AI & ML Are Enhancing Marketing and Sales Strategies

In recent years, the marketing and sales domain have seen major transformations as disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning continue to advance. These advanced analytics tools portray a vital role in assisting the marketing and sales teams that they require.

AI and machine learning have already been integrated into some vast areas advancing marketing efforts, such as improving user experience using chatbots, making marketing more personalized, the capability to provide the correct information at the right time in the right environment, enhancing the volume of dark social sharing, and content creation.

Why There is a Need for AI/ML-Based Marketing?

While traditional marketing is carried out without any kind of insights into the customers’ purchasing behavior, modern marketing comes with germane details of customers’ purchasing patterns and other criteria.

Presently, deploying AI and ML is considered essential for gleaning data and reaping its full potential to enhance the bottom line. And leveraging these technologies are becoming widely accepted as a necessary step forward in gathering data.

Besides a large number of advanced tools powered by ML, cloud-based platforms and applications are further creating a paradigm shift in today’s evolving markets. Furthermore, advanced AI-powered features have opened new opportunities for marketing and storytelling. The technology is the modern era of marketing that specializes in accomplishing new levels of customization and targeting within the confines of context.

Importance of AI and ML in Marketing

Owing to rapid innovation in technologies, the marketing landscape is undergoing fast changes that lead to several new apps, tools, and cloud-based platforms development.

There are several benefits of AI and ML-based marketing and sales strategies, providing companies a significant boost into their businesses, include: Improved marketing qualified leads (MQLs); More sales qualified leads (SQLs); Better insights to position marketing strategies; Boost in competitive advantages; Relevant target audience; Smart Point-of-Sale system; Highly precise marketing campaigns; Improved profits and sales; Enhanced customer satisfaction with improved user experience.

AI-based marketing is also providing benefits to companies by forming marketing content, paving the way to marketing prophecy, cutting costs, and eliminating marketing wastes.

As AI and ML-based marketing across sectors are gaining more traction, there are some mistakes that marketing and sales strategists need to avoid when it comes to creating marketing campaigns. Those are including, targeting generic and broad customer personas, following a generic approach, working with insufficient customer data, not analyzing and testing the performance of past marketing campaigns, not addressing regular and returning customers, focusing more on multiple outcomes at the same time, and producing and publishing inappropriate content.

With these stimuli, we can foresee the future of marketing and sales across industries are closely driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Even, a large number of big corporations are already taking benefits of it and several small and mid-sized businesses are making their road towards it.

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Can AI Create The Perfect Partnership Between Marketing And Sales?

AI and sales

The critical relationship between marketing and sales may not always be the smoothest of relationships.

But what is certainly true is that the sales and marketing partnership is one of the most important relationships for driving corporate success. A lack of alignment between sales and marketing can result in missed opportunities to grow revenue.

But there’s good news. Solutions based on AI technology are making these relationships healthier and more effective.

Everyone Agrees: This Partnership Is Important

recent Conversica survey of more than 100 sales and marketing professionals across the country revealed that the vast majority – 87% of sales and 93% of marketing professionals – said their relationship is “very important.”

When describing their relationship, 38% of marketing team members and 27% of sales team members feel they have achieved a perfect synergy. And almost half of marketing and more than one-third of sales people say together they are a dynamic duo.

But The Sales-Marketing Partnership Faces Many Challenges

A key reason that marketing and sales partnerships suffer or fail is because one party feels that the other isn’t contributing enough to impact the achievement of an organization’s financial goals.

In addition, more than two-thirds of salespeople have admitted that while their relationship with their marketing team is good, it could be better. A small minority of this group is truly struggling, with a sales and marketing relationship that ranges from tense, but workable, to downright dysfunctional.

The number one tension cited by more than half of salespeople and about a third of marketers is that salespeople must focus on “the now,” while marketers must be more forward-looking.

Sales And Marketing: Working Better Together

What do these data points mean for C-level executives? When building high-performing teams, the importance of cross-functional collaboration can’t be overlooked. Like any great partnership, when sales and marketing are closely aligned, there is a direct and positive effect on company performance.

The Critical Trust Factor

To cultivate healthy sales and marketing relationships, the teams must build on a foundation of trust. To build trust, they need to open the channels of communication. Building trust among sales and marketing translates to building better relationships and a better experience for prospects and customers. Teams need to understand that failure to meet targets is a shared responsibility. The key to success is to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and find the team “recipes” that work.

This is a challenge, but the right technology can make it much easier. In fact, we’ve seen that solutions based on AI, like our Sales AI Assistant, can more tightly align sales and marketing by engaging prospects and customers interactively over email or SMS to determine their interest in talking to sales. This ensures that there is no lead left unturned and helps sales qualify leads earlier and faster in the buyer’s journey.

Artificial Intelligence: The Key To Relationship Success?

Interestingly, 87% of marketers and 93% of salespeople agree that AI assistants would improve their working relationship.

Can a vtirual AI assistant make relationships better? Marketers responded with a resounding “yes” when asked, “If you could take your best salesperson and improve their productivity by an infinite scale, would you?” Almost three-fourths (74%) said, “Hell yes! In a heartbeat!”

About a third of marketers and a quarter of salespeople are already using an AI solution in the workplace — and 57% of marketers report that it has made working with sales better.

What’s the big takeaway? Companies must aim to optimize the relationship between sales and marketing teams and re-frame the ways they think about each other. Trust, communication and collaboration – along with embracing new, labor-saving technologies like AI – should be the foundation of this working relationship, facilitating greater responsiveness and, ultimately, higher organizational and financial performance.

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Choosing the Right Chatbot for your Business

chatbot phone
Credit: Photo 131215570 © Wrightstudio –

25 per cent of customer service operations will involve the use of chatbots by 2020, according to Gartner – a significant jump from the two per cent of companies using them in 2017.

And there are no signs of this growth slowing. As intelligent chatbot technologies get smarter, quicker, and more intuitive to human behaviours and preferences, businesses will be competing in a race to the top to provide the best and most innovative customer service. Before long, customers will expect chatbots to be a standard part of any service.

Alongside artificial intelligence and omnichannel engagement solutions, Gartner named chatbots as one of the top three technologies set to have the biggest impact on customer experience projects in the next three years.

According to a 2018 Gartner survey, almost half of Australian consumers had engaged with a service chatbot in the 12 months prior, yet only 35 per cent of those reported their interaction produced a solution. With customer engagement, retention and revenue on the line for laggards to this quickly moving trend, it is crucial to get on the front foot and get the technology right from the start.

Here are my top five considerations for businesses starting the process of deploying a chatbot, to ensure it will align with both organisational outcomes and customer expectations. Get this right, and you will define and simplify the customer experience, bringing long-term loyalty to your business.

1. What problem are you trying to solve?

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ chatbot.

Understanding your customer journey, current user experience and key pain points all have a part to play in choosing the right chatbot platform for your business needs. Depending on what the business need is, a chatbot can be designed for specific campaigns, topics, Q&As, self-service interactions, workforce efficiency, lead generation, process automation or customer triage before hand-off to a human agent.

Sitting down with stakeholders and defining the problem at the very start of the process ensures the chatbot is designed and deployed to meet the specific needs of your customers and deliver real value to your business.

2. Does the chatbot need to support multiple channels?

While customers are increasingly scattered across different digital platforms, they still expect their customer experience to be the same regardless of which channel they interact with. If you deploy a chatbot on your website, the same chatbot needs to be optimised for mobile applications, social media, and even voice channels.

3. Will your chatbot know when to interact with your customers?

Using a chatbot that intelligently knows when to best engage with a customer is important.

Rather than bombarding a customer with requests to interact, intelligent chatbots know when it is the right time to intervene with a customer. If a customer is getting through a transaction or enquiry smoothly on their own, then leave them alone. If they are struggling, then a well-targeted chatbot can assist at the right time.

4. Does the chatbot incorporate natural language processing and speech support?

Every interaction a chatbot has with a customer can produce valuable data on the types of questions being asked, the different ways they are being asked and what the answers required to satisfy the customer, might be.

To achieve this, chatbots need to be able to clarify conversationally with a customer before an answer can be given, This is essential when trying to ensure that a conversation feels like it is natural and could be with a real person.

A chatbot needs to be able to understand, recollect and continuously learn from this data as this will allow it to improve and evolve with your customers’ needs. By utilising machine learning at this stage, the chatbot can be further developed to better respond in a more natural way.

Using a chatbot with conversational artificial intelligence, will deliver a better, more ‘human’ like customer experience than one which employees, directed dialogue techniques.

5. Can you back your chatbot with human-centred design, industry experience and domain knowledge?

While a chatbot will be continuously improving its expertise, there is always going to be a point at which it can’t answer or understand a customer’s question.

This is where a conversational design expert is important. Conversation is an “art” as much as a “science”. Engaging experts that have a strong history in conversational design can make the interaction more human-like and remove friction in the customer experience process.

6. Can you measure the impact of the chatbot?

If you followed the initial process of defining the business need for deploying a chatbot, your success metrics will be clear.

A graphics interface allowing access to rich analytics about the conversations that your customers are having with your virtual agent is critical in measuring how well the chatbot is delivering value/ROI to your business and meeting your customers’ needs by addressing their pain points.

Chatbots are set to have an incredible impact on customer service and experience in the imminent future, and the pace at which the trend is developing can be intimidating to those businesses that don’t know where to start. Following these few tips can help break down the process and ensure that the business and customer needs will be met, and will continue to be met as they evolve.

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