In a world of Big Data and constant connectivity, businesses are looking for fresh ways to optimise their marketing efforts and get the most out of their customer relationships.
Effective intelligent marketing requires an understanding of customer behaviour at an individual level and using that data to deliver personalised experiences that meet their needs.
Intelligent measurement is a key piece of the puzzle, allowing businesses to track customer interactions and engagement across all channels.
On the surface, the concept of “intelligence” in marketing may seem like a buzzword or trend that will quickly fade away. However, the reality is that businesses that embrace intelligent marketing strategies are seeing real results versus those that don’t.
Here’s a closer look at intelligent measurement and intelligent marketing and how harnessing both can help your business stay ahead of the competition.
What is intelligent marketing?
Intelligent marketing is an approach that blends data, advanced technology, and creativity to optimise customer experiences and achieve desired business outcomes.
To help you visualise what this looks like in action, let’s take a closer look at each of those elements:
- Data: In order for businesses to know what their customers want and need, they must first collect data on them. This data can come from a variety of sources, including website analytics, social media interactions, customer surveys, and more.
- Advanced technology: Once businesses have data on their customers, they can use advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyse it and identify patterns. This information can then be used to improve customer segmentation, create targeted marketing campaigns, and other initiatives.
- Creativity: Finally, creativity is still a critical component of intelligent marketing. After all, you’re still marketing to humans, and you need to find ways to connect with them on an emotional level.
It’s also important to note that intelligent marketing is not the same as marketing intelligence.
Marketing intelligence is the process of gathering data about your customers and your competition to make informed marketing decisions.
Intelligent marketing uses data and technology to craft customised experiences for your customers that will drive desired outcomes.
A useful way to think about them is that marketing intelligence is one of the tools you need for intelligent marketing.
Now, while today’s marketing tools and techniques are barely recognisable from those of even a few years ago, the overall objectives of marketing have remained fundamentally the same.
In particular, marketing aims to:
- Increase business revenue
- Reduce costs across the board (e.g., operational, marketing, customer acquisition, etc.)
- Drive higher customer lifetime value (CLV), aka repeat business and customer loyalty
- Improve ROI from marketing initiatives
- Keep customers happy and engaged
- Boost the visibility and reputation of the business
In short, marketing is still all about creating value for the business – the difference is how efficiently and effectively it can now be done.
Traditional marketing strategies, for instance, execute first and measure last. Specifically, businesses would develop and launch a marketing campaign, wait for it to run its course, and then assess how well it performed after the fact.
Intelligent marketing is the complete opposite.
Instead of conducting post-campaign analysis, businesses using intelligent marketing are able to optimise their campaigns in real-time using live data and feedback from customers.
This allows businesses to make immediate changes to improve results, rather than waiting to see how a campaign performs weeks or even months later.
So, what does that look like in real-life scenarios? Here’s an example using retail marketing as a use case:
If a retail business wanted to increase sales of a certain product, they could use AI to analyse data on customer purchase history, website interactions, and social media interactions.
This would allow them to identify patterns in customer behaviour, such as the time of day they’re most likely to buy the product, what other products they typically purchase with it, etc.
This information could then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to result in a sale. For example, the retail business could send out a discount code for the product via email or push notification to customers who are likely to be interested in it.
This level of hyper-targeted and personalised approach was hard to even imagine a few years ago, but it’s now possible thanks to intelligent marketing.
Why intelligent marketing is important for business
It’s not a stretch to say that intelligent marketing is the future. In fact, it’s already present – companies like Amazon and Netflix have been using it for years to increase sales and improve customer retention.
Better yet, intelligent marketing works for just about any type and size of business in any industry.
So whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a large multinational corporation, you can benefit from understanding its importance:
Businesses that can connect to their customers on a deeper, more personal level are going to be the most successful
Today, being “competitive” doesn’t mean offering the best features for the lowest price. Customers want more than that. They want to feel valued, not sold to.
Intelligent marketing offers businesses a way to understand their customers on a deeper level. For instance, rather than just knowing that a customer bought a product, businesses can now track how they found out about the product, what their experience was like while using it, and whether or not they would recommend it to others.
This type of customer insight is invaluable for businesses because it allows them to improve the customer experience at every touchpoint. As a result, customers are more likely to be satisfied and remain loyal to the business – which ultimately leads to increased sales and profitability.
Tomorrow’s winners are businesses that can meet changing customer needs in real-time
The internet has spoiled today’s consumers. With a few clicks, they can find and purchase anything they want anytime, anywhere.
This convenience has created a new set of expectations among consumers. They now expect businesses to be able to quickly and easily respond to their needs – no matter how rapidly those needs change. So, for example, a customer might buy a product online and then decide to return it right after purchase.
In the past, businesses might not have found out about the return until weeks later, at which point it would be too late to do anything about it.
But with intelligent marketing, businesses can have systems in place that immediately notify them of a return and give them the opportunity to make things right with the customer. So instead of losing a sale, the business has a chance to turn a return into a satisfied customer who feels cared for.
Intelligent marketing aggregates information about customers and identifies what prompts their actions
Imagine knowing exactly what your customers want before they do. That’s the power of intelligent marketing.
With intelligent marketing, businesses can gather data about customer behaviour and preferences. This data can then be used to predict future customer needs and desires.
For example, a retailer might use intelligent marketing to track the search terms customers use on its website.
If the retailer notices that a particular search term is being used more and more frequently, it might infer that customers are interested in a new product and decide to stock its shelves accordingly.
Intelligent marketing also enables businesses to develop customised campaigns for each type of customer. Want to target first-time buyers with a special discount? No problem. Need to create a loyalty program to keep your highest-paying customers coming back? Easy, since the data already told you what kind of rewards and incentives they respond to.
The role of intelligent measurement
Finally, all of that brings us back to intelligent measurement. Once you’ve started using intelligent marketing to connect with your customers on a deeper level and provide them with the experiences they crave, you need to find a way to measure the results.
Are customers responding positively to your campaigns? What kind of return are you getting on your investment? Intelligent measurement is how you answer these questions in a scientific, customer-by-customer way.
In general, intelligent measurement is commonly used in relation to smart technology and automated systems. Some examples are IT systems that are coupled with sensors, artificial intelligence, and automated measurements for driving conditions, weather, automotive performance, and more.
However, the core concept is the same in terms of intelligent digital marketing, in that marketers can now use technology like artificial intelligence to measure, optimise, and customise their marketing campaigns.
For instance, AI and intelligent measurement can help businesses do the following:
- Create ultra-personalized experiences based on analysis of each individual customer profile
- Process massive amounts of data to predict the market, identify trends, and make recommendations
- Predict customer behaviour in order to create targeted content that resonates
- Identify gaps in the customer journey and recommend solutions
- Determine the best time to reach each customer with the right message
- Figure out exactly what kind of content and offers customers want and when they want it
These are just a few examples of what’s possible with intelligent measurement, and the exciting part is that we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface.
Wrapping it up
Digital marketing has come a long way in recent years, and businesses that embrace intelligent marketing and intelligent measurement will be well-positioned to thrive in the years to come. If you’re not already using these concepts in your marketing efforts, now is the time to start.
Your customers – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.