. However, the pace of change means that the ability for virtual help or enquiries on websites where ‘bots’ will answer basic client queries are getting closer. A number of travel companies including Trainline are already effectively using chatbots for simple timetable enquiries.

5. Data filtering & analysis

And here’s the big one for B2B marketers. Data and micromarkets of very small numbers of prospects are now a part of all our everyday lives. Sorting, managing and extracting value from that data can deliver exceptional results but is also mind-numbingly tough. It is here that AI and Machine Learning can excel. A recent case study from DemandBase showed how account based marketing (ABM) powered by AI refined data to the extent that could remove prospects that would ultimately lose the company money. It also enabled ABM tools to identify what was described as ‘timely intent’ – the point where a prospect is ideal to be approached before they commit to a competitor.

This type of analysis – based on modelling future activity using existing client actions – can play a part in analysing client journeys, client segmentation, targeting as well as sales forecasting.

Our everyday experience of technology increasingly involves AI. There’s Speech Recognition (Alexa, what is AI), Visual Search (try the ASOS Style Match) and, of course, online product pricing (the offer that appears the day after you visited a website); the list goes on and on. The challenge for B2B and professional services marketers is to take inspiration from what’s possible and start to explore how AI and Machine learning can work for your firm.

Interested in knowing more, then please contact me, Mike Fieldhouse, or call 01225 580016.

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