Donna Bailey, Vice President and Credit Card Product Manager at Wells Fargo, examined artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on today’s marketers during her keynote presentation at the 2018 CMO Financial Services Forum: Marketing & Technology Innovation in San Francisco on October 30. In her presentation, “Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Business Strategy,” Bailey explored AI and related technologies and offered tips to help marketers optimize the value of AI investments.
Today, marketers are increasingly using AI to simplify and enhance their business strategies. AI is a revolutionary technology, and it may have far-flung effects on marketers and their respective businesses for years to come.
“Introducing artificial intelligence is really disrupting your day-to-day process,” Bailey said. “[AI] is a series of transformations, but it also represents disruption.”
AI provides myriad opportunities for marketers. Yet integrating AI tools into a marketing team’s everyday operations may prove to be difficult.
Ultimately, AI may require a marketing team to revamp its everyday operations. It involves the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies that may help a marketing team quickly collect and analyze massive amounts of data. At the same time, AI can be used to help a marketing team streamline its operations. But it may take a marketing team many weeks or months to realize the benefits of AI.
AI offers no guarantees, too. For example, if a marketing team deploys AI tools but fails to teach team members how to use these tools properly, it may struggle to maximize the value of AI.
For a marketing team that wants to integrate AI tools into its day-to-day operations, it is paramount to understand the potential challenges associated with this endeavor. That way, marketing team members can work together to overcome potential AI implementation hurdles before they escalate.
“With any big change, there are going to be obstacles that you will encounter,” Bailey indicated. “Now, [AI] is coming to a forefront … and we’re going to be the pioneers behind it.”
Furthermore, understanding AI applications is critical for marketing teams. If a marketing team understands how AI can impact its everyday operations, this team can map out its AI investments accordingly. Then, a marketing team can deploy various AI tools that it can use to contribute to a business’ success.
“[Marketers] are using AI today for sales optimization, for personal offers for customers and for chatbots for customer service,” Bailey noted.
Providing employees with AI training can help a company get the most out of its AI investments as well.
AI is sometimes difficult to grasp, and training programs encourage employees to ask questions and learn about AI tools. Next, employees can take the necessary steps to incorporate AI into their everyday operations. As a result, all employees – regardless of expertise or department – can utilize AI tools to become key contributors within their respective companies.
“You need to educate your people on the outputs and inputs that artificial intelligence brings,” Bailey stated.
Marketers can use AI to determine the optimal ways to create unprecedented marketing campaigns and deliver exceptional client support.
With AI, marketers can learn about a business and its target audience. They can study industry patterns and trends, as well as consumer sentiment and other pertinent customer data. Finally, marketers can use this information to find the best ways to engage with consumers and meet or exceed customer expectations.
Marketers also can capitalize on the use of machine learning in conjunction with AI. Together, machine learning and AI tools help marketers provide customers with the right information, at the right time, every time.
“The personalization and optimization [with machine learning] are exciting,” Bailey noted. “You’re going to be able to deliver a tailored message or offer to your customers, and it’s going to help your sales.”
Natural language processing (NLP) processing may prove to be exceedingly valuable for marketers, especially when use in combination with machine learning. NLP tools allow marketers to gain deep insights from text. As such, NLP allows marketers to capture insights that they can apply to their everyday operations. It also ensures marketers can discover innovative ways to connect with a business’ target audience and help a company distinguish itself from the competition.
Going forward, marketers should allocate time and resources to understand AI and its potential applications. If marketers can effectively deploy AI tools, they could help their respective businesses become more productive and efficient than ever before.
“[AI] is not perfect … and you may hear about how machines are going to replace humans, but [machines] won’t replace humans,” Bailey pointed out. “Humans are the ones who created machines, and they’re the ones who are interpreting data, and they’ll be working with [AI robots and models] in the end.”
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