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3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Make Marketing More Human

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Grad Conn, Chief Experience and Marketing Officer at Sprinklr, spoke during SMWNYC and gave his unique view on how artificial intelligence will revolutionize the mindset and skillset of marketing professionals.

One of the great ironies of artificial intelligence is that it will take a machine to make us more human again. Us, meaning marketers.

When Grad Conn, Sprinklr‘s Chief Experience and Marketing Officer, spoke at a CMO briefing at Social Media Week New York, he emphasized that marketers are outdated in their communication skillsets by making a perfect analogy.

“My favorite communicators are comedians,” he said. “If they’re writing out a brief, it’s to convince the target audience that they’re funny. The marketer would just say. ‘I’m funny.’ They’d get a testimonial. You don’t really believe it. Comedians tell the joke. We can’t just tell people how to think. It’s a different way of communicating.” 

Though businesses will have to work to incorporate artificial intelligence into their workflow. “What won’t work is to just slap some AI onto an existing system,”  he says. Per Conn, the payoff will be one-to-one communications at scale. 

Here are three ways AI will help change the dynamics of marketing.

AI will replace the work we don’t want to do

It’s typically thought that in a lot of industries, the rise of the machines will lead to a lack of work opportunities, and thus purpose, for humans. Conn doesn’t subscribe to that theory.

“In human history, we’ve always been afraid of being replaced by machines, but are we working less? Do we have less to do? We’re continuing to progress as a society. The challenge for humans is that we’re very attached to the past as a predictor of the future,” said Conn.

Instead, expect AI to do what technology has done throughout human history: Make our processes more efficient and create new roles for us to grow into. This is especially true for marketers.

“Will AI replace humans? It will replace certain types of work, the drudgery, and allow people to do work that is more human,” he said.

Moderation will be automated

One of the areas highlighted as prime for an AI takeover is in moderation of comments and feedback. In the social media age, comments posted to company feeds require immediate attention. Customers reaching out to brands for a response to a query expect similarly quick responses.

AI can be used in “moderation automation” to do the following: Interpret and classify (which messages require responses, and which do not?) Sort by type. And then take action.

Conn highlighted research that showed companies using moderation automation have found their “can respond” value went way up. It actually increased the number of human-to-human connections, as comments that required attention were now sorted and more easily accessible. The company didn’t have to increase the number of humans employed to increase the number of connections made.

“There’s the AI which is the Hollywood stuff, and AI that is the practical stuff,” Conn said.

CRMs will become massively more useful

Customer relationship management systems are supposed to be tools for keeping up timely correspondence and eventually converting leads. That’s not always how they’re used.

“[CRM] is effectively a tool of management oppression. It’s so management can check up on you. People hate filling it out,” said Conn. “The real promise of CRM would be, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what my prospects are thinking? What’s going on in their lives? And when should I give them a call?”

AI will help marketers gather information from a CRM in a way that is actually useful, according to Conn. Imagine an AI that delivers information about a client’s personal life, as well as the fact that they’re up for a renewal of software, and that now would be a good time to follow up with them?

“With AI, you can have a richer response. You can come across as knowing them,” said Conn.

Even if clients know that their information is being delivered to you by an AI, their response will likely be the same. No one (at least, no decent person) gets mad when you wish them a happy birthday on Facebook, even if you wouldn’t have known their birthday without Facebook letting you know. The human interaction aspect of the exchange is still on you, which is what makes it authentic.

AI isn’t a replacement for humanity, at least not in marketing. AI will help synthesize the world around us, so we have a better way of making decisions. It will then be up to us to decide what decisions to make.

Sprinklr provides a unified platform for customer experience management (cxm). Our customer experience and social media management software guides enterprise businesses through and digital transformation across marketing, advertising, research, commerce and care with our cloud solutions.

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