Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming an invaluable tool for enterprises to unlock the potential of their data and better compete in the digital era. It enables them to determine patterns, identify trends, and continuously improve performance.
Marketers are becoming more sophisticated with utilizing AI to drive customer-centric campaigns by incorporating personalization and real-time marketing tactics. But there are many other behind-the-scenes applications for AI that can help marketers improve performance and deliver greater ROI to the business.
Marketers likely all agree that the budgeting process is a tedious, complicated, and painful experience. Decisions are often predicated on shaky insights gleaned from disjointed data sets, subjective and biased observations, and educated guesses. With increased pressure on marketing to build market share and demonstrate significant ROI, marketers need a far more sophisticated and accurate method for making budgeting and planning decisions.
AI offers marketers a holistic, automated approach to planning and budgeting. Using learning algorithms, AI can abstract the chaos and bias out of the process by organizing and analyzing all relevant data, detecting trends and patterns, providing hidden insights, and enabling marketers to create and compare different “what if” scenarios to optimize outcomes. It makes the entire process far more efficient and accurate, giving enterprises a significant head start with rich insights they can use to make more informed and strategic decisions.
So, how can you optimize AI to best support your planning and budgeting processes?
Break down organizational and data silos
Organizational and data silos make it incredibly difficult for marketers to get access to the data they need to take full advantage of AI. With your responsibilities now spread out across campaigns, customer experience, social media, digital marketing, etc., you need access to data across your entire enterprise for accurate reporting. This may include data from finance, sales, customer service, partners and agencies, and more. Accomplishing this will require you to establish cross-team alignment and facilitate integration and data sharing.
Gain insight into past performance
Knowing which marketing campaigns and tactics performed well against last year’s budget and—just as importantly–didn’t perform to expectations, is critical to creating your plan and budget for the new year. You want the ability to replicate past successes, apply best practices and avoid repeating mistakes. AI can offer these insights and may also spark and inspire new ideas.
Identify trends and hidden patterns
AI has the ability to factor in far more variables than a human can by just using spreadsheets. It can find patterns in successful content, campaigns and experiences that you may have missed. These patterns offer invaluable insight as you plan and budget for next year.
Analyze customer behavior
Data about customer behavior offers marketers a gold mine of insights, including:
Where they shop, bank, and eat
What they buy
What services they use
How much they spend
What social platforms they use
What channels and devices they prefer
What offers they respond to
If they are a rewards member
If they are a loyal customer
Using AI to analyze this wealth of information gives marketers greater insight into customer behavior and preferences so they can create campaigns, content, and experiences that optimize customer engagement and drive ROI.
Run “What if” scenarios to maximize ROI
Once you have access to your data and insights into performance, customer behavior, patterns and more, you can begin formalizing your marketing plan and budget. While all this insight should give you far more confidence as you make decisions, AI enables you to take the process one step further by performing hypothetical scenarios.
With the ability to adjust variables and then compare outcomes, you can better predict future performance. This level of predictive insight also gives marketers far more credibility when presenting and defending their proposed budgets to the CFO.
Continuously measure performance and make adjustments
No matter how much data you have or how many scenarios you run, there’s never a guarantee that campaigns will perform as expected. AI gives marketers the ability to continuously analyze real-time data to measure ongoing performance vs. expected performance, identify new patterns, and run new scenarios. This information empowers marketers with the agility to make adjustments to ongoing marketing efforts to maximize their ROI.
Aprimo’s integrated solutions portfolio utilizes AI capabilities to enable organizations to optimize their customer experiences and the resources they use to deliver them. To learn more about how organizations can utilize intelligence technologies for planning and budgeting, watch our on demand webinar, “Optimizing AI for Marketing: What’s the future and what’s just hype.”