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If all the moving parts in your holiday marketing strategy leave you feeling overwhelmed, we have good news for you: We want to talk about several ways artificial intelligence (AI) can help you streamline your marketing endeavors.
Get ready to unload some of your to-do list and let AI do the heavy lifting. That way, you can focus on more important tasks.
Why Is Holiday Marketing Important?
The holiday season is a profitable time of year, so the competition can be heavy. It’s typical for retailers to earn around 50% of their annual income in the last quarter. With the holiday marketing scene getting more competitive and more complex, it’s imperative to streamline your processes.
Rob Garf, VP and General Manager of Salesforce’s Retail team, emphasized, “Despite a slowdown in online spending, brands that activate customer data and insights to execute effective promotions, relevant engagements powered by AI, and seamless experiences across channels will keep shoppers coming back over the holidays.”
Keep reading to discover the impact AI can have on your marketing strategy to make your campaigns not only more efficient but also more effective.
What Role Does AI Play in Modern Marketing?
We’ve seen AI transform just about every industry in one way or another, so it’s no surprise that it’s made a significant mark on the high-stakes game of marketing. From enhancing customer targeting to automating email campaigns, AI offers unlimited solutions to streamline your holiday marketing endeavors.
“AI should be viewed as a trusted ally by business owners,” says Lindsay Swaik, VP of Digital at 2XU, a company that specializes in mens compression pants. “It allows data-driven decisions to be more accessible to businesses of all sizes.”
With AI, businesses can engage with customers on a new level. AI-driven tools and algorithms efficiently analyze large amounts of consumer data, allowing marketers to better understand consumer behavior. This makes it easier for brands to tailor their messaging, products, and services to their target audience and create a personalized customer experience. Let’s take a look at eight actionable ways you can streamline your holiday marketing strategy this year.
1. Quickly Assess Your Target Audience
Targeting customers is one of the easiest ways to start incorporating AI into your marketing strategy. Customer targeting is a process where you segment, select, and make contact with specific groups within your audience. When you segment customer data by age or location, you can tailor your marketing approach for each group, which makes the interaction more appealing and effective.
“AI is an invaluable tool,” advocates Jason Zhang, CTO of Tapin.GG, a company that specializes in LoL boosting. “It empowers marketing teams to learn important insights about the audience so they can deliver the right message at the right time.”
All industries can benefit from AI-driven targeting. It can be used in a variety of ways to personalize content so that each interaction is more meaningful. For example, if a customer hasn’t purchased from you in a while, you can deliver an email that mentions how you miss them and include a promotional offer to entice them back to your shop.
2. Let AI Personalize the Customer Experience
Al plays a pivotal role in creating recommendations that can elevate a customer’s experience with your brand. Sophisticated AI algorithms have the ability to predict individual preferences and behaviors so businesses can suggest products that users are likely to be interested in. You may have experienced this while shopping on Amazon, as the platform recommends products based on your browsing and purchase history.
“AI empowers marketers to understand customers like never before,” explains Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB. “It’s absolutely essential in today’s competitive landscape.”
Several prominent brands can attribute a large portion of their success to the power of AI. For example, Netflix and YouTube use personalized content creation as a leading factor in their business models. Chatbots are just one more example of how forward-thinking companies are leveraging AI to deliver a smoother customer experience.
3. Reach More People With Automation
Free up valuable time and stay at the top of your game throughout the holiday season with email automation. Though marketing channels have evolved tremendously, email campaigns remain the leading choice in customer acquisition strategy for top retailers. It’s cost-effective, has incredible reach, and now AI can streamline the entire process.
“Embracing automation is not an option; it’s a necessity,” shares Jim Mitchell, Chief Growth Officer of Awesome CX by Transcom. “It allows marketers to engage with customers on a personal level and drive conversions.”
There’s no better time than the holidays to increase brand awareness. Automation makes it simple for marketers to schedule important messages when consumers are likely to interact with them. Letting AI handle the scheduling of promotional offers will free up time to spend on the design aspects, which should lead to higher click-through rates.
4. Leverage Customer Insights in Your Strategy
In today’s digital world, there is more consumer data available to us than there are human resources to analyze it. This is where AI comes into play. Marketing pros can stay ahead of the trends and predict consumer behavior with impeccable precision by adding AI analytics to their toolkit.
“AI-driven analytics has added another dimension to marketing strategies,” emphasizes Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer of Pluto, an AI stock trading platform. “Without it, marketers wouldn’t have the feedback necessary to stay on course.”
When a business has the ability to accurately predict market trends, they can make tough decisions with confidence. AI is an accessible and cost-effective resource to analyze large amounts of data in ways you may not have otherwise. Imagine the advantage an e-commerce giant can have by anticipating the high-demand products so they can optimize their inventory and marketing efforts.
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The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for your staff. Consumers tend to be on edge, and it’s normal to see a spike in customer inquiries throughout the holidays. If you experience product delays or cancellations, it can be a recipe for disaster for anyone’s patience.
“Conversational bots are still undervalued,” advocates Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You New York. “Why pay high wages to answer mundane questions that could be handled efficiently at a lower cost?”
Artificial Intelligence can make it easier to handle an uptick in inquiries by quickly weeding out the simple issues. You can avoid wasting time on basic questions like, “What are your holiday hours?” or “Where is my order?” by incorporating AI into your customer service. Adding a chatbot to your website is easier than you think, and it would give the customer service team more time to handle the bigger problems.
6. Increase Sales With Product Bundles
Offering product bundles is a smart way to enhance the consumer experience and boost holiday sales. AI-driven algorithms can dive deep into customers’ purchase histories to look for patterns of frequently paired products. Prepared with that data, you can craft attractive bundles that should lead to more upsell opportunities.
“Harnessing AI tools in your marketing strategy is a must,” emphasizes Sanford Mann, CEO of American Hartford Gold. “If not, you’re probably going to struggle to keep up with the competition.”
Imagine your customer is browsing online for a necklace as a gift to someone. AI algorithms can analyze consumer behavior and recommend a pair of earrings that are commonly purchased at the same time. Now, you can truly create an enticing offer by pairing the two in a curated bundle and offering a discount for customers who purchase both items at the same time. It’s a win-win because you get to simplify the buying process while increasing the average order size.
7. Maximize Your Holiday Marketing Dollars
The competition to get your ads in front of consumers during the holiday season can be extremely competitive, which usually leads to higher ad spend. Retailers who use AI to optimize their ad placements get more value out of their advertising dollars by reaching the right audience.
“Think of AI as the guiding star of your ad campaigns,” says Michael Klein, CEO of Herbaly. “It’ll show you where to focus your marketing efforts to get the highest ROI.”
Artificial intelligence can provide real-time insights about your ad campaigns so you can analyze their effectiveness and adjust your ad spend accordingly. With the ability to assess who’s engaging with your ads in real time, you can put a pause on anything that’s not working and avoid throwing money down the drain. You’ll attract more customers, drive more sales, and see a higher return on your investment.
8. Provide Estimated Delivery Times
Shipping estimates are much appreciated by holiday shoppers, especially if they’re concerned about having their gifts delivered on time. If your company can provide consumers with real-time inventory levels and shipping estimates, they’ll be more likely to pull the trigger on their purchases.
“Customers want certainty, especially during the holiday rush,” explains Seth Besse, CEO of Undivided. “Accurate shipping estimates promote customer loyalty when they know they can rely on you.”
AI can predict shipping timelines with precision because it accounts for factors such as current inventory levels, shipping location, and even weather delays that could potentially throw off normal shipping estimates.
Simplify Your Holiday Marketing Strategy With AI Tools
If what you’ve always done is working, you can do it better with AI. You have nothing to lose by incorporating artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy. In fact, there you have so much to gain, and we’re not the only ones who think so.
“From cultivating a more personal customer experience to making day-to-day tasks easier for employees, AI tools can do wonders for your business during the holiday season and beyond,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce.
Now is the time to add AI to your marketing strategy and take your business to new heights during the holiday season.