5 ways to use AI tools for marketing automation

Published Jul 4 2024 5 minute read Last updated Jul 5 2024
ai tools
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  • Sean Dougherty
    Written by Sean Dougherty

    A copywriter at Funnel, Sean has more than 15 years of experience working in branding and advertising (both agency and client side). He's also a professional voice actor.

Marketers, wouldn’t it be great if you could get someone else to do some of the hard work for you? 

Well, for some tasks, you can. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming marketing by automating some of the jobs you used to spend hours on. By leveraging AI for marketing automation, you could create more personalized experiences, understand your target audience more thoroughly and even create better campaigns. You also gain time back throughout your working day to focus on business growth initiatives.

Don’t worry, AI won’t put you out of a job, but it can make your job a lot easier.  

How has AI changed marketing?

Think of all those repetitive tasks like sending two-line replies to general inquiries, referring customers to your product page or creating thousands of two-line social media snippets. They take time and can transform marketing experts into marketing drones, flitting from task to task instead of focusing on the big picture.

Enter AI and machine learning — who, together, can act as the worker bees of marketing. AI marketing automation tools collect your business data like pollen, transforming it into a juicy resource for multiple uses across your hive / business.

Marketers can leverage AI marketing automation to regain control of their time and focus on aligning marketing campaigns with company goals. AI helps marketers report better on campaign performance, improve marketing workflows and even provide customer service at a higher standard.

The top 5 ways to use AI for marketing automation

There are so many ways to utilize AI-powered marketing automation. Here are five of the fastest-growing techniques utilized by businesses across multiple industries.

1) Content creation

While there are ethical concerns around some aspects of utilizing generative AI for content, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a massive timesaver. Gartner predicts that 30% of all outbound marketing content will be AI-generated by 2025, highlighting just how quickly AI is becoming an integral part of digital marketing.

Avoid the temptation to generate all your content with AI tools. There’s nothing more soul-destroying for buyers than sifting through twenty articles that all start with the same opening paragraph. Once you’ve read, “In the fast-moving/ever-shifting landscape of [insert industry here]” enough times, you start to realize that AI content generation has its limits.

Instead of trying to create entire business resources with AI, use your content marketing teams for those tasks. Then, utilize AI marketing automation tools to create social media posts, infographics or even a short video script. With the right tools, a single piece of content can become an omnichannel demand-generation resource in a matter of minutes.

2) Customer data segmentation

If there’s one thing AI excels at, it’s managing big data. Analyzing customer data is an essential part of marketing, but it takes time — unless you have AI marketing automation tools. AI sifts through huge volumes of data from numerous sources, providing valuable insights into customer behavior. AI tools can also categorize this data, helping you create more effective customer segmentation and use techniques like cohort analysis to better understand how to market to each customer type.

3) Personalization

Understanding customer behavior helps you personalize your marketing efforts. Personalization is about more than giving your company a human face. In fact, 46% of customers will buy more when provided with a personalized experience. More interestingly, 50% of customers will actively offer more personal data in exchange for bespoke experiences as long as they’re told exactly how their data will be used.

AI marketing automation tools can take this personal data and, with consent, use it to create personalized email campaigns, respond to messages or even suggest changes to highly targeted campaign materials. The pitfall here is utilizing data without the customer’s consent, so ensure you have it before you use it.

4) Campaign optimization

Effective marketing campaigns work better when driven by accurate data. AI can quickly determine which campaign aspects have been successful and which were less so, suggesting tweaks and adjustments as appropriate. AI shouldn’t replace human ingenuity, but it can help bring ideas together and quickly highlight effective marketing strategies.

5) Virtual assistants

One of the most popular ways digital marketers utilize AI for marketing automation is via virtual assistants: chatbots, messaging services and other customer engagement tools. Back to the hive analogy, if each customer is a nectar-rich flower, you need more worker bees than you have team members, especially if you’re in a period of growth.

AI picks up the slack, handling multiple queries virtually simultaneously. It’s your digital swarm, ensuring every drop of data is gathered from every customer, while responding with personalized, accurate messages that drive leads further down the sales funnel. Just be sure to intervene with a human follow-up where appropriate, especially in the final closing stages of deals.

Top AI marketing automation tools

If you’re excited to take advantage of the above techniques, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t just have to rely on ChatGPT for marketing automation. Here are some of the best AI marketing tools available right now:

  • Jasper: Described as an AI "copilot", Jasper helps teams create better outcomes via more aligned content. This online platform also offers insights to help you learn how to improve your content as you create it. One of the more effective AI writing tools, Jasper can take your brand voice and apply it across multiple types of content.
  • Salesforce: Salesforce offers multiple AI marketing tools. Their Einstein AI platform helps segment customer data and improve marketing workflows. Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers personalized email marketing, predictive analytics, AI-powered content advice and social media management.
  • Undetectable AI: Marketers worried that AI content will trigger AI detectors may spend time and effort tweaking each piece. Undetectable AI "humanizes" AI-written copy, ensuring it reads well and isn’t robotic, saving marketers even more legwork.  
  • Dynamic Yield: Described as a “holistic AI personalization system,” Dynamic Yield helps businesses create personalized text and images for a variety of marketing purposes.
  • Answer Socrates: SEO (search engine optimization) is more effective when you know what people are searching for on Google. Answer Socrates is an AI-powered platform showing trending topics and searches from any country.
  • Albert AI: Albert is a self-optimizing, cross-channel AI marketing tool described as a “digital ally.” By utilizing data from multiple channels, Albert constantly updates itself on what’s new with your marketing efforts for continuous performance improvement.
  • From detailed marketing reports to social media snippets, AI marketing automation tools could be a game changer for your team. Remember, most of these tools rely on access to large volumes of business data — the more complete and integrated you can make that data, the more effective AI for marketing automation becomes.

FAQ

What is AI marketing automation?

Using AI for marketing automation means leveraging tools that utilize machine learning algorithms to create content, interact with customers or sift and analyze data for actionable insights. Upgrade your marketing strategies by gaining time back, automating tedious or time-consuming tasks.

What is the difference between AI and machine learning?

AI describes the ability of hardware or software to mimic human intelligence. Machine learning techniques are how AI achieves this, for example, by utilizing pattern recognition or natural language processing/generation.

Does my company have the data infrastructure to support AI marketing automation?

For effective AI marketing automation, your business requires access to as much business data as possible. Invest in platforms that can integrate data from multiple sources and connect to the relevant AI-powered tools.

With all this customer data being analyzed, how can I ensure my marketing automation stays compliant with privacy regulations?

Always check you have consent to use customer data — a simple checkbox while collecting data is usually sufficient for this. Liaise closely with your chief information security officer (CISO) if you have one, or look up the data privacy rules that regulate your industry. For example, businesses that handle healthcare data must comply with HIPAA rules. Work with third parties that provide platforms with built-in security for your peace of mind.

 

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