What marketers want from AI


Download “6 Ways Marketers Are Using AI” to get even more insight.

At Acoustic, we’re all about listening. So when we were figuring out what marketers really want from AI across our marketing cloud, we interviewed our own customers. We were particularly keen to understand how they thought it could help them deliver meaningful value to their business, and their answers wound up focusing on these three categories.

“Tell me when things are going wrong so I can fix them quickly.”

Clearly marketers don’t want just the good news — they also want the bad and ugly as well. It’s that part that helps them adjust their campaigns as soon as possible to stop any losses and start building a stronger relationship with their customers.

High on the list was getting alerted to customer struggle quickly, such as an online shopper being unable to complete a purchase or encountering any difficulty, frustration, or dead-end that needed to be fixed. Another ask was being able to know when campaign performance is trending down or is below expectation, which could be an indicator of larger or systematic issues. Small details that could reveal serious issues include email open rates and increases in the number of soft or hard email bounces.

In these cases, AI can be thought of as watching over the marketing operations to notify marketers of any problems ASAP — whether through in-app notifications or via email/SMS — so they can quickly mitigate the issue. Missing the trouble signs leads to reduced customer lifetime value and unhappy customers. It’s bad either way, whether customers take their business elsewhere or you simply fail to connect with and nurture them effectively. And AI can alert you to these things faster so you can keep things running smoothly.

“Help me be more productive.”

We’re all being asked to do more with less, all the time. This is where harnessing the power of AI really pays off, as it automates tasks and provides insights that require extensive data crunching.

For example, our customers wanted AI to provide them with insights and suggestions on how emails could be improved (before sending them out). This could include suggesting subject lines to optimize open rates, or selecting the content tailored to your target audience. Several clients asked for predictive performance metrics such as target estimates of open rates, click-through rates, and conversion.  

An important aspect of AI is in the ongoing reporting of performance. Did that new subject line really drive a 5% increase in open rates? Did my conversion rate really go up 10%? Did the new image really improve click-through rates by 7%?

AI monitors large amounts of your data and customer behavior around the clock, efficiently gathering and updating the marketing information you want. Our customers also requested help locating relevant marketing assets, videos, and images to build new campaigns — AI can do that, and even help automatically tag and crop those images to speed campaign creation. And, it can provide more relevant search results, based on where someone is on a website and what they’re doing.

By tracking the performance of the AI models and feeding their results back into the learning process, results improve over time, making your marketing effort even more productive.

“Help me truly understand customer journeys so I can communicate more effectively.”

Everyone also wanted to know what their customers were thinking so they could deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right place. This could mean estimating the customer’s likelihood to convert or the risk of them leaving your site so that you can make an offer to convert the customer before they leave. AI can bring you those remarkably valuable customer insights so you can nurture customers through a journey that helps promote loyalty, longevity, and increasing lifetime value.

Our clients wanted AI guidance on the best channel for contacting each customer as well as recommend the right content to send them. You need to know the best time and location to send a push notification for each customer, guidance on which customers are most likely to respond well to a particular campaign and if they’re being contacted too frequently.

For example, AI can alert you to problems with an ongoing email campaign, using what we call “AI-powered anomaly detection in automation programs.” You can continuously monitor an ongoing campaign for problems across six areas as shown below:

In this example, notice the spike in the number of hard bounces. The alert makes it clear that the emails aren’t getting through, so you can investigate and fix the problem right away.

All of these examples are how AI should be used within a marketing cloud: its capabilities should be fully integrated into your marketing workflow, be simple to understand, and require no set-up or configuration to work well. Ideally, it should be easy, intuitive, and powerful — alerting you to problems, making you more productive, and giving you greater insight to your customers — so that you can better engage your customers.

Download “6 Ways Marketers Are Using AI” to get even more insight.

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