It’s an exciting time to be a CMO. Technology and innovation is enabling quicker and better decision-making. Campaigns are becoming more automated. Customer feedback can be captured and analysed. It’s challenging too, however. With increased budget for martech, CMOs have high expectations to satisfy. Here we look at how automation, analytics and AI will enable CMOs to stay ahead of the game over the next 18 months.
Staff no longer see automation as a threat, at least not in the technology and digital sectors. It’s increasingly viewed as freeing up time from mundane tasks, enabling more creative and innovative thinking.
One such area is customer communication, which has been revolutionised by chatbots. Today, a chatbot can handle routine tasks and common questions and is preferred by many customers over automated menus and overseas call centres. The next wave of chatbots will be able to understand and communicate more fully, using natural language processing and deep learning technologies.
Automation is also improving campaigns. Both the outgoing messaging and the collection of responses can be automated. In the near future, intelligent automation tools will facilitate decision making and forward planning of tasks.
CMOs see analytics as one of the key capabilities to develop in the short term. Both customer and marketing analytics tools have the potential to take a huge dataset, visualise it and look for patterns. Campaigns can then be targeted more precisely and their results can be evaluated rapidly.
Predictive analytics will allow the business to predict the likelihood of an outcome by harnessing big data and using machine learning techniques to develop algorithms. Marketing will be able to predict responses from customers and find opportunities for cross-selling.
The biggest challenge posed by AI is that of finding and retaining talented staff. It’s such a new and rapidly changing discipline that businesses are struggling to fill vacancies. Rather than simply insisting on a high level of educational qualifications or years of experience, hiring managers are looking for critical thinking skills and the ability to learn on the go.
Businesses are already looking beyond current AI capabilities. As the technology advances, the initial wave of tools is being superseded or becoming redundant. As new tools are developed, it’s important that the tail doesn’t wag the dog. AI needs to advance to support business needs, not to drive them.
The most exciting and innovative impacts will be achieved by combining automation, analytics and AI. In addition to the examples we mentioned earlier, there is huge potential to apply deep learning.
Deep learning emulates the actions of the brain in solving the most complex problems. In martech, it can facilitate the generation of content, by learning the style from other content. It can also improve chatbot interaction, using natural language processing. On websites, it can offer a more personalised user experience by taking into account past behaviours.
Over the next 18 months the lines separating automation, analytics and AI will blur. CMOs will fulfil expectations by building a team that can utilise these disciplines in combination. This will be the key challenge. Why not contact our industry-leading team at Clifford Associates to see how we can help?
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