In an age where people can’t stop talking about data, marketers still spend a tremendous amount of time guessing what tactics will be most effective in terms of driving user engagement en masse. The reason? Many of the available MarTech solutions treat consumers as loosely defined audiences rather than the individuals they are. (At Zeta, it’s a gap that’s being closed by bringing marketing and artificial intelligence closer together than ever before. Our AI-powered platform listens to consumers to understand their latent desires.)
Getting data to the right place, in real time, to create a single view of the customer is the only way to eliminate the need to guess. It’s also the only way to nurture 1:1 relationships at scale. Capitalizing in this way on the troves of data that are available to marketers requires AI—in this way, marketing and artificial intelligence go hand-in-hand.
All the excitement and buzz surrounding the concept of “big data” sent marketers scrambling to collect as much customer-related information as possible. But what marketing professionals quickly realized is that large volumes of data are:
- Valueless on their own
- Impossible to make sense of without machine help
Using data in real-time to achieve needle-moving business outcomes requires marketers to move hand-in-hand with artificial intelligence solutions. This is the only way forward for brands looking to understand both prospective and current customers, and create an exceptional experience that speaks to them both.
Abstraction marketing and artificial intelligence
Using AI, brands can abstract data to understand intent at both the 1-to-1 and audience levels—even to the point of understanding the way environmental factors (like weather, location, time of day, etc.) signal intent.
In a world where marketing and artificial intelligence are more entwined than ever, it’s not about the data, but rather what can be made of the data. Machine learning and natural language processing make it easier to identify a consumer’s latent interests. When AI is used to observe people over time, marketers can find patterns (e.g. higher proclivity to buy after seeing social proof) which is a big deal when thinking about spending across channels on a per-person basis. This is how brands can build systems that create purposeful experiences that push consumers towards higher engagement.
Connecting customers, marketing and artificial intelligence
To build awareness and maximize ROI in 2021, brands need to buckle down and do whatever is necessary to start listening to customers at scale. This means investing in not just data acquisition and collation, but also increased spending on marketing and artificial intelligence. Doing so will make it easier to avoid the provision of a shoddy consumer experience (i.e. putting prospects and customers through a pre-canned user journey), which will lead to higher revenues, greater awareness, stronger brand advocacy, and more meaningful lifetime value per customer.