The evolution of AI and automation has birthed Intelligent automation, that is fast becoming critical to smart marketing strategies. Here is some insight on what it is and how it benefits marketing
Intelligent automation is essentially a software term that refers to a ‘combination of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation’. Its role is to make processes smarter, and faster, in any industrial and enterprise use.
The technologies that it uses help to simplify processes, reduces resources and increases efficiency in the organization. In the context of marketing, intelligent automation will help to streamline the marketing processes and ensure better outcomes.
It has some really significant advantages that can add big dollars to the bottom-line.
Components of intelligent automation
Intelligent automation consists of a bundle of technologies, referred to as cognitive technologies-
- Artificial Intelligence (AI),
- Business Process Management (BPM), and
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
These work together in a single platform or tool to help enterprises work better. Here is how each of them contribute:
1. AI: Uses machine learning algorithms, it can accurately analyze big data.
This helps to create a knowledge base, and craft predictions or strategies based on these insights.
The advantage of AI is its capability to power analytics on both structured and unstructured data. This helps to get far more accurate insights than plain analytics tools.
So, AI helps to analyze customer and market data in a much faster way. this also enables marketers to transform the entire marketing process. Also the insights the marketing team derives will be far more accurate and hence, very useful for basing smart strategies. This will be the engine that drives the decisions in an intelligent automation marketing platform.
2. BPM: Business process management uses AI led decisions in the business processes. This adds to the efficiency of these processes.
An additional advantage is that with streamlined processes, the resource optimization will also increase. So, the job of creating marketing strategies based on the data insights, will need less resources, saving costs.
3. RPA: Robotic Process automation is the third key component of an IA marketing platform. This uses robots or bots to deliver tasks that are manual or repetitive in nature.
RPA can work on marketing activities that can be replicated and used a number of times. Thus, RPA is also a cost optimization technology. At the same time, these robots are extremely efficient, and cost effective.
Besides, it is now easier to use the insights that AI has derived, for creating successful marketing strategies.
The combined power of these technologies can disrupt the entire marketing process. They can help to make it more streamlined and efficient. The ultimate advantage is that an IA platform for marketing delivers higher customer experience, hence increases revenues.
Benefits of Intelligent Automation for Marketing
While the benefits of using a smart automated marketing platform are many, most of them are pretty explicit. The efficiency, accuracy, time and cost saving aspects have been highlighted earlier.
Here we cite some not so obvious ones:
With automated systems, productivity increases as well. This reduces the cost of resources for the same work. So, as the workforce is augmented by automation, there are numerous benefits enterprises get. With good data and accurate insights that AI provides, it is easier to derive maximum benefit from the platforms.
An AI powered Chatbot (an RPA tool), can work around the clock and resolve customer issues, more accurately and neutrally than a human being. This is the big advantage of using a smart platform or marketing.
With AI there is also the ability to scale quickly, without risk or limitations. A marketing platform that can scale as per the market lends a great advantage to the teams.
intelligent automation enables consistent processes and approaches. This consistency is the foundation of a robust marketing strategy. Based on this, there is also an enhancement in the quality of marketing strategy components. The combination of three technology helps to lend to the marketing process, three invaluable attributes- quality, accuracy and speed.
The insights that are derived by smart use of AI from high volumes of market data, are impeccable. Strategy decisions based on them are usually spot-on.
Customer Experience Excellence:
The accuracy of data insights will also drive better customer experience. With the knowledge of personalized needs, preferences and demands, marketing strategists can leverage the IA platform to create impactful strategies and tactics.
In a series of interconnected benefits, better quality data that drives higher productivity, better processes, also enables a much faster time to market. Relying on accurate and insightful data, the marketing teams can be sure of what they are launching and its impact.
Easier compliance and regulations:
Intelligent automation can leverage some features like task automation, for this purpose. Without the need to be reminded about compliance filings and processes, the platform will ensure it’s all done, and in time. It will also make the compliance process more consistent.
AI in the intelligent platform can help to customize and personalize offerings and even messaging. There is ample customer data available to the tools, to make tailored recommendations for purchase.
Ease of Predictive Analysis:
A deep analysis of customer data and behavior patterns allows marketing teams to generate predictive analysis data. This can predict trends, forecast demands and buying cycles. Many online retailers use this ability of smart automation platforms, even today. The best example is Amazon- it used its IUA platform to suggest purchases based on their purchase history and preferences.
Drawbacks of adopting an AI based Intelligent marketing automation platform:
- Lack of human oversight, and complete reliance on AI algorithms.
- Non-specific messaging- since AI is not particularly great at creating engaging content. Even with a GenAI tool, it can be easily identified as AI generated content.
- Security issues: platforms that do a lot of work better than humans, will always have a risk of privacy outage or security threats.
Implementing Intelligent Marketing Automation
The first step for implementing an intelligent automation platform for marketing, is to identify the business objectives.
Then there is a clear idea of the specific marketing needs. This will help to identify the tools required.
There are many different kinds of AI tools available for use. It’s critical to identify the ones that fit your marketing needs. Each of these tools have their own strengths and challenges.
The next step would be to identify the best fit for your unique needs.
- Create a technology roadmap: this will be the detailed plan of the technology integration into the existing marketing processes.
Deployment of an intelligent platform will take time, and a high level of change management skills. This would largely be because the teams are used to working in a particular way.
With AI, there would be streamlining of resources and their roles in the process. The new paradigm would require patience, planning and very good governance structure.
- Reskilling and training needs: There will be the need for reskilling, training and maybe even new certifications. This will ensure there is no redundancy.
The team needs to be able to operate the new tools, understand how to integrate them, and use for data analysis, insights extraction, for one. There will be a process for this:
- Identifying skill gaps
- Identifying the skills to be upgraded
- Provide training and upskilling
- Plan for a training on the job
- Make a roadmap for continuous learning to stay updated with the latest advancements in the tools
- Identifying the most suitable partner: with the basic objectives in place, move ahead to identify the best provider. SaaS is always a cost effective idea, but the decision to buy to pay per use is solely the prerogative of the CIO.
It will also be governed by the business needs of the organization.
There would be some things to keep in mind before zeroing in on the service provider or product vendor. The most key attribute is compatibility with the vendor teams. Secondly, the cost is important and every aspect of the breakup should be clarified before signing on the dotted line.
Negotiating for training and handover support is critical. So is negotiating for compliance and regulations support.
Trends in Intelligent Marketing automation
While AI has become a deeply enmeshed part of all enterprise processes, marketing stands to gain a lot from it. Accordingly, the future of adoption of IA in marketing is extremely bright.
Smaller tools like data analytics for customer analysis, chatbots for customer interaction, customer database management- all will add up to a much more efficient platform in IA for marketing.
But everything comes at a cost. So here is what we can expect the future of IA marketing be:
- Human- machine collaboration will need much faster and higher upskilling. As jobs become automated, people will need to work much harder to stay in control. This demands constantly evolvement of technical abilities and reskilling to use newer tools.
- The other side of the picture is that with intelligent platforms, almost all everyday tasks of marketing will be done by automated bots, led by AI.
Then the intelligent human brains can devote time and energy to more creative pursuits of marketing like ideating for impactful advertising or messaging. They will be able to focus more on strategic planning, creative thinking, and driving innovation.
- Natural Language processing (NLP) will take center stage in the coming years. Since it is a sub-domain of AI, and it drives the ability for machines to understand human language, it will be a critical part of intelligent platforms and their adoption.
Its utility in marketing to do sentiment analysis, understand human needs and preferences, will make it a critical component of IA platforms in days to come.
- Other sub-domains of AI- predictive analytics, conversational marketing and AR/VR will evolve to add lot of value to Intelligent platforms.
The result of all these will be a complete disruption of the marketing process, and in days, months and years to come, intelligent marketing automation will perhaps be the only way marketing will be done.
Applying AI, RPA and DM tools to marketing is perhaps inevitable today. Intelligent platforms for all business process, are certainly the future of enterprise technology. However, it’s not an easy transition. CIOs need to have a clear roadmap, a perfect vision for the team, and of course, a complete alignment with the business objectives.
Technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics, can assist businesses gain very valuable insights into their customer’s mind. Using them, they can create far more impactful campaigns, successful strategies and profitable businesses.
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