Riding the wave of AI: Is your marketing campaign as smart as it can be?


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As 2019 gets underway and your marketing plan unfolds, you’ve probably set some goals for the coming year:

We’re going to break down the data silos that keep us from understanding our customers.

We’re going to improve our messaging relevance.

We’re going to target customers more accurately on their preferred channels

Sound familiar? What if you could just find the time to make any one of these resolutions a reality?

Although the promise of one-to-one marketing has been around for many years, brands still send customers too many marketing messages that are irrelevant, generic or only slightly personalized. The problem is that marketers today have too much data and not enough creative time to respond to soaring customer expectations for a personalized buying experience.

Enter artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based marketing tools that are changing the nature of how marketers make decisions and deploy campaigns. For example, an AI-powered marketing assistant can help you quickly analyze campaign performance with simple verbal commands. An automated content management system can tag images, allowing you to easily create better content for your campaigns. An AI-powered software enables you to see what your customers are doing along every stage of their journey. The list goes on.

Machine-driven innovations save time and enable marketers to be creative strategists again, rather than spreadsheet jockeys. The result is that you can course-correct campaigns faster than ever, ending underperforming campaigns sooner and executing new ones that are more personalized and perform better.

Let’s take a closer look at how AI streamlines marketing processes across the customer journey and helps marketers work smarter.

Unified data across all channels

Marketers continue to be inundated with all types of data – from third-party demographics to real-time behavioral data. The challenge is making the data unified, actionable and effective when it often resides in department silos and is spread across too many systems and platforms. You spend so much time tracking it all down that you’re left with no time to make sense of it, let alone act on it.

Like many leading retailers, HSN (Home Shopping Network) relied on separate processes and systems to drive its marketing strategy for each channel. However, this approach made it complex and time-consuming to integrate data on customer interactions across different channels. It was difficult for the brand’s marketers to know which products would appeal to which customers or what kind of messages would inspire them to make purchases. To break out of its channel-by-channel mentality, HSN worked with Watson Marketing to develop an AI-driven marketing platform that would integrate data across all of its channels, including online, mobile, email and direct mail.

The goal was to use AI to create a ‘boundaryless’ experience for its customers. This new approach enabled the company to build a more complete and accurate picture of individual customer preferences based on all of their brand interactions. HSN marketing teams now craft omnichannel, multi-wave campaigns that reach customers on their favored touch points at the right times.

Improved personalization

Consumers expect personalized brand experiences, and 94 percent of companies agree that personalization is critical

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