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Christelle DhrifMarketing & Communication Director at Sidetrade

Connected objects, chatbots, facial recognition… Artificial intelligence is spreading in every component of the applications on the market, allowing companies to analyze and exploit their customer date in real time. Half of the Marketing and Sales departments are already taking advantage of new predictive technologies to anticipate their client’s behavior and improve customer engagement. Customer segmentation is the first benefit underlined (78%), before profitability calculation (58%) and real-time custom offer creation (48 %).

If artificial intelligence platforms offer a massive acceleration of revenues, they still remain negligible: less than 20% of the respondent companies are using this technology.

Retargeting, chatbots, predictive algorithms… Big Data innovations are multiplying with a unique goal: target the right customer with the right message, at the right time. “The stake is huge for the most innovative predictive marketers”, identifies Randy Wootton, CEO of the programmatic marketing specialist Rocket Fuel.

Hyper-connection challenge, or the era of anticipation through data

McKinsey&Co predicts 30 billion connected devices by 2020 and as many revenues opportunities coming ahead. Marketing is facing a shift lead by artificial intelligence. According to Marketo’s study from January 2017, 41.6% of marketers intend to include predictive analysis solutions in their marketing strategies for 2017.

The recent breaks in the field of deep learning lead to the elaboration of more and more efficient algorithms. Today, companies are able to analyze data at a scale that was unimaginable few years – or even months – ago. The customer relationship is personified; the engagement is anticipated, from suspect to client.

For the first time, thanks to artificial intelligence, marketing departments segmenting their audience in real-time, anticipating expectations and identifying consumer trends by offer, geography, profiles… have a concrete return on investment and winning a length of advance on their competitors.

Automated marketing is giving away to smart predictive marketing, fulfilling the dream of markets: predict messages that, sent to the right target at the right time, trigger purchase at – almost – 100%.

Focus on predictive sales prospecting

Cookies, IP tracking, lead scoring… Algorithms exploit internal and external data to identify new prospects, scored by similarity with the ideal customer profile and according to their purchase likelihood. Personalized engagement scenarios are then generated to automate the first contact. By analysing the prospects/customers scoring, constantly evolving, companies can adapt their communication, following the interest level and the detected priority.

Automated sales prospecting is considerably simplified: the numbers of attempts necessary to contact a decision-maker, currently from 8 to 12, are halved.

Once these repetitive, unglamorous tasks are automated, Sales teams can concentrate their efforts on the qualification of the meeting generated by the Marketing. Sales directors accelerate their sales cycle; they control and better anticipate the reach of their objectives.

“Data strategies” supporting growth

Genuine revolution of the customer cycle, artificial intelligence is deploying in every ramification of the organizations. Companies need to formalize “data strategies” to break the silos and aggregate the data coming from marketing automation, CRM, ERP, CMS, social media… and make sure they are reachable and exploitable, to offer the right content to the right audience, at the right moment.

Unify Marketing, Sales, Finance or Customer Service data on a unique interface becomes a reality in the “Data Science as a Service” era.

Nowadays, Marketing and Sales departments cannot afford to avoid artificial intelligence!  More and more of them are realizing the infinite possibilities it offers.

“We should see a significant raise of AI distribution and utilization in corporate applications to provide counselling, recommendations, previsions”, predicts Patrick Moorhead, analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy.

Companies are entering the anticipation era, where automation is mandatory to ensure growth and boost performance: repetitive and less qualified tasks will be taken over by robots. Artificial intelligence is often seen as a threat for the employment market, when it is in fact an opportunity! It is not about the replace our jobs; on the contrary, artificial intelligence will amplify it and allow us to concentrate on more valued contents. AI will become complementary to our work.