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The 5 Ws of AI Marketing

When it comes to the junction between business and technology, AI seems to be the biggest topic on everyone’s minds—and for good reason: organizational adoption of AI has more than doubled since 2017.

We’ve previously busted common AI marketing myths and shared some great (and not-so-great) examples. We’ve even conducted an interview with ChatGPT to get its take on AI’s role in marketing (spoiler alert: it knew what it was talking about).

But there’s another useful framework for understanding an emerging topic: the five Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). If asking these questions works for reporters, detectives, and elementary school teachers assigning storytelling prompts, then it can be valuable for us.

It’s back-to-school season, after all, so let’s get back to basics and cover the 5 Ws of AI marketing.

Who Can Benefit From AI Marketing?

It’ll sound like an AI wrote this if we say “everyone,” but it doesn’t make it less true. The benefits of AI marketing are universal because who doesn’t want to make their jobs faster and more effective?

For marketing professionals specifically, however, AI can serve many functions:

  • Digital marketers can analyze vast amounts of data, identify trends, and make custom recommendations to improve campaign performance.
  • Content marketers can generate topic ideas, optimize for SEO, and personalize content based on user preferences.
  • Email marketers can identify audience segments, optimize send times, and automate messaging workflows.
  • Marketing analysts can uncover new insights, understand market trends better, and use predictive models to tailor marketing strategies and improve decision-making.
  • E-commerce marketers can personalize product recommendations, optimize pricing strategies, and analyze customer browsing and purchase history to drive sales and conversions with relevant offers.

What Exactly is AI Marketing, and What Challenges Does it Solve?

Put simply, AI marketing is the use of artificial intelligence concepts and models to execute marketing strategies and campaigns that achieve business goals. Right now, many marketers are being asked to expand the impact of their customer engagement without increasing the size of their teams. When properly integrated, AI can sort through massive volumes of data and quickly analyze patterns, making it easier for marketers to target audiences more precisely.

Here are just a few challenges AI solves for marketers:

  • Personalization: AI algorithms make it possible to deliver tailored experiences to millions of customers based on their individual behaviors, which leads to higher engagement and conversion rates. Iterable’s Channel Optimization can optimize which channels you use to send your marketing messaging, based on individual customer preference. This takes the guesswork out of your customer communication.
  • Audience segmentation: AI can more accurately identify distinct customer segments based on demographics, behavior, interests, and preferences. Marketers can then use these segments to create more relevant and effective communications. Iterable takes this one step further with Brand AffinityTM, which allows you to label customers by sentiment. This makes it easy to suppress the disengaged and retain your most loyal fans.
  • Campaign automation: Imagine eliminating those repetitive marketing tasks and freeing up your time for strategy and creativity. AI can automate social media scheduling, email and mobile messaging sends, ad optimization, and more, while ensuring consistency and accuracy. Iterable’s Next Best Action, for instance, automatically recommends segments, creates campaigns, and pre-populates messaging copy in just a few clicks.
  • Predictive analytics: Predict every customer’s next move by leveraging AI to forecast future outcomes based on historical patterns. Marketers can use AI like Iterable’s Predictive Goals to become better decision-makers by identifying potential churn, anticipating customer behavior, and developing smarter individualization strategies for improved results.

When Did AI in Marketing Get So Popular, and is it Worth the Hype?

While news coverage has made it seem like AI has exploded only recently, the technology has been around for decades. You’re already familiar with AI-powered products and services, whether you’re finding a new TV show to stream or shopping on the “recommended for you” section of your favorite retailer’s online store.

The rise in generative AI and chatbots has increased the visibility of AI marketing, but AI marketing technologies that are worth the hype will always be the ones that make the biggest impact and drive real results. Marketers especially will prioritize the tools that make it easier to learn more about their customers and work more efficiently.

Where is AI Marketing Going in the Future?

With heightened awareness of AI, adoption will continue to increase, as nearly two-thirds of organizations expect their investment in AI to increase over the next three years.

This increased adoption will, in turn, call for more transparency and regulation. Without this accountability, businesses won’t have a solid grasp of why their AI marketing tools are making particular recommendations.

The good news is that humans will still be very much involved in AI-assisted marketing. As technologies become more sophisticated, they’ll be able to support more marketing functions, but marketers themselves will continue to drive customer experiences.

Why Should You Use AI in Marketing?

This question is a bit of a misnomer, as, odds are, you’re likely already using AI marketing. From spell check to predictive text and autocomplete functionality available in popular workspace tools, many use cases are so commonplace by now, they’ve become a part of everyday life.

The “why” for expanding your use of AI marketing with next-gen platforms often involves enhancing your company’s opportunities for personalization.

For example, after neobank Aspiration started using Iterable’s send-time optimization (STO) for its email and push notifications, the marketing team saw their open, click, and conversion rates double, allowing them to engage customers with the right content at precisely the right moment. Boris Savoie Doyer, Aspiration’s Head of CRM, said plainly: “Even with the largest, most technical marketing team, I could never match the results we see with Iterable AI.”

The more support we get from AI, the closer we can get to anticipating and responding to customer needs in real time—a crucial requirement for strengthening retention and loyalty.

Get Started With AI Marketing Solutions

Expanding your use of artificial intelligence with modern, AI-powered marketing solutions makes sense for the vast majority of businesses, so it’s important to become acclimated to new technologies. Once you’ve assessed your comfort level and that of your teammates, identify which tools your organization is already using and what areas of marketing are primed for experimentation.

Consider a gradual or phased approach, beginning with AI use cases that will bring the most value to your team, whether it’s with send time optimization or copywriting assistance. Once you become more comfortable, you can add on more advanced use cases, like predictive goals and analytics.

AI is a giant leap for mankind, but like with any technology, your business can get started by taking one small step.

Interested in an AI marketing platform that can tackle all of these use cases and more? Check out Iterable’s AI Suite for data-driven insights and optimization.


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