AI: The future of the marketing tech stack

Marc Keating, director of digital and innovation at Stein IAS, outlines why marketers need to sit up and take notice of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) may bring to mind sci-fi images of earth-dominating robots, but it’s a term that’s set to shape the future of B2B marketing. 

Surprising? Consider this: AI may already be selecting your next film on Netflix, your next song on Spotify or helping choose your next meal out, based on recommendations by Apple’s Siri. 

Over the past decade, B2B brands and agencies have widely adopted modern marketing – a paradigm of inbound marketing programmes where data analysis is king. But as this becomes ubiquitous, it’s increasingly evident that AI has the potential to become the next step in the marketing stack. 

So what exactly is AI? In a nutshell, it’s a type of deep learning that allows computers and machines the capability to show human-like, intelligent behaviour. A step above normal machine learning, it also allows marketers to anticipate a customer’s needs better than ever before, leaving them feeling valued as individuals, and improving engagement and brand loyalty as a result.
It’s also all happening much faster than expected. A report from Narrative Science found that 62% of enterprises will use AI technologies by 2018, while 38% are already doing so. In fact, many B2B marketers have unknowingly embraced AI already, using marketing tech platforms with dynamic content and predictive applications to achieve more accurate insights into customer needs. 
However, as Microsoft’s chatterbot Tay shows, AI proves only as good as the volume of data available, the collection of which can present a problem in B2B marketing. In addition, experts able to successfully integrate AI with a company’s existing B2B technology are thin on the ground, and certainly won’t come cheap.

Today, B2B marketing campaigns are only as effective as the technology that powers them, and AI may well be a force that brings productivity and cost savings to the table, moving us into a ‘post modern’ era of marketing. It seems the question is not whether B2B marketing will be affected by artificial intelligence, but how far exactly these machines can go.

Find out more about how AI will play a part in post-modern marketing in my session at B2B Marketing InTech on Thursday 23 February at 13.50pm.

B2B Marketing InTech

Only 10% of B2B marketers are using artificial intelligence (AI). Join Stein IAS' Marc Keating at B2B Marketing InTech to find how you can effectively introduce AI into your tech stack.

He will explore the essentials that make up the post-modern tech stack and how each solution plays a role in delivering a data driven optimised conversion journey.

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B2B Marketing InTech 2017