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AI is here to stay, in spite of recent tech overtures to put on the brakes.

Whether you choose to ignore it, embrace it, or teeter in between depends on where you intend to take your business. But if everyone else is onboard and you're not, don't expect to be thrown a life ring when your choice leaves you treading water.

Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can help you define and home in on your ideal client, build marketing campaigns, measure results, and plan for the future.

Try these 10 ways to use AI to locate new customers, engage your audience, and fill your sales funnel.

1. Customer Insights

You know your products, and you have a pretty good sense of your customer base. But what if you could have an even more accurate perception of the ideal customer for your goods and services?

AI can provide insights into who buys what you sell, who doesn't, and why. Pulling directly from your CRM, AI can gather info about sales wins and losses, customer purchasing patterns, and how your customers respond to your outreach. You can also segment audiences to see where your best customers come from and plan accordingly.

Target the right customers to increase efficiencies and improve results.

2. Buyer Personas

After AI helps you to gather an abundance of data on your ideal customer, you can use the information to create buyer personas.

In a matter of minutes, generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT and Bard, can build personas that once took hours. Just enter relevant macro and microdata and ask the tool to create a customer that aligns to the data.

You'll have a great outline that you can develop with the tool's assistance or tackle during a group project for your marketing and sales teams.

3. Target Marketing

Through large-set sales data analysis, AI can identify patterns among your customers so you can segment your audience into distinct marketing groups.

For example, individual products might attract a particular demographic or appeal to people from one area of the country and not another. Tapping into sales data allows you to spend your marketing dollars and concentrate your sales efforts where they are mostly likely to generate results.

4. Customization

You have loads of data, personas, and a target market. Now take that trifecta and use AI to customize what you do for your prospects so they're more likely to engage with your brand and buy what you have to sell.

AI can provide you with personalized recommendations and customized content. It can pinpoint areas for product cross-selling and upselling. And while you build your sales funnel, you also build a loyal following that believes that you understand them on a personal level.

5. Campaign Optimization

The feedback loop of AI's machine-learning can be a true differentiator when you use its capabilities to optimize media campaigns. AI learns from its mistakes with each iteration, so output improves with input and you can achieve the best ROI from your marketing spend.

For example, AI may discover that a particular region, city, or even ZIP code produces the best results for your specific products. Why wouldn't you spend where you're most likely to get results?

6. Predictive Analytics

Because AI can ingest huge amounts of macro and micro data, it can detect patterns and trends, and using regression analysis it can predict likely outcomes.

When you use AI for marketing, you can make data-driven decisions about where you invest and allocate media spend. Predictive analytics can also help you detect sales, spend, and seasonality trends so you can make informed decisions about products, placement, and inventory.

7. Product Descriptions

AI can discover search trends for your products that you may have overlooked and pepper ads with keywords that are more likely to attract and sell. It can even help you write your ads. Provide your usual product outline, info about your company, and tell the tool which platform you want to post on.

For most channels, AI will already understand rules about headlines, images, and character limits, and it will conform your ads to the platform while optimizing for relevant keywords.

8. Social Media

One of the hurdles to being active on social media is that it can be an incredible time-suck. Companies often start with the best of intentions but then have difficulty maintaining an optimal pace for engagement. They either go dark—leaving their growing fan base confused at the silent treatment—or relegate the important work to an intern or part-time staff member.

AI can automate time-consuming tasks such as posting comments, scheduling posts, and responding to comments. AI can also produce personalized content for prospects based on interests, preferences, demographics, and current engagement.

9. Customer Service

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can perform many of the functions once reserved for humans. Rather than depersonalize the customer experience, AI can actually enhance engagement, improve accuracy of billing and tracking, and pass off issues to humans for a correct and rapid resolution. Without the constraints of workday hours, your customers can also access answers to many of their most common questions regardless of location or time zone.

10. Sentiment Analysis

Whether on your social media pages, review sites, or your owned media, customer text can be examined with natural language processing (NLP). NLP can help you evaluate sentiment, identify potential problems, swiftly address issues, and provide excellent customer service from your technical and human resources.

* * *

Whether you consider AI an untapped panacea or a precursor to the worst to come, it's here—and here to stay. You can stay off the boat and allow your competitors to use the tool for efficiency and growth, or you can hop onboard and build your own responsible sales engine with the help of AI.

For a comprehensive list of AI tools and vendors, check out MarketingProfs' directory.

More Resources on AI for Business

AI for Business and Marketing: What's Possible (And What's Not)

Generative AI Can't Create Great Marketing, But It Can Help

Is Artificial Intelligence Right for Your Business? Implementing AI and Machine-Learning [Infographic]

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image of Linda Emma

Linda Emma is storyteller-in-chief at CloudControlMedia, where she weaves stories and stats to produce results for cross-vertical clients. Most recently, she spoke at EduData Summit on how to use AI technology for enrollments.

LinkedIn: Linda Emma