How AI-Powered Chatbots Elevate Marketing Returns

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already found its way into the marketing world, as you may already know. As a CMO, though, you may still be debating whether you need this level of science in your marketing strategy.

2016 AI in Marketing study by Demandbase found that 80% of the marketing executives they surveyed believed that AI would revolutionize marketing by 2020 yet only 10% were currently using it. Also, only 26% of these marketing executives are confident about how to use AI in their marketing strategies. On a global scale, other research shows that AI is used more widely by marketing executives in other countries.

CMOs Should Start With Chatbots

Also known as “bots,” chatbots are one of the ways to use AI in marketing. Companies use this software to offer what are essentially virtual assistantsthat do all types of tasks. Chatbots improve their results through machine learning. The ability to learn new skills and concepts enables them to improve how they interact with others as well as the type of information they collect and how they interpret that data. With this capability, it would seem that chatbots could essentially take over a considerable amount of work within an organization and vastly improve performance over time.

According to Kapil Dhingra, AI expert and founder of Pixmettle, which is an intelligent mobile expense solution, AI chatbots can be the secret sauce for changing the ROI you get on your marketing strategy once you truly understand how to use them. “ Chatbots top the list of AI-powered tools that will revolutionize marketing results for companies of all sizes . Going well beyond using them on social media messaging platforms, chatbots have the potential to elevate all types of marketing activities — from market research and search engine marketing to social media marketing and content marketing. Also, chatbots can play an integral role in improving how you manage your marketing expenses and track how money is spent on various activities.”

Here are some of the ways you can integrate chatbots into various aspects of your marketing strategy.

Market Research

Research gathered by the American Marketing Association (AMA) offers insights on how chatbots can change how you conduct and use market research. Since the AMA describes market research as focused on conversations with people like your target audience, it makes sense to let a chatbot go ahead and have that dialogue with them on your behalf. As the article noted, “With chatbots, respondents can easily and painlessly answer survey questions within their favorite messaging app or service. Whenever a research company has a new study available, panelists can get a notification directly via that messaging app to their smartphones, without having to download a separate app.” The findings indicated that CMOs could provide a better mobile survey experience through the use of chatbots.

Social Media Marketing

Chatbot Magazine provided a framework for how chatbots are changing social media marketing. While the article illustrates the significant success that social media marketing has produced for companies, they conclude that chatbots can produce greater results. Primarily, chatbots can help reduce the amount of time spent on the management and monitoring of social media marketing campaigns.

The article cited the use of Ning to subdivide customer inquiries into more segments. This allows you to reach out to those smaller segments with more personal messages. What you do is based on the dialogue your chatbot had with those customers about their interests and needs. Additionally, you can use the chatbot to answer questions about your brand. Also, it can provide information about the value of the products or services you offer. Since social media platforms already offer chatbot functionality through messaging features you can leverage that immediately for a significant return.

Content Marketing

Because chatbots are made to gather data that provides intelligence about the audiences they are interacting with, it makes sense that they could take on a major role in improving your content marketing messages. Besides providing more relevant and personalized content for your audience, chatbots can also start distributing that personalized content.

The chatbots will also better understand how to segment and define audiences around their specific needs at a much faster rate than you would ever be able to do with people overseeing this part of the process. In fact, they will even be able to generate topic lists to further refine your content marketing. And, this even includes ideas for visual content.

Marketing Expense Management

While it seems as though most marketing strategy focuses solely on the tactics, as a CMO, you know just how critical managing marketing expenses is to your overall performance. By using an expense management chatbot, you can make improvements in various areas of your marketing budget.

Start by helping the chatbot understand your marketing budget. This includes financial goals and the type of return you want to achieve. The chatbot serves as a reminder of those goals. Also, it provides guidance whenever it senses any deviation from those financial parameters.

The chatbot essentially becomes your marketing budget manager. It will send an alert if a team member has surpassed the budget limit. This is also a way to incorporate the cost of investing in various marketing techniques and campaigns. Later, the chatbot can analyze the data associated with those expenditures against results. The chatbot can provide reports from its analysis for a particular time period. Plus, it delivers a more detailed explanation of where the money went.

Therefore, you can make more effective decisions about your marketing budget than before. That’s because chatbots process more data at a faster rate than any person could ever do. This will tell you the real ROI of various marketing tactics. From there, you can adjust your budget up or down. The chatbot’s assessment includes the type of savings made by selecting one marketing tactic over another. Additionally, this expense management chatbot can be integrated into your marketing calendar and other planning tools.

The Future is Now

Chatbots are here. You can start employing them to realize benefits across multiple areas of your marketing responsibility.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.

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