In February 2010, Watson, IBM’s AI computing system, defeated two Jeopardy! Champions. Five years and one month later, Google’s DeepMind AI, AlphaGo, would defeat Lee Sedol, the best human Go player.

The hype around AI isn’t just because AI has started to beat humans at games like Go which were long thought to require more intuition, creativity, and strategic thinking than a computer; the hype comes because the real-world applications that AI will bring about over the next decade are remarkable and game-changing.

Data Consolidation Leading To Strategic AI Capabilities

AI and automation have long been targets for online marketing where the transition to an online world offers the tantalizing ability for marketers to engage users individually across multiple channels.

So why is AI only emerging now as a force in Martech? “Lite” machine learning and AI features like personalized email campaigns have existed for some time now, but the real benefits of AI are being realized due to the consolidation of user data. Data warehousing solutions like RedShfit and BigQuery enable organizations to store comprehensive views of users across channels cheaply and easily. Traditionally, customer data like email engagement, support requests, and onsite engagement lived in different incompatible platforms. This data consolidation provides the inputs needed for AI platforms to build a comprehensive view of each user and enable true cross-channel strategies to engage their users.

Here is what the evolution of AI in Martech looks like:

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AI Calling Audible Plays For Every User

How will these Martech solutions evolve over the coming years? AI solutions will help marketers:

  1. Not only predict and learn what customers will do next
  2. But share what marketers should do next to optimally engage customers
  3. And strategically plan the customer journey several steps ahead while simultaneously dynamically adapting to user behaviors

Marketers using AI now have tools capable of strategically engaging each user by thinking several steps ahead in order to maximize the value of every user. E.g. show Jane red purses with a 10% discount and free shipping via email and show Bruce straight-legged, black pants with no discount & free 2-day shipping via a mobile push notification.

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Take a football game as an example. You would be hard-pressed to find a coach who advocates the same strategy be used for every game. What if you faced a team with a weak defensive line? What if your running back strained their calf? In the same way, marketing strategies should adapt and dynamically change for each user. You should anticipate the unique needs of every user, and strategically planning on how to maximize their value.

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Strategic AI At The Center Of Future Businesses

Data consolidation and increases in on-demand computing are powerful trends for enabling Strategic AI platforms. The most advanced brands are already pushing the envelope and powering increasing amounts of their customer touch-points with AI-based platforms. Strategic AI will ultimately fuse the traditionally disparate areas of BI and marketing into an automated and unified customer engagement framework. And Strategic AI will act as the beating heart of every future business.

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