This article features content from Revolution 2017. Join us for in London March 2020 for our next event. Interested in learning more? Click here.

Revolution. A word typically characterized by some sort of massive uprising or major societal movement at the end of some long and bloody struggle.

Revolutions begin small, born in response to a challenge. They grow around a big idea, and usually signify an underlying — often long-accepted — problem exists which needs to be fixed.

History is shaped by three main revolutions, each building and improving upon its predecessor:

The Agricultural Revolution:

Society needed to create a more reliable source of food and changed how we produce, sell, and receive food. No longer do we travel to find food, but rather settle in one area and farm the land.

The Industrial Revolution:

This era introduced convenience and a technology-driven lifestyle as humans tried to turn the manual labor of day-to-day life into an automated process.

The Digital Revolution:

It may have been the most transformative yet. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen more digital innovation and technological advancement than ever before. Both consumers AND purveyors of data find themselves inundated with more information than ever before.

As 2017 creeps to a close, it’s time for customer experience and marketing professionals to embrace the next revolution: AI and machine learning. Let’s explore how this next era of digital disruption will manifest, and what you can do to prepare.

The AI Marketing Revolution

So, what will marketing look like in 2018 and beyond, and how can we deliver on the promise of marketing (personalization) at scale?

Ohad Hecht, our CEO at Emarsys, recently explored this topic in his presentation at Emarsys Revolution in Berlin.

With mass amounts of information, humans need new ways to process and use this information. And just like in the past, we’ve adapted over time by using new channels to digest information and thinking about our data differently. Because of that, marketers are now faced with more data, more channels, and more choices for customers than ever before.

In the past, brands dictated how customers engaged with their business. But now, with increased technology and information, customers interact with brands differently. And now, customers understand the power they have in driving the brand/consumer relationship.

Customers want to buy from brands that know them and market to them in a way that feels like a relationship. They are demanding change.

They’re demanding a truly personalized experience.

They take no qualms in ditching a brand that can’t deliver it to them. They’re even willing to give us their data in exchange for those experiences.

Even though consumers are willing to share data, it results in more data (and more challenges) for marketers. Consumers use more channels now than ever before to research, purchase, and interact with brands, creating mass amounts of data.

“Put yourself in the shoes of the consumers — we are consumers first, and marketers second. Are you really being understood… are your experiences truly being personalized? Is your communication with the brands all about them or all about you?”

Ohad Hecht | CEO, Emarsys | @OhadHecht

One-to-one communication, and building a relationship with each customer, isn’t something that humans can scale.

There are too many channels, and too much data to unify, analyze, and simplify into targeted, personalized one-to-one communications.

Many marketers are using several different point solutions just to collect, analyze, and make sense of all the data they’re collecting. And even with that, some marketing teams are spending most of their time segmenting their customer lists to try to create better personalization.

This must change.

The Revolution of the Marketer

You can no longer rely on what’s always been done in the past. We know that mass segmentation and one-size-fits-all email blasts aren’t fulfilling the need for true personalization — and data segmentation isn’t the reason any of us got into marketing. We fell in love with devising strategies, planning content, and being creative in our approach.

But to get back to doing what we love, we must embrace the revolution. We must challenge the status quo and work harder than ever before to deliver on the promise of marketing and change what’s become our day-to-day routine.

We can do this by embracing the technology that will drive us forward in our work.

The evolution of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a huge driver in the fourth Industrial Revolution. It enables marketers, developers, and inventors to fully harness the power of data and transform it into useful tools and information for the masses.

Many entrepreneurs have been using artificial intelligence for years to drive their businesses forward and make a consumer-driven market that strives to improve quality of life.

Jeff Bezos has reshaped the way customers shop and has realigned their expectations for how they interact with brands. Specifically, the Amazon Prime Effect has left retailers around the country scrambling to figure out a way to provide cheap, 2-day shipping to meet customer expectations.

Elon Musk sees artificial intelligence as means by which we can get from point A to B with self-driving cars.

Embracing artificial intelligence marketing

Global marketing teams are embracing machine learning and artificial intelligence as enabling technologies that can deliver the true personalization customers are craving.

It’s a lot like driving a car.

Think about it — every day, you find yourself getting into your car and driving to a destination. Whether going to work or the grocery store, you find yourself traveling the same roads, dealing with reckless drivers, conversing with your spouse in the front seat, mediating fighting kids in the back seat, and more. And you must deal with these variables in real time, respond to them, solve them, and ultimately arrive at your destination safely.

But what if you had an artificially intelligent “self-driving car” that could get you to your destination, deal with many of the variables surrounding you, and allow you to focus on the relationships surrounding you?

You’d give your full attention to your spouse and keep your kids from fighting, all without worrying about how to get to your destination – safely.

AI marketing works in this way. Your destination becomes your marketing objective and virtually every manual variable you’ve previously defined (time-of-day for sending, incentive amounts, if-then scenarios) all become automated.

AI helps regain focus on the individual as opposed to generalizing for the whole. It gives you time and resources to focus on creative execution. It allows you to deliver on the promise of marketing by truly scaling personalization. The time of the fourth revolution is upon us!

The marketer’s role is changing. Learn why artificial intelligence is the promise of tomorrow.

Related Articles: