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Originally Published by: Entrepreneur | Albizu Garzal | January 25, 2019

How AI is driving marketing automation

Marketing automation is a rapidly growing industry set to expand by 8.55 percent this year, increasing market capitalization to $5.5 billion by 2019. Given the benefits, it’s not surprising that more than half of companies use some form of marketing automation already.

As the industry grows in the next year, we can expect to see some particular trends in how marketing automation utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to better target customers. AI is already widely used in marketing automation, for some very compelling reasons. Here’s a look at the most popular use cases.

To reach more people.

AI allows marketers to engage new customers who match their existing customer profiles more efficiently. Customers’ interests, buying habits, and past interactions can be combined to give sales teams a vast pool of data to analyze and filter down to likely targets. This allows marketing to be more efficient and enables companies to build highly-targeted content.

Email marketing, ad content, social media marketing and search engine optimization all benefit from the intelligent analysis of customer data that would not be possible without the processing power of AI.

Customer retention

An even bigger challenge than finding customers is keeping them. Customer retention is the basis of every company’s success, so continuing to provide value and relevant content is key.

AI enables companies to remain up-to-date with minimal input, bringing customers tailored content, personalized recommendations, and providing one-on-one human-like assistance with chatbots and virtual assistants.

Related: 3 Pillars of Client Retention Every Brand Needs to Implement

Increasing efficiency

Chatbots are a vital tool in increasing efficiency while decreasing overhead costs. A chatbot can use personalized information for each customer it speaks to, allowing it to provide real-time, valuable assistance or service in a targeted and friendly manner.

AI allows this increase in efficiency while enhancing user experience through personalization and timeliness. The majority of consumers are now familiar and comfortable interacting with chatbots.

Related: 4 Uses for a Chatbot That Will Transform Your Business

Trends to watch in 2019

More and more companies are being drawn to marketing automation, and as they are, they help to define the important developments in the industry. 2019 promises to be an exciting year of growth for AI in marketing.

Trend 1: Voice and visual searches

Organic search opportunities continue to be very lucrative for companies. Slightly more than half of product searches currently originate on Amazon, but there is a growing trend in voice and visual searches using IoT devices.

More and more devices have smart speakers; 55.5 percent of customers owning such a device use it to search for products vocally, and 44.2 percent use it to purchase. Savvy marketers are now focusing on generating content to capture voice searches to unlock this expanding market.

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