According to Gartner, we can expect to see 30% of companies worldwide integrate AI into one of their sales processes. Meanwhile, Forrester has predicted that businesses committed to a data-driven culture will earn roughly $1.2 trillion more than competitors who ignore it. The pressure to integrate AI into marketing is impossible to ignore, but many still feel hesitant about committing to an AI-powered solution. If you’re interested in putting AI to work for your content, we’ve got tips that will help you know how it works, what to look for, and how to get started so you can commit with confidence.
Tip #1: It’s all about the data.
AI (or artificial intelligence) is not a replacement for human marketers, rather it’s a tool they can use to harness the power of machines to do what they already do—but faster, with greater accuracy, and with a broader reach. In the case of marketing, an AI-powered solution can utilize customer data to make predictive choices designed to anticipate a customer’s choices and thereby improve their buyer journey. Thus, when it comes to AI marketing tools, better data yields more useful insights.
To put it simply, whatever AI you’re putting to work for your content should handle three main data-related functions:
- Gather data from a wide range of sources, which includes identifying and categorizing data sets to help unify certain types of customers. In addition, it’s important that any data collected is organized clearly so that it’s easy to manage from a centralized location.
- Analyze the information collected based on optimal decisions, rather than a simple “rules-based decisioning” model. In other words, the analysis should be able to scale for large volumes of data and also incorporate combinations of interactions that may be variable over time.
- Translate to action steps that will guide your content strategy, creation, and management process. The data-to-action component can be tricky… so it’s vital to find an AI marketing tool that makes good recommendations.
Tip #2: You’ll need actionable insights.
As we mentioned above, the data-to-action step is incredibly important. This process can also be found in your standard laptop computer; however, what sets AI apart is its ability to transform through learning. Data informs action while also helping the system continually improve.
When exploring different AI solutions you can put to use for your content, be on the lookout for insights that translate into clear action steps for your marketing content strategy. A good tool should help you accomplish the following:
- Customer segmentation and personalization, which allows you to segment your customers into different groups based on profitability and design content tailored to detailed buyer personas.
- Competitive positioning enables you to see how you stack up against your competitors from your customers’ point of view—so you can effectively set your brand apart.
- The ability to craft messaging and communication plans across the entire buyer journey wherein you can highlight competitive advantages and influence customer decision-making.
- Knowing which products and services to feature for specific customers – in a way that aligns with your organization’s business objectives.
Tip #3: Stay up-to-date on the latest developments.
AI technology is developing rapidly--with new tools entering the marketplace monthly. Staying current on emerging trends, top-rated companies, and high-performing tools helps you ultimately make a more informed choice when it comes time to pick a solution for your business. Consider integrating the following into your information gathering:
- Conferences can be a great way to learn more about the hottest trends, view demos, and meet the teams behind the tools. Learn more about some of the most popular venues now so you can target your favorites for next year. Examples include Content Marketing World, MarTech West, and ContentTech Summit.
- Publications provide insights into how AI-powered marketing works, how marketers are using it, and what to expect on the horizon. Check out Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and MarTech Today.
- Top performers in the martech industry can often be found by following which companies are growing steadily and which tools are considered the “best in the business.” Marketing AI Institute regularly reviews marketing options in the AI sphere, and Inc. 5000 is a great place to look for companies with outstanding growth.
Tip #4: Find the right partner—and kick the metaphorical tires.
While it’s helpful to select an AI-powered marketing tool based on knowing what to look for and how it should perform, the bottom line is that whatever AI solution you choose has to work well for you. It’s important to find a company you trust, as well as a tool that feels intuitive to use. Sometimes you can only figure that out by actually using it.
We offer a 14-day free trial because we believe it’s important to spend time in the system before you commit to a purchase, but you can also explore companies using a limited-time subscription, getting a personalized walk-through of the product, or committing to a monthly plan you can change at any time. The sooner you start to experiment with options, the sooner you can “hire” AI to help carry the workload and drive better results.