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18 June 2018 / Opinion

Are you ready for AI?

Ben O'Brien / Managing Director

Marketers dream of providing prospects with the right content and the right message at the right time in order to move them through the funnel. Figuring out what constitutes the right content or the right message or even the right time is not easy. As a result, marketers often rely on guesswork, playing the odds (by sending out a lot of stuff to a lot of people all the time), or relatively primitive testing.

AI is on the verge of changing all that.

When fuelled by high quantities of high-quality data, AI should (and most likely will) be able to fine-tune the process so that marketing actually guides the buyer through the journey, rather than simply serving as stuff the buyer stumbles across along the way.

Yet many firms are not quite there yet.

They will face new challenges in terms of skills, implementation and more.

In order to remain competitive, it’s clear that brands need smarter and faster decisions.  The best way to achieve this is by becoming an AI-driven predictive business however, there are some key questions that marketers need to consider before embarking on this journey.

Is your data ready for AI?

The best technologies in the world can only make use of the data that’s provided to them. It’s therefore crucial that organisations have sufficient, accurate data to begin with.

From data quality to data storage, and ultimately transforming data into insight, organisations adopting best practice data management will be best placed to adopt AI effectively. What’s more, with GDPR laws, these practices are more important than ever before - getting data management right at the beginning is essential to compliant use of AI.

Are your people prepared for AI?

AI technology is growing in sophistication, but the level of knowledge in the industry isn’t necessarily keeping pace. In our data-driven marketing research study, we found that 40% of companies see the lack of data skills as their biggest barrier to successful data-driven marketing.

In addition, in a recent Infosys research study, 53% of organisations surveyed cited developing knowledge and skills as the key to preparing for AI deployment and use. Alongside this, many organisations recognised the value of outside specialist help – whether to assist with planning (46%) or for knowledge gathering (40%).

That’s why it’s crucial that businesses ensure their people have enough knowledge of the analytics behind the AI models and technology systems. Many organisations find it useful to bring in outside specialists to help with knowledge transfer during set-up and deployment.

Which AI tech is best in class?

The rise of newly developed technology, such as Jaywing’s modelling software Archetype, allows marketers to unlock greater customer insights. With access to tools that create better performing models, brands can transform the way their CRM campaigns work, targeting personalised campaigns and content across all channels, at the people most likely to respond, amending their strategies to focus retention activity, or using insights from deep within their data to eke out more profit than traditional techniques. This allows you to focus your marketing activity where it’s going to make most difference.

Unique tools like this enable brands to model almost any outcome on almost any data set - whether that’s in pricing, product and channel propensity, customer value, marketing attribution, digital activity or a host of other fields.  They help brands do more, in less time, with better results, so they can focus on what’s most important – their customers. Archetype is a significant advancement in the market and for which Jaywing has applied for a patent.

A new era for AI

The successful use of AI presents organisations with many challenges. Yet with best practice data management processes, ensuring compliance with GDPR, the right skills and external support, and crucially, the right technology, organisations will be well-positioned to take advantage of the new era of AI.

For organisations to harness the benefits they need to act quickly – AI is currently a hot topic in marketing, and plenty of organisations are starting to make moves in this direction so that they can better predict conversion, re-purchasing, lapsing and more to engage with customers and prospects on a deeper, more personal level.