E-commerce teams are, too often, forced to settle for mediocrity amidst data and channel overload. Boost your marketing and CRM approach with AI-enabled technology, and instantly increase conversion rates, and scale your personalized communications.

I have the pleasure of speaking to a lot of really smart marketing teams who are thinking about how to better serve their customers through more personalized experiences.

And many of these brands have made investments in technology and talent to, ultimately, better acquire, convert, and retain customers. But sometimes having the data to justify these kinds of investments can be difficult.

We know what needs to be done, but realizing it remains just out of reach.

Being a marketer is hard. Not because of the goals we have or the decisions we ultimately have to make to get there – but because of the innumerable options we have and the overwhelming plethora of information at our fingertips.

Making the right decision isn’t always as easy as we’d hope.

The e-commerce marketer’s dilemma: warning signs you need AI

Like many digital marketers, chances are you’re trying to optimize your e-commerce growth and drive repeat purchases.

The problem (among others) is this: you have thousands of monthly unique visitors, and are trying to boost conversion rates for first-time visitors who spend a few minutes on your website, and then leave.

In an ideal world, you’d be able to capture these users’ digital identification – their email address – understand which products they were viewing, predict whether they’re likely to buy that product or another like it, and use that information to create a campaign to drive repeated engagement leading to a measured conversion. It’s situations like this where AI is literally the bridge between what we want and need vs. what our resources enable us to tangibly do.

twitter #AI helps marketers use #data to see which products people viewed, then retarget & convert them, says @ARTimlin CLICK TO TWEET

In working with some of today’s top brands, I’ve found two common, tangible warning signs that indicate a company is ready for an AI boost (I also notice a mentality where these things become “nice-to-haves” when they really ought to be “must-haves”).

Trying to scale the unscalable

You’re busy!

You spend a lot of your time understanding your customers, looking for trends and uncovering insights.

You work with business analysts or data scientists to look for patterns or trends using BI tools or analytics platforms. They work with people to move data from databases or data warehouses into analytics databases or big data solutions.

Related Content: Revolutionizing Big Data with Artificial Intelligence

When you find key trends, you create personas (or segments) and align your marketing teams to create campaigns around those insights.

You work with the campaign management team to take the segments you create from the analytics platform or BI tool and push it into your marketing execution platform (and the web team to optimize data capture on-site).

You then pull the data collected from your databases into the BI tools or analytics platform to find out how well it worked – or take the easy route and tag the campaign with the right GA tracking links and watch your dashboard.

Many brands go through this same manual process via multiple channels including email, mobile push, Google AdWords, Facebook, and Instagram, among others. They try to extrapolate meaningful data and draw insights and execute campaigns for thousands of individual customers and for hundreds or thousands of products across their website, mobile website, iOS and Android app.

This process simply doesn’t scale.

twitter Manually combing thru data, segments, & campaigns via all channels/devices simply doesn’t scale, says @ARTimlin CLICK TO TWEET

Marketing (personalized marketing, to be exact) is one facet of a business that, no matter how hard you try, is impossible to scale without technology.

Yet achieving personalization at scale is precisely what’s needed.

If a marketing platform can allow us to build customer journeys from these insights and automate these campaigns, we suddenly make time to solve other problems and generate more creative, strategic content.

Taking the time-consuming, mind-numbing manual labor out of marketing

Often times, all we want to do is look at a dashboard, and press “go.”

We want to see that our conversion rate of new visitors to first-time buyers was sub-optimal, capture their details, understand the categories or products that these people would likely buy, and use this information to send them a timely and relevant message to drive repeat visits and conversions.

Maybe we want to initiate a triggered email campaign with product/content recommendations that are optimized for each individual user – but only target users who browsed our website and didn’t purchase, and who engaged with our Google AdWords campaign or Facebook/Instagram retargeting campaign initially.

AI-enabled marketing automation can help marketers simplify these kinds of previously complex tasks.

Related Content: What is Marketing Automation?

It’s this level of granularity that many marketers seek, but, when they sit down at their desks to “do,” they simply don’t have the tools to execute.

Here’s the beautiful part: AI-enabled marketing technology gives marketing teams the ability to populate campaigns with automatically personalized content that adapts to the device, behaviors, location, language, and preferences of each individual customer. The AI-driven machine will optimize itself over time so you don’t have to.

twitter #AI-enabled martech auto-populates content for individuals based on behavior, location, & preferences CLICK TO TWEET

A steady dose of AI makes the pain go away

If these scenarios remind you of your day-to-day, you’re not alone.

We need to start thinking about how we solve these tasks in a different way – which often starts with consolidating tools and teams to have the fewest possible steps and the least possible time between insight and action.

The tell-tale signs above are both key indicators that it’s time to look at the role that marketing automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence could play in helping your marketing and CRM strategy.

Related Content: The Clear and Present Dangers: An E-Commerce Operation Without AI

AI is the key to helping you scale your marketing, and to solving some of these kinds of challenges which elude you due to time, technology, or resource constraints.

If we can use technology to drive better, more personalized communications at scale, we suddenly open up a whole new world where we’ll be able to refocus on the right things, new things – strategic things that add value in ways we may’ve not even been able to conceive of.

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