Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming the top buzzword of 2019—and with good reason. It’s making a significant impact upon multiple industries, and marketing is no exception. AI-powered tools are designed to help marketers and brands improve their messaging and increase content performance across the entire buyer journey. So how do you find the right AI marketing tool for your brand, and what provides the best competitive advantage? Here, we take a look at what to keep in mind when researching your options.
Which problem(s) do you need to solve?
A tool only works well if it addresses the right pain points. Most AI is designed to help with one (or more) of the following areas:
- Content strategy recommendations are included in all of the top AI marketing tools. What sets tools apart, however, is how well they analyze all the data available to provide accurate insights. A truly effective tool will be able to link data from a variety of sources (e.g., business objectives, personas, and customer data) to provide recommendations that are targeted to reach the right customers at the right time, using a message that has been optimized for them. Because so much of marketing has become data-driven, content effectiveness hinges on the accuracy of analysis and the quality of recommendations a tool can offer.
- Content promotion and search engine optimization (SEO) includes cross-channel or cross-device optimization. A good AI marketing tool should be able to assist with things like content research, topic suggestions, brand compliance, SEO, and user alignment. A truly great AI tool will combine all of this so you receive a customized content plan—one that integrates your business objectives, customer personas, and data so that you can position yourself competitively.
- Content personalization is based upon analysis of customer habits and content consumption, with an AI-powered prediction as to what customers are most likely to interact with (or respond to) in the future. Just about any AI tool you examine will include this feature; however, a truly outstanding tool will be able to learn dynamically and adjust as customers’ behavior shifts. In addition, the strongest tools also provide segmentation, which allows you to identify which customers are among your most profitable, so that you can increase your efforts for the audience most likely to respond.
Can you utilize it quickly (and easily)?
Let’s face it: Martech tools are not always easy to use. Data collection and analysis (not to mention the algorithms and coding behind predictive software) is not what most marketers live for … which is why it’s essential to choose an AI marketing tool that is intuitive to use.
It’s one thing to have someone walk you through a demo with test cases and numbers they’ve already prepared; it’s an entirely different thing to start inputting your own data and navigating a platform that has multiple interfaces. Look for a tool that is user-friendly, with an interface that is easy to use. Ideally, you want to be able to visualize the data in a way that leads to creative output. Find a tool that is easy to navigate, provides clear delineation between tasks, and integrates all of the information you need in a visual format designed for marketers.
Who designed it and who provides support?
Any AI marketing tool worth its salt has been designed, at least in part, by marketers. Ideally, there is someone involved in the creation process who is not just the numbers and data person, but who instead deeply understands both marketing as an industry and the B2B (and/or B2C) marketplace. Chances are, as you evaluate tools, you’ll be able to determine pretty quickly whether a marketer had a hand in development.
Which is not to say the developers aren’t important! They are, and in many cases, the capacity of the development team is ultimately what sets tools apart. But in your day-to-day use, what will impact you most is finding a tool that offers great customer service. Find out if the platform you’re considering offers in-person support, additional training opportunities, and/or online resources so you can feel secure you’ll get help when you need it.
Where do I start?
Obviously, the best way to determine which tool works for you is to try a few of them out so you can evaluate your options in real-time, with real data. Demos can be very helpful for learning the full capacity of a tool … but trials are even more useful when you want to accurately assess a tool’s usefulness.
At Vennli, we’re offering a 14-day full-feature free trial so marketers can see exactly how our content intelligence platform works to transform customer data into actionable insights. Learn more about our services and sign up to start your free trial on our website.