Phill Midwinter, chief technology officer for AI and ML organisation Third Foundation, says:
Industries across every single sector are being challenged during the current climate. Not only are they adapting to new ways of working, they’re having to ensure their technological infrastructure is agile enough to cope with ever-evolving customer needs.
For the marketing sector, many agencies and departments will already be familiar with how automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can transform their online comms, as they work towards achieving even greater efficiencies which radically reinvent nearly every aspect of operations.
That might sound scary for some marketers that aren’t yet tapping into the powers that smart machinery presents. But, what really ought to inspire fear is the possibility of being left behind. AI is already being used for various tasks – such as recommendation engines on websites – and the race to effectively implement it across the board is very much ‘on’.
Early adopters of AI in the UK have already seen a 5% improvement in productivity, performance and enterprise outcomes, compared with those that have not explored its growing range of capabilities. And for those who take the important first steps to prepare themselves for AI will see this competitive advantage continue to grow. Their investment will allow them to effectively take advantage of new possibilities – with far greater ease.
Businesses with high volumes of repetitive tasks are likely to benefit massively. They will increase productivity to meet consumer demand and lower costs operationally, as well as get rid of the challenges faced by high staff-turnover and low employee satisfaction, which plague many such enterprises – especially when the end user relies on vital communication from brands.
For marketers specifically, automation enables them to reduce human error and spend time on bigger questions of strategy and creativity. It can make use of live data to vastly improve customer experience, by discerning website or shop visitors’ preferences and serving them content or deals when they are best primed to respond positively. All of this generates incalculable gains in performance and audience satisfaction – and all it takes is the ability to implement AI and a clear performance goal.
The important question the industry should be asking itself now more than ever is, ‘what does my marketing agency really want from automation?’ Automation services are already widely available and affordable, but businesses need to be careful about picking and choosing exactly what they will gain most from – and what they will actually lose out on if they allow a machine to do everything.
For many enterprises, it makes sense for them to invest heavily now in fully digitising and being on top of every automation trend. For others, too much tech-input risks losing a personal touch and potentially alienating customers who associate heavily machine-led communications and sales strategies with faceless corporations.
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