CMO’s guide to Artificial Intelligence

CMO’s guide to Artificial Intelligence

As a marketing professional, it is difficult to escape the words Artificial Intelligence these days. In my recent days as a Mckinsey consultant, I was bombarded by clients asking me how they could use Artificial Intelligence in their business. Back then, I didn’t have the bandwidth to prepare a framework describing how AI fits key marketing activities. Now that’s an essential part of our work at appliedAI.com where we aim to help enterprise leader understand and use AI in their businesses.

We started with the classical 4 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place). Given that feedback driven rapid testing cycles is such an important part of today’s marketing, we added feedback to the framework. Finally, we considered how recommendation personalization which can be considered an aspect of promotions is enabled by the rise of machine learning. Even back in 2012, personalized recommendations revealed secrets that customers’ relatives did not know.

Then we simplified the framework, bundling product, price and place together under 1st category: improve pricing and placement. Given that in a new product, these are the first things that you need to get right, we believe this is a good place to start for a CMO and her team. Large e-commerce companies and Fortune 500 retailers are already working with AI vendors in this area. The futuristic looking merchandising audit robot by Fellow you can see below may or may not be for you depending on your industry. However use cases like pricing optimization are broadly applicable.

Next, marketing spend to promote your brand, your biggest cost needs to be improved. 1-1 marketing was first proposed in 1990s but finally we can deliver on that promise. You can reach customers at the right time, through the channel and device they are using at that moment with the message that will resonate with them. Even personalization of message text which was a creative endeavor is becoming exceedingly a data driven effort with numerous specialized vendors in the field like Phrasee or Persado.

Once the marketing funnel is working effectively, recommendations are a good area to look at. Any positive customer interaction or any customer need that you become aware of needs to be considered as an opportunity for cross/up-sell. Increasing wallet share not only provides sales without new marketing spend, it also has the potential to increase loyalty and improve your share of customer’s mind. And do not limit yourself with your own data to drive effective recommendations, 3rd party data empowers stronger recommendations: if a regular customer of yours has been looking for red sneakers, why shouldn’t you show them a great pair?

Finally, filtering though the noise, understanding and responding to customer feedback is crucial for success. Numerous Fortune 500 companies like Sony or Disney already use AI based solutions to improve their social reach and understand their customers.

Now that you know the areas where you can apply AI, you need to figure out your AI strategy. You will need to make decisions around control, speed and quality. To help formulate your AI strategy, we are working on a series of articles and services. Your feedback would be welcome in developing those. Connect with us through the social links below so we can make sure that we understand and cover your needs.

Once you have your AI strategy, AI vendors will likely have a role to play in that strategy. You can use our platform to learn more about AI vendors to see their references, case studies and how they compare to other vendors.

Cem Dilmegani

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