Increasingly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is giving marketers a helping hand – reducing manual workloads, and enabling them to make rapid personalisation decisions, at scale, to improve their targeting.
It’s incredibly useful – but understandably, it’s caused some to wonder whether the benefits of artificial intelligence will one day come at a risk to their jobs.
At Salesforce, we don’t think they have much to worry about.
It’s true, AI is going to take over certain aspects of marketing. However, it’s about supplementing existing roles and processes to make them better – more intelligent and insightful. As Larry Kotch of Brainbroker put it: “These things don’t destroy jobs, they just change what jobs are needed.”
Take Salesforce Einstein, for example. Its AI-powered predictive analytics traces and records customers’ past behaviour, allowing marketers to personalise messaging – and then double down on what worked with lookalike customers.
The better AI gets, the better personalisation marketing can offer – so messages are more relevant and targeted, with less wastage. The result: higher return, lower spend.
Jim Sinai, VP of Product Marketing for Salesforce Einstein, told AI Business that artificial intelligence is now for everyone:
“We’ve done the heavy lifting to remove the complexity of AI and make it accessible to companies of all sizes and industries. Now, our users across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more can deliver smarter, more productive and predictive experiences to their customers with Einstein embedded directly into every cloud.”
But AI isn’t a silver bullet – and marketers need to balance the pros and cons for each possible use:
Advantages of AI in marketing
Limitations of AI in marketing
It’s understandable if marketers are still getting to grips with how best to use AI. The possibilities are literally endless – it’s a blank sheet of paper, and it seems like there are few examples to follow. But actually, inspiration is everywhere.
Narrative Science states 44% of executives believe AI’s most important benefit is decision making. By targeting audiences with microscopic granularity, organisations can give their customers exactly what they want.
You’ll have experienced it yourself, if you’ve bought anything from Amazon.
According to McKinsey, 35% of Amazon.com’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine – a vast figure for an organisation that enjoys continuous positive growth year-on-year. It shows the power of analysing data to predict what your customer wants, and offering it to them – and that’s one of the things AI does best.
Forrester has already predicted that businesses who use AI insights to drive marketing will gain $1.2 trillion every year from those who don’t. But it doesn’t matter how well your AI provides messaging insights or turbocharges your lead generation, if the baton’s dropped between marketing and sales.
Sales and marketing have long since been the two great warring families within business. And the result is fumbled leads, unused materials, and lost opportunities.
For years, organisations have tried and failed to converge the two departments into one super group. But what if there was a unified system bridging the two? Where all data is unified and everyone is working to the same holistic view of each prospect, and what they need?
This is where Salesforce’s Einstein AI comes in. Because Einstein can bring sales and marketing data together and make sense of it all, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to understand which leads are genuinely qualified, which prospects are hot, and what materials sales really need.
We can’t promise you instant harmony, but it’s a start.
Coca-Cola has one of the largest marketing budgets in the world. The team wanted to discover how Salesforce could help make their marketing a lot smarter, though the use of artificial intelligence.
Salesforce Einstein is helping Coca-Cola to refine its customer targeting through ‘end-point’ data collection – cookies, app usage and promotional website usage.
Richard Socher, our chief scientist, explains: “We can use artificial intelligence to group different users based on a whole host of different patterns. All of that complexity – identifying different patterns, going through millions of marketing hypotheses to find these clusters and target the audience – it’s all simplified thanks to Einstein AI.”
For Coca-Cola, that means understanding how customers react, and why – and how those patterns vary all over the world. Knowing what works, and what doesn’t, makes marketing smarter.
Marketers have little to fear from AI – research by Oxford University and Deloitte found that marketers were less likely to lose their job to automation than other workers – and there’s potentially much to gain.
According to Erik Devaney at Drift: “AI isn’t going to replace marketers and marketing teams, it’s going to make them more efficient.”
Stuart Russel, a computer scientist at the University of California, compares the way we’ll use AI to any other technological advance: “Everything that civilization offers is a product of our intelligence. AI provides a way to expand that intelligence along various dimensions, in much the same way that cranes allow us to carry hundreds of tons, airplanes allow us to move at hundreds of miles per hour, and telescopes allow us to see things trillions of miles away. AI systems can, if suitably designed, support much greater realization of human values.”
Ultimately, marketing is about communicating with people – and AI can help us to amplify that. We’re looking forward to it.
The AI-enabled marketer will be able to:
Have a dig in to our e-book on AI for CRM, to find out everything you need to know to start marketing more intelligently.