Just last week, I had the pleasure of attending MAICON (the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference), and the event did not disappoint.
The inaugural conference was designed to help marketing leaders understand AI, educate their teams, and develop a strategy for successfully scaling AI for their organizations. It brought together top authors, entrepreneurs, AI researchers and data scientists to share case studies, strategies and technologies that make AI approachable and actionable for marketers. And, of course, there were several sessions dedicated to how Artificial Intelligence can not only help businesses but also serve as a competitive advantage for early adopters.
The biggest message from this conference? AI is going to be everywhere and it’s going to happen sooner than you think. Here are three key takeaways to help you get started with implementing your own AI-powered solutions.
First, get familiar with the new lingo.
AI = Artificial Intelligence
ML = Machine Learning
NLG = Natural Language Generation
VR = Virtual Reality
AR = Augmented Reality
1. AI is fueled by data. Is your data AI-ready?
Think about all the information you’ve collected throughout the years from customers and leads alike. Is this data clean, consistent, and categorized for usage? If not, it’s a good idea to start setting data collection standards and diving into your current data to give it a good scrub. Remember: data trash in, AI trash out.
2. Start small. Start somewhere.
When most people think about using AI, they think of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or business-use robots like Pepper. While these devices are part of the AI revolution, there are vendors out there that can help you start using AI practically in order to improve a current business process. You don’t have to create your own robot just yet.
- Albert AI – Is managing paid ad campaigns taking up too much time? Albert AI autonomously optimizes paid ad campaigns. This includes targeting, media buying, testing, and analytics. Natori, a luxury women’s clothing company, attributed much of their success to their AI.
- Vennli – Concerned your content isn’t hitting the mark? Vennli harnesses the power of customer data to provide content recommendations through insights. They have a 14-day free trial.
- HubSpot – Are you a HubSpot user? You bet HubSpot is incorporating AI and ML into their robust platform. You can already see it in their Content Strategy / SEO tool. It provides useful topic suggestions, and detailed metrics like competitiveness and relevancy that help you home your SEO strategy in on the right content areas. It’s also incorporated into their Predictive Lead Scoring tool. Make sure you’re taking advantage of these included features.
- PathFactory – B2B companies rejoice! PathFactory is dedicated to using AI to remove friction from the B2B buyer’s journey. Just like us, they’re all about buyer enablement. Much like Netflix and Amazon, their tool uses data to automatically curate micro-personalized journeys that are unique to each buyer.
- Automated Insights – Tired of writing the same press releases or quarterly earnings reports over and over? WordSmith, the Automated Insights natural language generation platform, does it for you. Companies like Yahoo and AP are already on board—using it for creating millions of automated fantasy football draft reports and hundreds of quarterly earnings stories. Imagine how much time and money they’ve saved!
3. Try it! And hang in there.
AI for marketing is still in its infancy. To set the stage of what’s to come, Mitch Joel kicked off the conference with a couple powerful provocations.
“The average smart speaker user actually uses two devices.”
“40% of searches today occur without a screen.”
“Customers who use voice assistant to make purchases spend more!”
There’s proof that this is going to be BIG. Don’t quit when it doesn’t work instantly. Like any technology, it requires frequent optimization and updates to continuously improve its performance. Panel participants mentioned working with it for months before seeing exponential results. Be patient. AI is here to stay. Adopt it now and grow with it—or else.
Lastly, don’t worry about AI taking your job just yet. Benjamin, an AI, was asked to write, act, and direct a film last year. This was the result:
If you have any questions, please reach out for more information! And if you're interested in Marketing and Artificial Intelligence, check out the blogs we've curated here.