According to research released earlier this year by Forrester and IBM, 89% of enterprise decision makers surveyed agree scaling artificial intelligence (AI) leads to competitive differentiation. That should be no surprise when you consider some of AI’s most common marketing applications, including:
- Customer propensity modelling and identifying purchase preferences
- Personalizing marketing content and product offers
- Offering intelligent virtual assistants that accelerate and enhance the customer experience
That said, many marketers struggle to get out of the gates when it comes to launching their AI initiatives. At Retina, we’ve seen our clients’ most common challenges with getting started, and we’ve helped brands of all kinds to realize the power of AI – from personalizing offers for financial services leader BMO to creating a bot to help car buyers book test drives with Audi.
With that in mind, here is a five-step roadmap we recommend for successfully launching an artificial intelligence program to power your marketing and business success.
1. Get familiar with AI
Start by doing a little research into how AI is used in our everyday lives. Check out how Facebook recommends friends. How Uber assigns drivers to trips. How Netflix knows exactly which shows we want to binge next. How Siri, Alexa or Google are able to communicate with us. These are just a few of the countless examples all around us.
2. Identify opportunities/problems you want AI to solve
Once you’re up to speed on the basics, the next natural step is to begin brainstorming. Ask yourself: what business or marketing challenge might AI help me to solve? Think about how you can add AI capabilities to your existing products and services. Relate them to situations that impress or challenge you.
3. Address your internal capability gaps
Identify what needs to be internally evolved before you get going (such as skills, processes, infrastructure). Depending on the business, your may have existing teams that can help do this organically.
4. Bring in experts and setup a pilot project
You don’t need a lot of time for a first project – we find 2-3 months is typically a good estimate. At Retina, our pilots usually involve us working closely together with a small team within a client organization, maybe 4-5 people. We find this small group and tight time help keep everyone focused and nimble, not to mention it helps keep the require financial investment manageable.
5. Grow incrementally
Start simple. Use AI incrementally to prove value, collect feedback, and then expand accordingly. The more you learn – and the more your AI can learn from the interactions it registers with customers/users – the more effective you and your programs will become.
Here’s more free information to get you started
I recently joined two of my Retina colleagues for a webinar, “Real Artificial Intelligence for Marketers.” Visit our complimentary AI resource center to check it out, as well as download free infographics, get the Forrester/IBM research I mentioned above, and read case studies from IBM Watson AI.
Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer, Dragos Andrei leads Retina’s marketing technology practice, delivering new strategies, innovative solutions emerging technologies, and digital transformation to clients’ businesses. Dragos joined Retina in 2012 and became a partner in 2016. After working as a software engineer and software architect for more than 10 years, Dragos began expanded his leadership into product development and project management. Dragos today oversees Retina’s delivery capabilities, bringing intelligence, innovation, and deep experience in various industries to help clients innovate at scale.