Marketing automation has been steadily rising in popularity over the last decade, and the personalization within that automation has gotten more and more sophisticated -- some might even call it the Holy Grail of B2B marketing. The better we understand our customers and what they are looking for -- or, better yet, give them something they didn't even know they needed -- the better experience we are going to deliver. That "mind-reading" level of personalization is getting closer. It's called artificial intelligence (AI) personalization, and it's a whole new breed of technologies crossing into the AI space that are making data more useful than ever.
It's more important than ever for brands to deliver content that has relevance to individuals -- this is much more important than reach. Fifty-five percent of marketers are certain that artificial intelligence will have a more radical transformative effect on the marketing industry than social media. Buyers want an individualized experience and maximum engagement. AI lets brands personalize content and deliver the right message to the right person at the right time -- all in an automated fashion. This helps ensure that you're creating and sending out the kind of content that a user will enjoy. Let's take a deeper look at how this works.
Machine learning makes computer-generated responses more customized to your individuality. If you're not familiar with machine learning, it's basically an application of AI that provides systems with the ability to automatically learn from experience rather than being programmed. It helps a system process information, retain it and learn from it in order to make predictions and respond more accurately. Think of Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri -- they build their "brains" based on the information that they receive from users over time and get better and better at interpreting language and commands. It's a process of gathering data into a system that is able to interpret the data much like a human brain interprets language.
This learning capability has the potential to mold the experiences around you by taking into account your level of knowledge, mood, language preferences, etc. It can literally change the way we interact with the world around us. It has given us self-driving cars, targeted web search, speech recognition, personalized recommendations, to name a few. It can recognize facial identities and expressions, objects in real scenes, sequences of patterns (such as financial transactions), predictions (which movies a person will like, etc.), and more.
The second feature that makes AI so powerful is augmented analytics. Augmented analytics automates data insight by utilizing machine learning and natural language to automate data preparation and enable data sharing. This process simplifies data in order to present clear results and provides access to smart tools to enable confident business decisions. It offers real insights that allow for quick and accurate actions based on data. Basically, business users won't just see data, they will get smart, hyper-informed suggestions. Let's say Kathy Sales Executive is looking for a sales asset piece for a meeting in five minutes. The old personalization would give Kathy a list of assets she had previously used, but AI personalization gives Kathy an entirely new asset based on the customer profile and content effectiveness analytics.
This means you can use this learning to combine and integrate data into wholly new assets and deliverables based on past experience. It's a smart way to get a laser-sharp focus on the needs of each buyer so you can tailor your presentations exactly to their personas.
The rise of "edge computing" is an underappreciated aspect of AI personalization. It's a way to streamline the flow of traffic from IoT devices in order to provide real-time local data analysis. The data is processed closer to where it is created instead of having to travel long routes -- i.e. closer to the edge of the network. This is super helpful in providing near real-time data across industries. With an edge computing model, a customer can receive hyper-targeted content, location-based content and other contextual content that increases the personalization significantly.
Without a delay in connecting to cloud servers, businesses can benefit from pushing information to local servers at any time and send out targeted messages at critical points in the buyer journey. In a sales presentation, this kind of data gathering means you can create assets that are hyper-personalized, because you have so much critical information at hand. It's beyond automation, the same way that the Amazon recommendation engine gathers all the previous items you have bought or visited and comes up with suggestions for other purchases that might interest you. The constant gathering of data means that you can have a running catalogue of information to pull from in order to take personalization to the next level.
AI personalization is here, and our business tools should be integrating it into all platforms and technologies in order to leverage its power. After all, these more personalized experiences help to improve the quality of our lives, make our work more productive and give us the ability to focus on the human aspects of life, and replace programming with automated learning. It will offer us a sixth sense into the minds of our buyers.