Marketers today depend on many kinds of marketing technology to launch campaigns, monitor their efforts and keep their whole strategies organized. Every year brings new products of technology in marketing called martech as well as technological advancements which could benefit marketers. The last count on the martech landscape included over 7,000 products and the list grows every year.
In a lot of common martech categories, from tools which help with content strategy to those that help in promotion, among the biggest trend that audiences see is artificial intelligence. Scott Brinker, the mind behind the ubiquitous martech landscape, shared last year that they did away with the AI category in their set of tools not because AI martech tools are uncommon but because there is a lot of AI categories embedded in a lot of products across the martech landscape.
Marketers can safely bet that AI is going to be increasingly a part of the way people do their jobs. It is very important to understand what AI is as well as how to select the best artificial intelligence marketing platforms to help you with your work.
What AI is
Artificial intelligence is the term used to describe any kind of technology which could get smarter by learning. This is a somewhat broad definition, one which encompasses the fictional entities such as Skynet and Cylons, which are far from the current reality of how AI really works, as well as the more practical products that we now see in a lot of industries which employ machine learning to aid professionals in how to make better decisions.
AI is becoming the norm in a lot of products that Gartner now predicts AI tech will be so pervasive by 2020. Business Insider lists it as one of the fastest growing marketing technologies, with a 53 percent anticipated growth rate year after year.
What you Should be looking for in an Artificial Intelligence Platform
As vendors have realized clearly, AI could be applied to solving a wide array of issues, enhancing what products could already do with even better results. But like any kind of technology, AI in and of itself will not solve any problems. How much it can help you depends on how you use AI. Asking the right questions will help you make the right decision about AI marketing technology.
The first thing you should ask is If it solves specific marketing problems that you have. AI tech is very exciting. It might not be on the same level as flying cars or jetpacks, but it almost feels like the future even if it is still in the present. The more a kind of technology seems interesting or cool, the more marketers risk coming down with the tendency to buy a product because it impresses you rather than because it meets a specific need.
Before you invest in an AI marketing solution, or any martech at all, for that matter, ask yourself what kinds of problems need to be solved. Is the product actually going to help you with your needs? If not, it is probably not worth the investment.
Then, you need to ask yourself if it is made by people who understand marketing. Hubspot considered this important enough to put at the top of their list of criteria to look for in an AI product. Obviously tech vendors need to understand the technological side of what they are selling, but for the product to be useful to you, the end user, it needs to be made with your particular needs as well as challenges in mind. An AI vendor that understands the marketing is going to know how to build a product for marketers. It must be easy for your team to use, answer the common issues you face and fit seamlessly into the process.
Also ask yourself if it works with the other martech products that you depend on. You are not buying your AI marketing platform in a vacuum. Chances are you have a list of other tech products that your team uses on a regular basis. From your CMS platform to your email marketing software, any new AI product you buy has to seamlessly work with the technology you already depend on.