Traditionally, marketing and sales managers make decisions about products, brands, advertising, promotions, prices, and sales channels based on extensive customer knowledge. Will these decisions soon be made by artificial intelligence (AI) machines?
Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine learning are already having a significant impact on sales and marketing. The developments are progressing rapidly. The effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on marketing and sales are explained in more detail below. In addition, examples from practice are given.
Who are the main scientists and experts in the development of artificial intelligence?
Alan Turing (1912-1954) British mathematician
Turing succeeded in designing a universal computing machine in 1936. Such a machine, known as a Turing machine, is said to be able to solve problems independently of humans using certain algorithms. Turing wrote his ideas and research in the article “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” in 1950. The content of the article is aimed primarily at the development and construction of intelligent machines. A decade later, the first fully electronic digital computer, the so-called ENIAC, was built.
Allen Newel / Cliff Shaw / Herbert Simons (1916-2001)
The first artificial intelligence (AI) program was launched in 1955-1956 by Herbert Simon, Allen Newell, and John Shaw. Herbert Alexander Simon, Nobel Laureate in Economics (1978), was an American political scientist. His numerous publications made him one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century.
John McCarthy (1927-2011)
In the summer of 1956, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, and Claude Shannon organized a conference at Dartmouth College on Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a term McCarthy coined for the occasion. John was a well-known computer scientist at Stanford University. He also developed time-sharing, invented the programming language LISP, and founded the research area of artificial intelligence (AI).
What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how does it relate to marketing?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), or Engl. Artificial Intelligence (AI), is based on human intelligence. It deals with how this can be represented in computers. Important topics in artificial intelligence are knowledge, representation of knowledge, thinking, learning, experimenting, heuristic search, and pattern recognition. All of these elements are relevant to marketing in managerial decision making. This is used to solve marketing problems. Algorithms that are similar in structure to the human brain play a crucial role.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Types
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be divided into strong and weak artificial intelligence (AI). Strong artificial intelligence (AI) refers to machines that operate with consciousness, sensation, and reason. The intelligence of the machine is pronounced in several areas. In contrast, weak artificial intelligence (AI) deals with specific tasks or areas of knowledge such as B. the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in a self-driving car.
New marketing approaches are emerging through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales. With artificial intelligence (AI) in machines, for example, segment-of-one marketing is possible. Each customer is addressed individually. This contrasts with the mass market segmentation. In this case, the same address is given for each persona. Marketing is moving away from standardization to individuality. This is shown in the graphic below.
What is robotics and what is the difference to artificial intelligence (AI)?
Robotics deals with the design, development, operation, and application of robots. In addition, robotics is a sub-area of artificial intelligence (AI). The idea of robotics is to create systems that are able to understand the behavior of human beings. The robot is the hardware. Artificial intelligence can be understood as the software consisting of complex algorithms.
Advantages and disadvantages of using artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales
What are the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales?
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools that are used in the areas of marketing and sales are usually based on long-term marketing strategies and techniques as well as product recommendations and forward-looking lead scoring. This intelligent software can contact 100% of the leads. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) can do this much faster than a human being. In this way, the company’s sales potential can be maximized. The Business Insider also predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will take place without the need for anyone. If the forecast developments occur, there is another opportunity to save on personnel costs.
Another advantageous application of artificial intelligence (AI) is the creation of customer-oriented campaigns in the form of personalized letters and targeted advertisements. This is done on the basis of in-depth knowledge of the behavior of (potential) customers. With the help of the so-called predictive analysis, companies can understand the preferences of their users and make recommendations based on this data. We know this type of recommendation. B. already from Netflix. However, the data available to sales reps without the use of sales and marketing AI tools is limited to their own experience, intuition, and possibly the strategies their company prescribes. On the one hand, AI can make a significant contribution to improving and target-oriented communication between companies and customers. Human errors can also be minimized. On the other hand, more data can be processed and up- and cross-selling potentials can be better identified and used.
In addition, the automation of marketing and sales processes using AI means that employees can concentrate in particular on their core tasks. Many sales teams often spend a large part of their working time on tasks such as qualifying leads. There is little time for sales and reaching sales targets. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to do these repetitive tasks.
What are the disadvantages of using artificial intelligence in marketing and sales?
Especially with simple, uncomplicated chatbots, users quickly realize that they are not communicating with a real person. This can sometimes trigger a feeling of low esteem among them. Anyone who has already had to click through hotline menus to ultimately speak to a robot knows how frustrating that can be. Therefore, chatbots based on their target audience should be used with care and supported by a living person as often as possible.
Another disadvantage is the fact that algorithms for artificial intelligence (AI) can also be wrong. It is hard to imagine that a computer is wrong – mathematically or in terms of formulas they may always be “right” – but humans are so much more than just formulas and statistics. It is unique, has different tastes and preferences that cannot be reduced to a single formula. What makes us human is the fact that we are constantly changing. This can be difficult for an AI to imitate. Even the entrepreneurs suggest regulating artificial intelligence (AI) because he believes it can pose certain threats.
Practical examples and key players in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales
Author Peter Drucker once said that the most important contribution of management in the 21st century is to increase the productivity of skilled workers. Artificial intelligence will change that in the future. Many companies invest in artificial intelligence (AI) for the following reasons:
Automation of work processes that people do not like to do
Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms are able to perform tasks that are often repeated. An example of this is the updating of contact details in Customer Relationship Management. Furthermore, leads in business development are sorted using artificial intelligence (AI). Submitting this work to robots frees up capacity that sales teams can apply to sales.
Automation of work processes that people cannot do
Artificial intelligence can identify trends in industries and provide sales teams with the corresponding data sets. Particularly complex data records can be processed faster and easier because data is automatically checked and actionable insights are highlighted.
Increase in lead quality and shortening of sales processes
A full pipeline is not useful unless the leads are pre-qualified and useful. Sales teams that use predictive analytics spend less time looking for prospects and more time actually selling. The algorithms in artificial intelligence evaluate leads based on KPIs. The closer a new lead comes to existing customers with the best value, the higher this lead is rated. By providing the best leads, who are also ready to buy, the cycle times of sales are reduced.
Predict cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
Cross-selling and up-selling opportunities are often missed because sales teams lack a structured process for whom and when they do up-selling. Artificial intelligence (AI) analyzes to ensure that sellers focus on customers who have high sales opportunities and would most likely agree to a changeover.
Predict sales forecasts related to certain types of customers
International Data Corporation predicts real-time personalization of ads by 2020. The aim is to make the target group approach more precise, to communicate messages more precisely, and to ensure that the context corresponds to the customer and his problems. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can scan entire integrated databases. These are e.g. B. CRM and customer orders up to lead scoring tools. This form of machine learning can build customer personalities that include sales potential and risk forecasts. In addition, groups can be divided according to characteristics.
Practical examples of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales
Personal assistant in sales
Salespeople are often under stress. The result is minor errors in the documentation or forgotten things. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to automatically perform administrative tasks. These are, for example, tools that organize the email inbox, manage appointments, and communicate with the customer. Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for the systems to continuously learn through the actions performed and, for example, to recognize the salesperson’s habits and act accordingly. Examples of this are tools such as Calendar, Troops, or Clara Labs.
Chatbots are one of many areas of application for AI. These are computer programs that communicate with people using a voice function or text. The content of the chatbots is generated by access to large data sources. In this way, individual words can be put together in connection with sentences. Chatbots also have the opportunity to learn from communication and to constantly improve in language and content.
Hyper targeting is the automated use of individual advertisements for a user with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). For this, certain user data are analyzed by certain algorithms. The focus is on buying behavior. Especially when an article is bought, the different phases of the customer’s purchase, and which individual people react to advertising material. The system saves these processes and continues to learn. This means that various advertising materials or advertising variants can be weighed and used in a fraction of a second.
Data evaluation with artificial intelligence (AI)
Digitalization is also changing the processes in the company’s marketing departments. Today it is no longer common to create campaigns based on creative ideas but to develop them based on user data. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), large amounts of data can be evaluated automatically and for specific purposes, and reports can be created. This forms the basis for targeted marketing measures. Examples of this are the tools Google Analytics and Open Web Analytics.
Key player of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing and sales
The company provides an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that uses a number of APIs. Language and vision are core elements of the processes. Microsoft also offers a cognitive toolkit. It was developed to be extremely user-friendly. This helps companies and other users to close the gap in this technology. Large amounts of data are of central importance for functional artificial intelligence (AI). This scaling is achieved through the Azure cloud. The company is also making an important contribution to overall advances in artificial intelligence (AI) as Microsoft Research has made significant progress in areas such as deep learning.
DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, is one of the most important pillars of artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide. DeepMind focuses on turning research into reality. It also focuses on key areas such as energy, health, and science.
Banjo uses artificial intelligence (AI) to search for social media. This is used to determine the position of the company. This can be the key to emergency services and other organizations that require agility within public opinion and activity.