Artificial intelligence is all over the news these days, yet it can still be challenging to figure out how to make it work for your marketing team. This post outlines some practical tips for using the Oracle Marketing Cloud and AppCloud offerings like Motiva AI to bring new adaptive intelligence capabilities into the way you design, execute, and improve your marketing programs.
When you get beyond the term “artificial intelligence”, you’re really just talking about software that learns to do things. There are lots of AI subtopics, but suffice it to say the entire domain is exploding with activity and new ways to apply machine intelligence to solve important challenges. This will affect us — our work, our communities, and our societies — in profound and often unexpected ways.
However, it’s important to adjust expectations about what AI can and can’t do well when it comes to marketing. One of the more misleading ideas out there is that “predictive” AI will somehow magically run your marketing for you. It won’t. That’s a good thing.
And yet there are lots of opportunities where you can get started with AI today that will have a measurable impact on your marketing. Here are five tips on how to go about it:
1. Start Simple
Don’t try to take too much on with AI out of the gate. Start small, and then build on your success. Start with simple proof-of-concept use cases that you can measure easily. A good candidate here is message testing — but going beyond simple A/B type testing. You can use a tool like Motiva AI to test and automatically find winning messages that lead directly to campaign response improvement.
2. Match the Right Task with the Right Tool
There are some tasks that machines just do better than people. When you’re selecting machine learning applications to include in your marketing tech strategy, develop a list of areas where machines could make a difference. Here are some great candidates that you can take advantage of with the Oracle Marketing Cloud ecosystem right now:
- Audience segmentation and definition
- Message testing and optimization
- Content improvement
- Send time optimization
- Data cleaning
- Advanced analytics
A large national healthcare company recently decided to focus on message testing and optimization, and used the Motiva AI Cloud for Eloqua on a patient-facing audience and saw a 200% difference in click-through rate by simply trying lots of message variations in the population. Motiva adapted to the audience preferences it observed, which allowed the campaign to adapt naturally. A simple place to start, with big impact.
3. Look for “10x” Opportunities
Many of these areas above are also huge time sinks for most teams, where humans have to sift through often large data sets and determine the best course of action. Ask yourself: where could we make the biggest impact in terms of customer response or savings? More often than not, machines can at least help the human marketers improve decision-making; in some cases, you can just outsource the entire workflow to intelligent helpers.
4. Measure and Improve
It’s vital to think about what your definition of success is for a given use of machine learning and how you’ll measure progress towards your goals.
- Will it be in terms of time saved for your marketers? Then track their time — develop a baseline for the workflow you’re interested in and the difference over time.
- Will it be in terms of campaign performance? Again, make sure you’re collecting the data and reporting for the story you want to tell.
- Will it be in terms of effects downstream in the sales process? Ensure you can track your treatment effects all the way through your pipeline.
It’s not difficult, but you do have to do it. It’s just good modern marketing practice.
5. Remember It’s about Your Audience, Not Just the Tech
This may sound a little surprising coming from a technologist, but it’s true. Your number one concern should be how to develop that communication channel with your end audiences. Technology can be super useful here, but not all technology and not all the time. In terms of AI-driven tools, ask yourself:
- Does this help me learn more about my customers and their needs?
- Does it help me serve my customers better?
- Does it strengthen the customer experience?
Make a connection between the tools you’re using and how they ultimately lead to positive customer impact.
The Adaptive Future
These tips are a place to begin to think about how to bring adaptive intelligence into your marketing. We are just seeing the start of a marketing revolution in which human intelligence and machine intelligence combine with groundbreaking results. You'll definitely need to find the best-in-class products and applications that will keep you ahead of the game and delivering the best possible experience for customers.
Make sure that you have covered your marketing automation fundamentals before implementing these best-in-class products and applications. Download the Marketing Automation Fundamentals: Account-Based Marketing to get started!
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