What CMOs Need to Know About AI

By: Titir Pal,  Vice President of Products & Solutions, Absolutdata Analytics

AI has been around for a while and it remains unexplored for many CMOs till date. Given the speed at which the technology is evolving, we can expect a rapid growth of AI-based tools and their wide-scale adoption across tasks, functions and industries in the future. Even now there are many AI-based marketing tools at a CMO’s disposal, however, we don’t see many of them embracing these tools upfront. A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) states that only about 20% of companies have implemented AI technology in a meaningful way.

Why should CMOs care in the first place?

When you think of AI in marketing, it may mean triggering a hyper-personalized unique message through an appropriate channel to millions of customers or customizing user questions. AI is a system which gets smarter on its own. With big budgets and human resources involved, you need to optimize the returns at the earliest; AI capabilities can help you in achieving the same. The urgency to be the best, and most scalable can make CMOs rethink and redesign their MarTech Stack, internal capabilities and external relationships.

To make sure that you are fully prepared for what’s ahead, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

What you need to know about AI?

AI reduce marketing wastes

There’s a lot of hustle and play in marketing all the time, from websites, blogs, videos to text messages, social media and ads. Often, marketing campaigns can eat up a lot of money, give minimal results and create a lot of ‘waste’. Digital marketing technologies combined with the power of AI can help you minimize and manage all that waste- in short, make your campaigns even more effective while simultaneously delivering great results.

AI will be omnipresent

Many marketing technology vendors are recreating their platforms in a way that they become AI-friendly and are able to process trillions of data points. All of this is aimed at improving how brands engage and respond to customers. Marketing is obviously benefitting from AI, but it is not the only area. AI works well for consumer brands, business products and services, industrial systems and functional applications as well. AI will become a part of everything even before you realize and it is imperative to match pace with its evolution in order to remain relevant in the market today.   

AI will be initially be thought of as ‘buttons’

At the start, AI will be thought of as simple push buttons that automate almost all tasks done by marketers. Over a period of time, marketers will start to understand and exploit the utilities of AI beyond just a push button and automation. It will gradually be turned into an intelligent task and function assistant that can carry out actions, give insights and results when deployed properly. Marketers will analyze volumes of data, extract answers, develop models to streamline processes, understand cognitive behavior and sentiments, deep dive into causes, change business structures and revolutionize business with innovation, all through AI.

AI to impact the marketing skills mix

With so much to do with AI in marketing, it’s clear that skills inside the marketing function are going to change. You may need to have a cognitive team consisting of data scientists, data driven marketers, analysts and technology specialists… the list goes on. Marketing teams and CMOs are required to have a deeper understanding and internalization of AI before putting it to effective use. There will be external specialists, third party consultants or vendors who will know more about AI than you. But it costs and hurts too! So it will be better to be internally ready and aware to get the best results.

The many AI tools at your disposal

Think of anything and you will have AI at your disposal, for all your needs. No matter how discrete, abstract and difficult a function may appear to be, AI will be happy to serve you. You can analyze sentiments in real time, recommend personalized products to your customers, monetize live events to enhance engagement and experiences, optimize your funnel and digital marketing strategies, develop cognitive and targeted content for appealing to different audiences, even optimize your media channel mix at granular levels. Whatever you can imagine, AI will go beyond your expectations to help you deliver optimum results.

For a prepared future with AI in marketing

The scope of AI in marketing is vast and a lot is yet to be done. And you need to get in the game as early as possible before it gets too late. But you don’t need to worry, we’ve got your back. We can help you stay prepared for the future by giving you a small glimpse into how things are going to shape up:

  1. Clean your data and make your processes and infrastructure AI ready
  2. Train and upskill your people
  3. Make your content discoverable by visual and voice-based searches
  4. Enhance the performance of the content with AI
  5. Explore the areas for potential IoT and AI use cases

 

AI may not be the solution to all your problems. CMOs should focus on their goals and AI’s actual utility for them while not getting swayed by the ‘cool’ factor of technology. The need is to create an AI-based roadmap for the future. AI in marketing is one area where it may make sense to calculate and have a plan in place, rather than blindly follow the crowd. Many are still trying to discover the AI space now. You need to choose whether to be the first in line for integrating smart AI applications into marketing workflows or sit back and see the magic that others manage to make.

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