AI marketing automation is making our marketing efforts smarter and more streamlined. Here’s how.
It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) has gained footing as a powerful tool to make marketers’ jobs easier. While marketing professionals have long had their hands full with all of the moving parts of marketing—analytics to interpret, goals to set, channels to optimize— the good news is that the modern era of artificial intelligence has made automating these tasks easier than ever before.
Combined, AI and marketing automation are a dynamic duo that’s already transforming the way marketing teams do their work every day. As AI marketing automation matures over the next few years, it opens up seemingly endless possibilities for businesses to deepen their personalization efforts, zero in on their exact target markets and drive more sales.
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Why you should be using AI in marketing automation
In some aspects of the business world, AI is still just a concept. But in marketing automation, it’s a proven solution, with forward-thinking marketers constantly developing compelling new use cases.
More than two-thirds (70%) of organizations already use generative AI, according to a survey of 200 chief marketing officers across eight countries conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Another 19% of CMOs said their businesses are testing generative AI.
The good news about AI marketing automation is that you don’t need formal courses to start. You don’t even need to know how to read technical documentation. With so many user-friendly AI technologies on the market today, you can start automating your marketing processes right away. If you’re not convinced, here are four reasons to consider:
- AI is already part of your favorite products: Many of today’s marketing automation and business tools have AI software baked right in. For example, when you build a website with Wix, you have access to AI functionality in the form of text generation, image enhancement and more. You can even use AI to create an email marketing campaign.
- Companies of all types and sizes are using it: It’s likely that you’ve already benefited from AI as a consumer without even realizing it. Mastercard has used AI for years to develop more targeted marketing campaigns and identify trending topics. Whole Foods uses AI to power cashierless checkouts in select stores. And Netflix leverages AI to predict what shows and movies you might want to see next based on your personal viewing history.
- AI eliminates busy work: Exactly how much time can you save with AI? A Salesforce survey estimates that marketers can save more than five hours each week. That adds up to a potential time savings of 260 hours per year. Just imagine how much more productive you or your marketing team can be with that much time back to focus on strategic work.
- AI delivers real return on investment (ROI): Saving time is nice. But can AI-powered marketing automation also help companies boost their bottom line? Early indications say it can. Companies that invest in AI are seeing a revenue lift between 3% to 15% and a sales ROI uplift between 10% to 20%, according to research from McKinsey & Company.
Examples of AI marketing automation
You might choose to use AI in a number of different ways and start applying it to your own business operations. Where to begin? Try one of these 13 use cases:
- Personalized customer experiences
- Email automation
- Chatbots and virtual assistants
- Lead scoring
- Predictive analytics
- Website builders
- Driving website traffic
- Content creation
- Customer segmentation
- Campaign optimization
- Channel optimization
- Targeted advertising
- Sales enablement
01. Personalized customer experiences
Personalization is one of the hottest marketing strategies around these days. But trying to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time is one of the most time-consuming and difficult-to-achieve tasks.
Using AI for marketing automation makes it easier and faster. AI tools, powered by large language models (LLMs), can analyze your customers’ data and create unique recommendations tailored to each of your buyers.
This opens up fresh marketing ideas in nearly any line of business. For example, eCommerce marketers can use AI to recommend products that encourage their customers to buy more. This is something you can do with Wix by adding an AI-powered “best sellers” section to your online store.
Why is this more effective than your standard “best seller” slider? With AI, you don’t have to manually set triggers or pore over data yourself. Oren Inditzky, head of online stores with Wix, explains further in a piece on AI in eCommerce: “By utilizing advanced algorithms, these systems analyze customer behavior, purchase history and browsing patterns to display similar or complementary products alongside a viewed item.”
Considering that 56% of consumers are willing to make another purchase after a personalized experience, this is a marketing tactic well worth the investment.
02. Email automation
Many companies already use email automation to send targeted messages as part of their go-to marketing strategy. But AI-powered marketing automation lets you take the next step and use data to enhance the performance of every email campaign.
You can, for example, use AI to analyze key data (such as click-through rates and open rates) to optimize future emails. It can also suggest the best times for you to send emails to your customers based on their email viewing habits and preferences.
AI can even elevate the content of your emails, especially if you struggle to come up with catchy copy or simply don’t have the time. For example, you can use Wix’s AI-powered functionality to generate the text and layout for your email newsletters. The editor will give you customizable options and results based on the intent of your campaign (promotion, update/announcement, newsletter, etc.).
03. Chatbots and virtual assistants
Customers want service on their schedule, and often that means after normal business hours on weekdays or on weekends. In the past, the only way companies could keep up was to hire more people to answer phones and emails. But AI is revolutionizing the customer service game.
AI-powered chatbots like Tidio allow customers to chat with brands 24/7. These sophisticated technologies allow you to answer your clients’ frequently asked questions, recommend products they might like and even process their orders. They can further direct customers to a live agent to answer complex questions. Chatbots are especially ideal for small business marketing teams that want to create five-star customer experiences but could use an extra hand.
04. Lead scoring
It’s the age-old dilemma in sales and marketing: How do you know which prospects will buy and ultimately become your brand’s biggest fans? Lead scoring is one effective solution. And by adding AI to marketing automation, you can better assess the quality of your leads. You can even infuse AI into your lead-generation strategies by letting algorithms determine which new prospects are worth pursuing
AI engines can analyze the data in your customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other customer databases to help you score each lead. The algorithm will evaluate factors like lead demographics, website engagement, email interactions and social media activity before assigning it a numerical score.
As a result, you or your marketing team can focus on leads with higher scores, knowing they are more likely to convert. This not only increases efficiency but also ensures that resources are allocated where they are most likely to yield positive results—ultimately benefiting your business’s bottom line.
05. Predictive analytics
When it comes to forecasting the future, AI marketing automation offers brands more accuracy than ever before. AI models can ingest both current and historical data to make recommendations about future trends.
How does it work? Let’s say you’re ordering inventory. By analyzing past sales data, market trends and consumer behavior patterns, AI-driven predictive analytics can forecast future demand with remarkable accuracy. This foresight allows you to order inventory in quantities that closely match anticipated sales, minimizing both the risk of stockouts and the costs associated with holding excess inventory.
06. Website building
Building a website can be intimidating for business owners of all sizes, but it doesn’t have to be. Website creation companies are increasingly infusing AI into their platforms—some modern website builders can even generate an entire site with AI. That means you can get in-the-moment guidance on how to make a website, if not create a whole website outright, with recommendations to help you design a beautiful and highly functional online presence.
Wix, for example, includes AI-powered design tools that help you generate templates, images, video trailers and more from a few simple prompts. What’s more, with the Wix text creator, you can create website content that’s effortlessly on-brand. Simply enter the most important information into the AI text creator tool, then let AI do the rest. You can review and edit all copy generated to ensure it meets your company’s tone and voice.
Wix also offers powerful branding tools to round out your web presence. The free Logo Maker and Business Name Generator both utilize AI-driven algorithms to generate industry-specific options for your business.
07. Driving website traffic
Once your website is up and running, you must figure out how to drive traffic to your website. AI can help with this.
You can start building your audience by relying on generative AI tools to complete many search engine optimization (SEO) tasks. Top SEO use cases include using AI to research keywords, write optimized meta descriptions and analyze your competitors’ SEO strategies. Wix, for example, has built-in AI tools that can generate title tags and meta descriptions for blog posts based on a target keyword.
08. Content creation
According to the Salesforce survey cited earlier, content creation is the most popular AI marketing automation use case. Right now, 76% of marketers use AI for content creation and copywriting, while 62% use it to generate images.
AI copywriting tools use algorithms to create drafts of product descriptions, emails and other content assets based on your input. It’s especially useful as a brainstorming tool. Instead of having to get five marketers together on a Zoom call or in a conference room, you can ask a generative AI tool for 12 snappy blog post ideas and get near-instant feedback.
Or, if you’re struggling to find a good caption for an Instagram or Facebook post, Wix’s built-in social post editor can instantly generate three options for you, complete with emojis and trending hashtags. Many marketers also use AI copywriting tools to optimize existing content or rework it to suit the needs of different audiences.
09. Customer segmentation
It can take hours for you to comb through every line of your CRM and create customer segments manually. AI algorithms can analyze customer data quickly, split your contacts up into targeted lists and save you tons of time. You can segment your customers by industry, demographic and psychographic data. Or, you can target customers in a specific region.
By speeding up the segmentation and market research phase, AI marketing automation allows you to launch more effective campaigns faster. In fact, 41% of marketers surveyed by BCG say they use AI marketing automation to target customers more precisely, while 55% of marketers surveyed by Salesforce say they expect to use AI to create marketing campaigns and plan customer journeys.
10. Campaign optimization
The best way to know how your campaigns will perform in the market is to test them, and AI can help you do just that. For example, you can use generative AI to create multiple versions of your messaging for different audiences. You can run A/B tests of subject lines and messaging to see which content delivers the best results.
Moreover, AI models can help you analyze your campaign performance across email, social media and text messaging. They can give you insight into what commands a higher conversion rate. What’s more, AI analysis can help eCommerce marketers identify the best time to send abandoned cart emails to capture more revenue.
11. Channel optimization
Reaching customers today means taking an integrated marketing approach that includes your website, blog, search rankings, multimedia library and social media presence. But how can you know which marketing channel is delivering the highest ROI? That’s where AI marketing automation comes into play.
Instead of manually poring over data, you can use AI to instantly analyze insights from each channel and see which one is driving the highest engagement. This will help you maximize your time and money by doubling down on top-performing channels.
Generative AI is especially helpful with measuring and optimizing social media channels in particular. For example, AI can streamline your approach to influencer marketing by providing insights into the influencer’s audience demographics, engagement rates and potential return on investment (ROI). Or, AI can scour social media for content or hashtags relevant to your business. Then, it can report back to you with data about the performance or engagement of certain topics—even outright suggesting what to post and when.
12. Online advertising
Digital ad prices are up between 20% to 50%, putting the squeeze on marketing teams and anyone trying to start a business. AI brings the promise of lowering your ad costs. You can use AI to analyze display ad performance data and make campaign adjustments in real-time, optimizing your overall spend.
For pay-per-click campaigns, AI data can help you identify keywords, measure ad results and adjust your bidding strategies. Even better, AI can save you time by helping to create eye-catching and persuasive ads in mere minutes.
Wix offers this functionality for Google Ads. The built-in AI tool can automatically generate titles and description text for your campaigns, which you can publish directly from your website editor.
13. Sales enablement
After you warm up your prospects with marketing, you’ll need to close the deal and make a sale. And there are plenty of ways AI in sales gives you the tools you need to streamline your job and work smarter.
AI lets you close deals faster by providing enhanced insights and automating key tasks—both things you would normally have to do manually. Through advanced data analysis, AI can identify promising leads, predict customer needs and personalize communication strategies, increasing the relevance and impact of your sales pitches.
By automating things like data entry and lead qualification, AI also allows you to focus on building relationships and negotiating deals. Furthermore, AI-driven tools can offer real-time recommendations and scripts during customer interactions, improving the effectiveness of sales conversations.