5 AI Tools to Get You Started with Marketing Automation (Without Them Taking Over!)

The AI doomsayers predict an AI “jobpocalypse” is coming.

Many factory jobs have already been replaced by mechanized production lines. Some of the next to go will be drivers. Then… maybe even the creative, cognitive jobs will go too.

Or maybe not. Kevin Kelly, acclaimed predictor of technology trends, has a more optimistic view.

Kevin points out that although we freaked out when a computer beat the world chess champion in 1996, the best player today is not an AI. It is also not a human. It is a team of both human and AI.

The transition ahead of us – the integration of AI into the field of marketing – will probably look similar to the world of professional chess.

We won’t be replaced by machines – we will team up with them. And there’s never been a better time to start than now!

These 5 examples of intelligent tools start with the easiest and least risky – an internal training bot for your sales and marketing teams.

1) Give Your Team a Sleepless Little Helper

GrowthBot is one of more than a thousand ‘Slack bots’ available today. Slack, being an instant messenger built for internal use, is a contained environment. No customer will see what goes on there. If you’ve never used a bot before or you’re particularly apprehensive about it, a Slack bot is the perfect way to dip your toe in.

In particular, GrowthBot gives your people access to specialized sales and marketing information, as well as quick-triggers for a variety of simple tasks. This means you can complete a task that would normally take 30-60 seconds in only 2-5.

2) Keep Your Customers Happy with Ease

Interacting with customers can represent a monumental time-suck. While the personal touch is always appreciated, the public has grown quite comfortable with bot conversations… as long as the bot does not pretend to be a ‘real boy’.

Try out Dexter – a platform you can use to create your own custom chatbots in very little time without a developer.

3) Make PR Outreach a One-Email Task

Media outreach is a pain. AI can now take away the bulk of the drudgery.

Howler scrapes the internet daily to update a database of journalists. Their data set includes a variety of info for each writer, from their recent articles to an estimation of overall influence. You provide the pitch, then the software picks all the relevant journalists, personalizes the pitch, and sends it out to hundreds of potential media contacts.

4) Get Data from Any Site You Like

Import.io first came out in 2014 and since then it’s grown into a leading web-scraper for the layperson.

The process is simple: You activate the web app and open the site you want to collect data from. You ‘teach’ the app what data is relevant and what to skip. Then you let it run, and in a few minutes, you have a spreadsheet with a hundred relevant sales prospects and their phone numbers, or a thousand Twitter profiles that might show an interest in your product.

Turning a business directory into your own neatly-organized spreadsheet almost feels like cheating. Soon, it will be the norm.

5) Clean Up Your Messy Data

Marketing relies increasingly on data, and that trend is only going to continue. Already, many marketing agencies or departments are swamped by the massive workload of sorting through data manually.

Software like Trifacta can free up all those manhours once again. Human beings are best at innovating and creating new value for the business – things AI will certainly not master in our lifetime, if ever.

6) Bonus Mentions

AI will soon reach into almost every aspect of businesses. Here are a few other examples of AI tools being used by businesses to give you an idea:

  • Analyzing sales calls. (Ringostat)
  • Developing customer personality profiles. (Indico)
  • Faster graphic design and video editing. (Beautiful.ai and Magisto)
  • Eliminating grammatical errors. (Grammarly)

Buying a separate SaaS product for everything would probably cost more than it would save. Eventually, we might all have a resident data scientist to help us ‘cognify’ every inch of our workflows. Until then, do an 80/20 analysis to find out where your biggest time sinks or human-error-hotspots are, and see if a smart tool can solve the problem.

Guest article written by: Ashley Little is from Do Supply, Inc., an industrial electronics supplier based in Cary, NC. She writes about robotics, machine learning, and the future of automation for industries.

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