Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction movies; its everyday impact is growing exponentially. Companies like Starbucks are embracing AI, harnessing the power of cloud-based virtual assistant technology (like Amazon's Alexa) to streamline customer ordering. According to John Swanciger in Entrepreneur, "As customers become accustomed to AI-powered solutions like Starbucks' Alexa offering, they'll expect the same from their local businesses." That means it's more important than ever to start considering how artificial intelligence can positively impact your business model.
Incorporating AI into your marketing strategy is a smart early move. That's because artificial intelligence is already making big changes to the way businesses approach lead generation, which can be a costly series of trial, error, and exploration for any enterprise. As Toby Nwazor noted, also for Entrepreneur, "By incorporating tag words, a rudimentary search for leads can automatically be implemented . . . as the user makes relevant selections from the results, a lead-generation system incorporating AI can learn, make adjustments and produce continually better and more relevant results."
1. Processing data
Because artificial intelligence possesses a superhuman ability to process and analyze enormous amounts of data, it can save companies countless man (and woman) hours and dramatically cut costs. Better yet, AI is likely to generate stronger, more viable leads. Artificial intelligence reduces missed opportunities with customers; it can take "six to eight touches to generate a viable sales lead, and there are preferred times to contact leads as well as response times that all come into play."
Artificial intelligence streamlines the process of getting the right message to the right person at the right time. With the right AI technology, your marketing strategy can increase the efficiency with which you generate customer contact (making it faster and easier to get those six to eight touches), as well as increase your ability to respond when interest is generated by your AI.
Artificial intelligence and the increased humanization of chatbots makes it possible to have customer-service representatives available to have meaningful conversations with your clients and answer all their questions, and to make this service available at any time of the day or night.
In addition to its potential for lead-generation, artificial intelligence can help smart marketers customize the customer experience. AI facial-recognition technology has become more than 99 percent accurate in identifying faces; this is a technology which as many as 59 percent of U.K. fashion retailers are using to send real-time discount offers and welcome messages to individual shoppers.
Artificial intelligence can also help you curate and even create content for your business, using steadily improving technology to create original work written by computers that reads as if it were written by a human.
These are just a few examples of the ways in which artificial intelligence can transform your marketing campaigns. Speech recognition and translation AI can quite literally open your business to whole new worlds of opportunity, translating hundreds of hours of content, in a matter of minutes, into readable format for international clientele.
There are also promising new artificial intelligence systems that promise to create gorgeous web designs at a fraction of the time and cost of graphic designers of the human variety. The possibilities for targeting marketing and improved efficiency in your business's marketing department are virtually endless when it comes to incorporating AI.
Finally, another huge opportunity for AI-savvy marketers is the possibility of dynamic pricing. As digital content manager Robert Allen has wisely commented on LinkedIn: "Discounts are extremely powerful, but they can also hurt your bottom line . . . sales are so effective because they get people to buy your product that previously wouldn't have considered themselves able to justify the cost . . .
"But," Allen continued,"they also mean people that would have paid the higher price pay less than they would have. Dynamic pricing can avoid this problem by targeting [sic] special offers only at those likely to need them in order to convert."
What this means is that the sales you offer don't affect your bottom line as much as they would have had you applied the promotion to your entire customer base, as opposed to only those who need the incentive to purchase.
In sum, it's time to jump on board with the latest technologies in artificial intelligence for marketing, because -- for one thing -- AI is already being implemented by giants like Amazon, Starbucks and Whole Foods. And that fact is driving the technology to improve, to continuously meet the demands of customers, who increasingly seek personalized content and shopping experiences.
As virtual shopping assistants build relationships with shoppers, for instance, the technology will become more and more familiar with those customers' shopping habits and more capable of directing targeted marketing campaigns their way, on behalf of the entrepreneurs behind those campaigns.
So, what are you waiting for? What artificial intelligence capability are you most excited about implementing in your business?