8 Marketing Experts Reveal How AI Is Going to Turn the Industry Upside Down
Artificial intelligence is about to rock your world.
At least, it will if you’re in marketing and sales.
In fact, McKinsey Global Institute estimates that AI and other analytics will have a $6 trillion impact on marketing and sales alone.
So how will AI actually impact marketers?
We asked eight marketing experts what you should expect and anticipate from AI in the years to come.
Their answers could just transform your career...
“There is a huge opportunity for AI to influence how brands connect to individual consumers at scale.”
It is not—nor never will be—humanly possible for retailers to intimately understand the preferences and future needs of each and every one of their customers and visitors. Yet, this is what consumers have come to expect. If a consumer engages with a brand even once—and then that brand targets them with an irrelevant message or product the next time they come into contact—the consumer questions their importance to the brand.
AI can make business decisions that marketers can’t for lack of visibility into massive data sets.
- Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore
“We as consumers will be exposed to exactly the information we want, exactly when we want it.”
Even if it’s a latent desire that we wouldn’t have been able to articulate until we saw it, AI will be like a perfect butler working in the background who anticipates our desires.
This includes product information that is so well-targeted that we actually want to receive it, and exactly fits our buyer persona and the stage of the buyer journey we are in. In fact, it’s so good that it will know our preferences and be able to order the product for us automatically, at exactly the price we are willing to pay, with a money-back guarantee if we, the humans, have a different opinion.
- Tom Salvat, CEO of CONCURED
“Marketing is about getting the right products and services in front of the right prospects at the right time, so there are endless opportunities to apply AI in new and creative ways.”
We have already done a great job of utilizing machine learning to uncover and categorize insights from semi-structured web content. As a next step, I believe we will get better at targeting the most important insights to the most appropriate knowledge workers within our customers’ organizations.
- John Osborne, Co-Founder and CTO of Crayon
“AI’s immediate potential is to optimize cumbersome processes or eliminate inefficiencies in a given process.”
There are lots of great AI-powered products out there addressing problems in areas like customer service and sales, but there are many more problems AI can tackle.
Take A/B testing as an example. In today’s world, marketers have a wide variety of options to choose from to help them create, manage, and run A/B testing campaigns that help them better understand how they can improve their customer experience and achieve better business outcomes. The pain marketers are feeling is that A/B testing is a largely mechanical process that is slow and requires a lot of resources to manage effectively. In fact, one of the leaders in the A/B testing space recently suggested to its customers that they need to run more tests to be successful. And to do that, they suggested that their customers add more money to their budgets to acquire traffic and hire more people. Not exactly what you want to hear when you are trying to run your organization or business.
With AI, you can completely optimize the process of experimentation to increase conversions, empowering marketers to do more with the resources they currently have. AI becomes a partner on the team, augmenting the marketer’s abilities and creating new value for the organization. In the world of sales, you can see the same things happening in regards to optimizing how and when to engage prospects, predicting which of your current customers need attention or help in identifying exactly who might be the best fit for your product and service. These are completely accretive capabilities to a team, driving increased performance and outcomes.
- Jeremy Miller, Director of Marketing at Sentient Technologies
More and more data means it’s becoming harder and harder for humans to scan, analyze, and discover insights in meaningful ways. We need machines to help. Today that may mean using AI to help us craft more individualized and personalized user experiences. It may mean helping us uncover the buying stage of our prospects based on their behavior or help us identify churn risks within our customer base.
But tomorrow I see us leveraging AI to make buying decisions. Perhaps we’ll leverage AI to make software purchase decisions for our teams. Perhaps to help us hire for our teams. Which makes me think, perhaps we’ll use AI to craft product or service messaging, at which point AI will sit on both sides of the marketing and buying process.
- Yoav Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Uberflip
“AI practices will become a normal part of campaign development, execution, and measurement.”
We currently see a few AI practices in steady rotation in the marketing and sales realm—chatbots being one of the most common and consumer-facing examples.
Currently, sales and marketing are already integrating AI practices through deep data set analyzations. We’ve seen increased sophistication with this layer to make sense of big data, help build profiles, and conduct targeting. We expect to see the reliance on emerging AI technologies increase as sales and marketing organizations seek to differentiate their offerings beyond a pure data play, such as with some of the behavioral targeting ad companies.
We are biased toward the potential of computer vision. We’ve been building out our technology solution for 10 years and discovering new ways to apply and monetize the tech in new areas. We expect this trend to continue, especially within sales and marketing disciplines as the world continues to create billions of pieces of content and communications that only using computer vision can make sense of.
- Ben Plomion, CMO at GumGum
“With advances in technology and increasing investments in the domain, we are going to see AI technology advance quickly for marketers.”
Benefits are going to include automation which will enable marketers to get more done in less time. Additionally, AI will be required to simply keep up with the ever exploding volumes of data that marketers are responsible for to do their jobs whether it’s in research, marketing automation, media buying, and all forms of audience engagement.
- Scott Litman, Managing Partner & Rahul Singhal, Chief Product Officer, at Equals 3
“Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change the way we do business today, making the sales process easier for the sales professional and less painful for the buyer.”
Take the cold call, for example: in the past, sales reps used to grab a phone book or a Rolodex, or even a marketing-supplied list, and dial random numbers hoping to close a deal on the phone. It’s incredibly annoying if you are the person being called.
With artificial intelligence, sellers get real-time insights into which customers are interested in your brand right now, which products they need, and when and how they prefer to be contacted. We match the buyer to the right seller and the ideal offer, at precisely the right time.
For the future, we look forward to seeing personalization at scale for sales messages through custom templates based on target audiences and greater automation of admin tasks, as well as additional intelligence for sellers about their ideal buyers.
- Gabe Larsen, VP of InsideSales.com Labs
About Mike Kaput
Mike Kaput is the Director of Marketing AI Institute and a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He writes and speaks about how marketers can understand, adopt, and pilot artificial intelligence to increase revenue and reduce costs. Full bio.