60% of Content Marketers Struggle with Personalization (Here's How AI Can Help)

Marketing Insights for Professionals

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Artificial intelligence (AI) gives content marketers greater potential to achieve personalization - something that’s becoming increasingly important and valuable in the modern marketing industry.

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AI is a concept that’s proving increasingly significant and influential for practically every industry with each passing year.

According to Gartner, disruptive technologies like AI are set to reshape business models as we know them.

“AI is being embedded in many existing products and services, as well as being central to new development efforts in every industry. Gartner’s AI business value forecast predicts that organizations will receive $1.9 trillion worth of benefit from the use of AI this year alone.” - John-David Lovelock, research vice-president at Gartner

Marketing can certainly be included on the list of industries that are feeling the effects of the AI revolution.

Computer intelligence diagram illustrating the definitions of AI, machine learning and deep learning

Source: Smart Insights/The Financial Brand

Content marketers in particular have a lot to gain from AI, especially in one area where it has never been more important to meet the escalating demands of customers: personalization.

The personalization challenge

In today’s fast-moving digital world, where consumers are bombarded by more adverts, marketing content and brand messages than ever before, it’s vital that your efforts to engage customers feature some level of personalization. Without it, your content will get lost in the crowd or simply ignored by your target audience.

The importance of personalization is something most businesses are well aware of. More than 70% of marketers surveyed for a recent study by the Data & Marketing Association and Winterberry Group said their customer experience efforts are being driven by expectations for better or more personalized experiences.

Personalization was ranked as the second most important element of a best-in-class customer experience, behind data management and audience profile reconciliation.

Despite the clear recognition of how important it is to personalize content and communications, many brands are falling short of consumer expectations. Research has shown that 60% of content marketers struggle with real-time personalization.

Basic personalization simply isn’t enough, with findings from Pure360 showing that only 8% of people would be likely to respond to a marketing message that addressed them by name, and just 7% would engage with a birthday email.

“Consumers are demanding that personalization adds real value, and most brands aren’t delivering. That’s why 2019 is the time for marketers to rise to the challenge of creating better customer experiences - it’s time to take personalization to the next level.” - Pure360

Given the scale of this challenge, it’s vital to make the most of every tool at your disposal to achieve effective personalization, and one of the most powerful tools of all is AI.

So how exactly can you use AI to better personalize your content marketing?

Better collection and analysis of data

To a large extent, successful personalization is all about data. The more data you have on a particular customer, the better you understand them and the more effectively you can tailor your content to connect with them.

AI can massively increase your power to collect, manage and analyze data, freeing up your human resources and making the entire process quicker and more efficient.

Content automation

AI-enabled automation is a concept that’s having a major impact across many industries. In content marketing, there’s potential to automate a number of routine tasks, such as publishing blog posts, sending out email newsletters and sharing content across social media.

It’s even possible the industry will witness an increase in content generated entirely by AI. This is something that’s already happening with fairly basic content such as stock updates and sports reports, but further advances in the technology could enable AI-generated blogs, in-depth articles and even whitepapers.

Based on the insights gained from data analytics, this approach to content generation - while it may still be some way off - could improve your personalization through the creation of assets that people want to see and scheduled delivery at peak times for engagement.

Tracking customer sentiment

The explosion of digital technologies and social media since the turn of the 21st century has created an unprecedented range of platforms and channels where consumers can express their opinions and share feedback on brands.

In such a complex and multifaceted environment, it can be extremely difficult to keep up with everything your customers are saying about you online. AI-based tools can do this job for you, collecting all relevant information from various digital platforms and giving you an accessible picture of attitudes towards your brand.

Armed with these insights, you’ll be in a stronger position to tailor your marketing strategy and personalize your content in a way that makes a real impact on your audience.

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