Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Marketing personalization is moving forward fast, and I want to share my knowledge in the field.
AI algorithms do the dirty job. Marketers orchestrate the strategy and taste the juicy fruit of tailor-made communication without manual effort.
It is more than six years now from the exact time I have decided to start my career in an AI-based marketing technology provider startup.
When we started in 2013, thinking about that, when we set up the company in 2014, everything about Artificial Intelligence was so early that people stared at me without understanding.
Today, every single new startup adds the buzzword “artificial intelligence” in what they are doing. The effect is that nobody still knows what it means, but it sounds cool, for a few, spoiled for the most.
With this article, I want to share my own experience and try to make crystal clear some of the main advantages the Artificial Intelligence in Marketing may give.
I’ll cover the importance of AI in personalization and how personalization enables success for your marketing activity.
Follow me in my AI in Digital Marketing for Personalization journey.
AI for Digital Marketing and Data-Driven Marketing
The most economic transactions today are online. People surf from services to products, trusting online searches and comparisons in their everyday life.
They leave behind an unreasonable number of data that, if well used, are pure gold for companies and vendors.
How much data is generated each day?
According to Jeff Desjardins from the Visual Capitalist, the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020, “40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.”
It needs to say: data exploration to identify new economic opportunities is not a new deal.
Nevertheless, the availability of data is entirely different from collecting, storing, analyzing, and making them useful.
If you are doing a good job, you, as a company or as a marketing professional, are collecting tons of data: from visitors, prospects, and customers.
By the way, the rise of Artificial Intelligence enables new marketing activities, opening to options unbelievable before.
Thanks to all that data, the old way of thinking personalization and customer relation is outdated.
Today, modern marketers access behavioral real-time data and recommendations to enhance their strategy.
Let’s assume that you are collecting data properly and fully compliant with all privacy laws: do you know how to use it, or are you just another collector?
Along with my career, and even today, many C-Levels start meetings with a statement like this: “I have a lot of data in my CRM, what can you do for me?” or “I have thousands of followers in my social pages, look at the insights. What can you do for me?
The real question they are doing, since they know that my specialty is AI for digital marketing, is: “What artificial intelligence can do to improve my marketing strategy with all that data?”.
AI in Digital Marketing: How much data I need?
Artificial Intelligence starts operating when it gets data.
However, not all data are made equal, and you may be collecting the wrong type.
Privacy laws push companies to fairly collect data reasoning with the scope.
For example, you can’t force your prospect to share the telephone number with you if it is not necessary to provide the service.
You can’t collect data “for later.” Many marketing teams collect data, but they don’t know WHY!
You need a plan.
Having a plan will keep you far from having, very soon, data useless or, even worse, bad obtained.
You need to get the kind of data that are:
- Useful to let you provide new value for your visitors, prospects, and/or customers.
So, do you need data? – Yes.
Do you need all the possible data? – No, you don’t.
I can help you in doing better marketing using Artificial Intelligence for personalization if you have a lot of data? – Of course, yes.
Can I do an excellent job without any kind of data? – Absolutely not.
The importance of the right data
You can lose a lot of time in data that are not useful for the scope. That’s why you need a plan.
You need to know, in advance, your target, who you want to reach, and your KPIs. Different data are for different scopes, and different algorithms can do different things.
Useful data comes from excellent training. Proper training comes from extensive usage of the system that ensures new fresh data to study.
Think about Google Translator.
Initially, it used to work really severely, providing poor translations. However, it is Google stuff, so people have continued to use it, and in this way to train it.
User by user, the translation algorithms have improved, learning and providing better results.
The more the value (the excellent translation), the more people have increased the trust and the usage, producing new data, new training, and even better results.
This is what Andrew Ng, calls “Virtuous circle of AI.”
You want to be sure you are bringing value to your customers. Personalization is the value. It is the exchanging payment for all the shared and collected data.
AI in Marketing Personalization
According to Salesforce, 84% of customers want to be treated like a person, not a number.
79% of customers are willing to share data in exchange for contextualized engagement, and 88% will do so for personalized offers.
Are you surprised?
Imagine yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Do you prefer receiving all the same equal messages than anybody else, or are you more engaged and emotionally involved if you feel special?
This is my reply:
Same as any other customer, I crave for personalization.
Unlike I know all the “behind the scene” that personalization involves, I’ve left Starbucks my email,.
As a result, I’ve been recognized from one shop to the other while walking for San Francisco.
Also, I’ve received special offers “because you’re special.” ❤️
These are not empty words. They know what kind of coffee is my favorite and where I go.
I agree to share my data for value.
Data sources are crossed with thousands of others. The operation is not manual but AI-served.
Artificial Intelligence for Marketing personalization helps collect and manage data to serve you quickly and easily with those strategies you need for your marketing.
The downside? You have to trust in Artificial Intelligence.
What is Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Personalization
Whenever we go around on a website, people leave behind a digital footprint. As for me at Starbucks.
There is a lot of information there.
Whenever they fill a form, look at a website, buy something online, or merely play a quiz game on a social network, they are giving away a piece of how they live and who they are.
Artificial Intelligence algorithms, dedicated to analyzing and trained to look for patterns, can spot similar attitudes and behaviors.
As marketing experts, then we can connect the dots and set up our customer journey, funnel, and marketing activities with the right data in our hands.
We are experimenting with AI in marketing in many ways.
According to Salesforce research:
An example that I love to explain how you can get the most from AI in Marketing Personalization is that from Netflix.
Application of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Personalization
AI can transform how we engage the audience because come companies that understand what kind of needs we have from our searches are also able to provide our best content for us
The Netflix Personalization Example
Netflix delivers a personalized experience for any single user logged in.
The algorithms behind Netflix is basically a recommendation system.
In short, it recommends the content that matches you.
Also, it decides (or better once again “recommends” to itself) what it will show to the user A and what it will be deserved for the user B and C.
As a result, there are thousands of different versions of Netflix, thousands of variations: photo, elements positioning, panels, descriptions, the order of the title lists, and so on and so forth.
Every single element occurs and contributes to a unique personalized view.
Every single action performed by the users contributes to the next change in this customized representation.
It’s fascinating isn’t it?
I think about it as a magic maze that changes whenever you go through a path.
This is how many many websites and many services were where we are today, as I’ve said for Netflix.
Additionally, Amazon and Spotify, for example, works in the same way.
AI for Content Marketing Personalization
First, Artificial Intelligence can also suggest the most appropriate content.
Optimizing web content is an excellent opportunity to connect with audiences. As I told you about Netflix, Artificial Intelligence recommendation systems can show visitors different materials according to different behaviors.
Second, Artificial Intelligence-based marketing systems can, in real-time, detect when content is relevant, and when the users are more likely to convert.
In real-time, the system shows the right product, photo, text, or content.
The customer receives the right experience and is engaged. Step by step, become loyal.
Artificial Intelligence for Audience Segmentation
First, AI algorithms segment contacts and make categories that you can use to break down data and address different content for different segments.
We have seen something similar to talking about AI for Marketing Automation and CRM segmentation.
You can cross demographics with behavioral data, and even don’t have the whole picture ready to use. Why? Because people’s behavior changes!
People are not always the same. Their needs change with seasons, trends, movies, and personal experience.
Using Ghostwriter Analytics Insights, you have the big picture of your social network data.
The people that are engaged, how they look in terms of age, country, language, and what they love, in terms of interests they have. AI can help you produce compelling content for them.
However, people are humans.
So, in the big picture, they will move towards similar behaviors the AI algorithms can recognize and even predict.
Second, people’s behavior can be scored. You can assign a score to what they may like or not, thanks to predictive analysis.
AI for Advertising
As discussed for AI in Content Marketing Personalization, artificial Intelligence is making the difference for advertising.
Besides, advertising costs are increasing day by day, and budgets are decreasing due to the crisis, artificial Intelligence produces efficiency in how you spend your money, avoiding ineffective ad expenses.
Entrepreneur Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon, released in 2018 an interview to the AI Marketing Institute.
She was spending $45,000 per month on ad agencies alone to run digital advertising for the brand.
Starting using AI, RedBalloon got from 500% up to 3,300% of return on investment along the time.
Along with efficiency, artificial intelligence personalization for advertising brings a more immediate return on investment: with better data-driven decisions, you put your budget on the best ads.
How AI helps you optimize spending and targeting?
My clients come to me, asking for miracles.
I don’t provide miracles, nor does artificial Intelligence.
Indeed, RedBalloon started with preliminary plans, improved, and won. It’s not magic, you still have to do the work.
Moreover, you access data as never before.
For example, Ghostwriter AI Analytics Insights helps you target small custom-audiences to focus your work and budget effort on valuable people.
In addition to that, using Ghostwriter AI Profiler, you run predictive comparisons among your tests + creativity.
You get scores and decide which ad will be published. The decision is based on predictions and recommendations, as well as I told you for Netflix’s different views.
People may click, or may not. Whatever they will do, they are building a new piece of their story in the digital footprint.
In my experience, clients want and fear AI in Marketing at the same time.
AI is not magic. As a matter of fact, it is a technology that enables a set of tools to work better than before when AI was not available.
Client X: – It requires time?
My answer: – Yes, it is.
Clients X: – Will it work for sure?
My answer:- You can win if you try, or you will never know.
Finally, Client X: – There are smart ways to use it even if you are not a big brand name with tons of money to invest?
My answer: – Definitely, yes. Give Ghostwriter AI a try.