7 ways to ‘ai-mplify’ your marketing strategy using artificial intelligence

7 ways to ‘ai-mplify’ your marketing strategy using artificial intelligence
October 06, 2023
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Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single news outlet or check your inbox without seeing an article about AI and how it’s changing the world (for better or worse). Regardless of the stance, there’s no denying this fast-moving technology is changing every aspect of life from business to personal.

At Twilio, we typically lean toward early adoption of the latest in innovation. In our adoption, we’re forced to ask questions about the safety of AI for our customers. How can we better interface with the latest technology and improve the experience for our customers and in turn, their customers? Is it possible for us to do so safely, protecting your data while also pushing that innovation forward? 

In this blog, we’ll shed some clarity to the questions above as we outline seven different ways to use AI to improve, safeguard, personalize (and more) your marketing campaigns as this technology continues to evolve. 

1. Enhance marketing automation 

AI's potential for automation is a game-changer, especially in marketing. It allows for smarter customer communication, loyalty-building, and personalization. By using real-time data to improve the customer experience, AI-powered automation provides the tools needed to continually refine those experiences.

Here are three ways to use AI for marketing automation. 

Facilitate chatbot communications 

One of the key benefits of AI marketing automation is its ability to facilitate seamless interactions between marketers and customers using existing customer data to provide useful, intelligent feedback. And a great way to facilitate these interactions? Chatbots. Chances are, if you’ve dealt with one recently, it probably harnessed some level of AI.

These bots engage in real-time, offering personalized recommendations and resolving queries efficiently. An example of this is Dialpad. By creating create a unified customer view using real-time data, their AI chatbot increased sign-up completions by 25%.

Implement smarter loyalty programs 

AI can also empower customers by making brand loyalty a natural part of their customer journey. Traditionally, loyalty programs require customers to actively participate by accumulating points or coupons. By leveraging customer data, AI algorithms can identify loyal customers and automatically reward them with personalized offers or exclusive benefits. This automation simplifies the loyalty process, making it effortless for customers to stay engaged with a brand, and fostering stronger customer retention.

Tailor recommendations 

AI can provide customized product suggestions based on individual preferences, saving customers time and effort in making choices.

As an example, AI chatbot MAIA on luxury resale site Hardly Ever Worn It allows users to type in what they want (such as “I want to look like Romy, from ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,’” or “I need something to wear on a yacht in Croatia in August”) and it’ll pull all product on the site that Romy might wear or what you’d consider wearing on a yacht in Europe.

Automation like this saves the potential customer time and energy they might otherwise spend browsing through pages of products online or dealing with unorganized racks or an overzealous sales associate in person. By leveraging AI, you can automate various marketing tasks, making your operations more efficient and customer-centric.

2. Hyper-personalize customer experiences

Personalization has proven to be a key driver in customer satisfaction and loyalty, with the average consumer expecting a certain level of personalization to continue doing business with your brand. With AI algorithms, companies can use existing customer data to generate more meaningful insights and predict preferences and behaviors. Here are a couple of ways AI can create more meaningful personalization for your business.

Use real-time data for better product recommendations

We already discussed MAIA, the AI-powered chatbot that can automatically pull products from across the Hardly Ever Worn It site with one question from a potential customer. AI-powered recommendation engines like this one, or in “Recommended for you" sections on platforms like Netflix or Spotify, are reliant on current and comprehensive customer data. By using real-time internal data such as product supply, popularity, and price, as well as external data like customer browsing history and previous purchases, AI can identify patterns. This enables it to make product or service suggestions that are most relevant to the individual user's preferences and needs. 

Use real-time customer interactions to create dynamic content generation

AI can also dynamically customize content to suit individual customer segments. Having a robust dataset is crucial for this to work effectively. By analyzing data like customer behavior, preferences, and demographics, AI can generate tailored content variations for these different segments. For instance, if a customer frequently reads about sustainable fashion or filters their search for eco-friendly products, the website can instantly adapt to highlight its sustainability initiatives and showcase environmentally-friendly options.

This personalized approach isn't confined to website interactions. It can extend into your email marketing efforts. For example, if a customer has read several articles about sustainability and made an eco-friendly purchase, you could follow up with an email campaign that includes personalized subject lines, curated content, and product recommendations related to sustainability. This approach generally results in higher email open, click-through, and conversion rates.

By leveraging AI in these ways, you can make your customer experience more personalized, driving higher satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

3. Segment better, faster, and stronger

Customer segmentation is key for effective messaging and improving marketing ROI. Automating this with AI offers the benefits of quick, accurate data analysis for precise segmentation and optimized ad campaigns. Here's how AI can boost your marketing efforts:

Build meaningful customer personas

Use technology like Twilio Engage to gather essential data for your AI algorithms. It's efficient at consolidating information like transactions and social media activity. Once you have this data, your AI can categorize it into initial segments based on behavioral patterns. For example, a gym could create customer categories like "weight-loss programs," "strength trainers," and "early birds," tailoring marketing strategies accordingly.

Reach those personas with hyper-targeted ads

Once you've identified customer personas, AI can help you create targeted ads on platforms like Google and social media. Optimize your campaigns based on real-time data and customer responses. Continuous A/B testing and persona updates are crucial for increasing engagement and conversions over time. AI-powered segmentation is key to precise targeting and can significantly improve your advertising strategy. Keep an eye out for our "Target and Optimize Ads" section below for more insights.

4. Settle the (lead) score

Traditionally, marketing teams score leads based on activities like content downloads or demo requests. These activities are assigned a value, and when a lead accumulates enough points, it's passed to sales.

AI enhances this system by tracking all user interactions with your brand and comparing this data to your best customers. This enables quicker, more accurate lead scoring, helping your sales team engage prospects in a more timely manner.

AI-based lead scoring also guides your marketing strategies. By identifying high-intent customers, you can create targeted campaigns to secure their business and loyalty.

5. AI copywriting

AI can also help marketers create copy in a fraction of the time. Instead of starting with an intimidatingly blank document, marketers can use AI to create outlines, rough drafts, and polished final drafts of: 

  • Ads
  • Emails
  • SMS messages
  • Blog posts
  • Landing pages
  • Social media posts
  • Product descriptions
  • Webpages

The quality of AI-generated copy relies on the prompts you provide, so be specific about what you need, including tone and content.

It's important to review AI-generated material for accuracy and brand consistency. While the first draft may not be perfect, AI can provide a strong starting point, especially for those who find writing from scratch daunting. This tool can make you a more productive writer.

6. Understand tone, intent, and emotions in messaging

AI can use natural language processing (NLP) to gauge the tone of messages about your brand. Sentiment analysis can provide insights into how your brand is perceived, eliminating the need for manual scans of various media channels. Here's how it can be useful:

Measure customer sentiment

AI analyzes customer reviews and social posts to gauge their feelings about your products. This can help you identify upselling opportunities or areas needing attention, making manual reviews unnecessary.

This can help your brand: 

  • Identify and address user complaints quickly to improve customer satisfaction
  • Understand how customers feel after a big announcement or product release
  • Learn where your business delights customers
  • Determine key areas of growth for your business

Track market sentiment

Your business can also use AI to analyze how media outlets, forums, and blogs talk about your business. Any negative media coverage can help your business identify areas of opportunity and take immediate action before these issues affect your brand’s reputation. Of course, any positive coverage can help your business learn what works and help you refine your messaging to emphasize these strengths. 

Together, tracking positive and negative market sentiment can:

  • Help with brand monitoring
  • Direct your business’ PR strategy
  • Analyze where your business succeeds
  • Identify areas where your company can grow

7. Target and optimize ads

With increasing customer acquisition costs and the end of third-party cookies, AI can help optimize ad performance and target audiences more effectively.

Leverage look-alike audiences

Do you know what your ideal buyer looks like? Look-alike audiences let you target users similar to your top customers. AI can analyze your customer data to identify key accounts, helping you target the right audiences at the right time to boost conversion rates.

Experiment with audience exclusion

Targeting the right users is only half of advertising. Ensuring you don’t target the wrong users is the other half. With AI, your business can identify audiences you don’t want to serve your ads to, whether current customers, users who have already converted, users from a specific location, or unqualified leads. AI can also help build and maintain exclusion audiences that you can sync directly to your downstream ad platforms. Excluding these users from your ads can optimize your ad budget and ensure that your business only spends money serving your ads to qualified prospects. 

Unlock better ROI with retargeting

With cookies going away in 2024, advertisers need new ways to recognize audience behavioral patterns and to use this data to serve ads to high-intent users at the right time. AI helps sift through your first-party data to identify customers who have shown interest but haven't converted. Be it an abandoned cart or an uncompleted signup, AI allows you to retarget these users effectively, encouraging them to engage further with your brand.

Superpower your marketing strategy with AI

There are two ways to view AI. You can fear and avoid it, wondering about its power but never trying to understand it. Or you can work to see the value it provides your business and educate yourself on how it can assist your company to work smarter, not harder. Embrace its potential to make your business more efficient. Onboarding is key: align your customer data well, as AI's effectiveness relies on good data.

Tap into the true power of AI with Twilio

Finding actionable customer insights is no longer like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles. In order to keep up with the ever-growing amount of customer touchpoints and user data, marketers need to make use of AI without burdening their technical teams.

With Twilio’s CustomerAI, marketers can achieve a 360-degree view of their customers and use this information to build more targeted, personalized experiences. Learn more about Twilio’s CustomerAI technology and how it can help you combine real-time engagement data with AI to know your customers better.