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AI and Machine Learning

The Ultimate Guide to AI Marketing

Team Braze By Team Braze Mar 26, 2024

For the last five years, respected researchers and thought leaders—including McKinsey & Company and Harvard Business Review—have made the case that, across all business functions, marketing stands to benefit the most from the use of artificial intelligence (AI). But with the rapid rise and adoption of predictive and generative AI technologies, we’re now past the theoretical stage of wondering about the potential of AI marketing. The reality is, AI is here.

Leading brands are already harnessing the power of AI marketing tools to power authenticity, personalization, experimentation, and recommendations at scale. The right AI tools can enable faster and more creative content generation, allowing marketers to focus more on strategy and scale while using fewer resources. The best technologies can even turn first-party data into compelling content, custom recommendations, and unique journeys—automating exceptional experiences that keep customers around for the long haul.

We’ve put together this guide to help you explore what AI marketing can do for your business. In it, we’ll cover:

What is AI marketing?

AI marketing is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to automate or advance a range of marketing tasks, such as 1:1 personalization at scale, testing and optimization at each step of the customer journey, and the automation of routine tasks to free up creativity.

AI empowers marketers to work smarter in crafting, scaling, and adapting memorable experiences that foster stronger relationships between their brand and their customers.

AI marketing use cases

According to the 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review, 99% of marketers say their organization is already using AI. It goes beyond just generating copy and creative—they’re looking for more ways AI can scale meaningful results for their brands. Our report found that marketers are looking to explore AI’s full potential to enhance customer engagement in the following ways:

  • Generate creative ideas

  • Automate repetitive tasks

  • Optimize strategies in real time

  • Enhance data analysis

  • Power predictive analytics

  • Personalize campaigns

12 AI Marketing Tools to Help Maximize ROI

1. AI Copywriting Assistant

The Braze platform’s AI Copywriting Assistant natural language generation tool—powered by ChatGPT—makes it easy to spin up copy for use across channels, including push notifications, SMS, emails, and both in-browser and in-app messages. Furthermore, with Tone Control, you can decide the exact tone of the message that you are looking to generate.

Braze AI copywriter

2. AI Image Generator

The Braze AI Image Generator, built on OpenAI’s DALL·E 2, can give marketers a competitive advantage by empowering them to quickly advance from ideation to action without relying on (or waiting for) overburdened creative teams.

An image showing how to generate images with AI

3. AI Content QA

Tasks like checking for grammatical errors or inappropriate content can be made easy with the AI Content QA tool, opening up bandwidth that can allow your team to focus on strategy instead.

4. AI Item Recommendations

AI Item Recommendations is designed to allow brands to surface the next best product, content, or items that are personalized to every customer at scale. Easily plug intelligent recommendations into campaigns on any channel to help customers find more value from your brand.

An image showing how Braze AI Recommendations sends personalized recommendations to users

5. AI Query Builder

With the AI Query Builder, technical marketers can get a head start with a tool that creates detailed SQL queries for generating reports from natural language prompts and descriptions.

6. Personalized Variant

Braze Personalized Variant is designed to determine the message for each individual based on their unique behaviors, preferences, and attributes. This automates personalized messages to each individual that help increase engagement and conversions for each campaign.

an image showing personalized messages that are being tested for customers using AI

7. Personalized Paths

Personalized Paths help facilitate true personalization at scale. This automates journeys that make sure each customer gets the message copy, creative, channel, offer, and more they’re most likely to engage with at every stage of a journey—all with a simple toggle.

An image showing how Braze Personalized Paths works, showing three users getting three unique messages

8. Predictive Churn

With AI marketing tools like Braze Predictive Churn, brands can get ahead of potential retention issues before they become a problem. This solution identifies which customers are at risk of churning and flags the behaviors associated with churn so you can spring into action while you still have time. With this tool, you can use segments and filters within the Braze Audience Builder feature to create highly-targeted win-back campaigns to serve enticing promotions and incentives.

an image showing a speed gauge pointed to green

9. Predictive Events

Braze Predictive Events is designed to interpret and predict a user’s likelihood to perform any custom event, such as purchasing a product, renewing a subscription, or even something like trying out a new feature. Using these insights, marketers can send relevant messaging prompts to encourage those users to perform a specific option.

From tempting previously unlikely shoppers to make their first purchase with a personalized promo code, or nudging those most likely to purchase to increase their order size, this feature can provide nearly endless possibilities for more effective engagement.

10. Intelligent Timing

Solutions like Braze Intelligent Timing help send customers messages that reach customers when they want to hear from your brand. So, if your customer is active in the mornings or prefers to engage at night, you can rest easy knowing your campaign will go out exactly when they are most likely to see it and take action.

11. Intelligent Channel

Intelligent Channel sends messages to customers via their preferred engagement channel, as determined by their past engagement behavior.

12. Intelligent Selection

Braze Intelligent Selection uses a reinforcement learning algorithm to determine which campaign each customer in a given segment receives based on campaign performance over time. This automates the shared campaign variant based on which one performs most effectively, allowing you to automatically send users the campaign variant that will give your team the best results.

8 AI Marketing Examples

With the steady stream of buzz about AI in marketing, keeping up with all of the potential applications for artificial intelligence in the field can feel overwhelming. To see how you stack up, here’s a comprehensive list of the top ways brands are leveraging ML and AI marketing solutions to better understand, connect with, and engage customers.

1. Generating marketing campaign copy

Companies across industries are tapping generative AI technologies, like our ChatGPT-powered AI Copywriting Assistant tool, to get new messaging ideas for their campaigns.

Tools like AI Copywriting Assistant help marketers save time and costs on routine or repetitive tasks, or those that require additional resources—all while inspiring the creative initiatives that are most important to them.

2. Automating the creation of marketing campaign visuals

Brands like KFC South Africa are using AI Image Generator technology solutions to instantly develop new campaign assets.

an image showing KFC's AI generated chicken santa

Pro tip: With Tone Control and AI Content QA, customers can select exactly what tone they want for their messages and then ensure those messages are free of errors or inappropriate language.

3. Optimize every step of each journey

The right AI tools (like Braze Personalized Paths) make it easy to match each customer with the message variants that they’re most likely to engage with at any step of their journey. For example, a health and wellness brand could create an onboarding journey with multiple touchpoints that sends personalized content variants at each step that are the most likely to drive more product adoption and get a customer to sign up for premium access.

4. Share relevant recommendations

With tools like Braze AI Item Recommendations, brands can easily plug into any campaign or channel to surface the next best product, content, or item to customers on a 1:1 basis at scale. Personalized recommendations can help customers have better experiences and get even more value from a brand.

5. Predicting customers at risk of churn

Machine learning is able to gain insights from past customer behavior and identify warning signs of similar activity as it’s happening. That’s invaluable for helping brands re-engage potentially lapsing customers before they’re gone. For example, an entertainment brand could send a churning subscriber a recommendation for newly-released movies that they might like based on their previous activity. These recommendations can also leverage tools like Braze AI Item Recommendations.

6. Automate your next best action

Automatically test and optimize any message, campaign, or customer journey for the best-performing version proven to instantly boost results and conversions in just a few clicks.

Example: Test different abandoned cart messages, creative, and even journeys to determine what drives customers to come back to make a purchase, and then send the winning variant to your audience. You can even go a step further and send users the variant they’re each most likely to engage with. This kind of automation makes it easy to rapidly optimize and improve strategy based on each customer.

7. Identifying customers’ likelihood to purchase

In addition to pinpointing customers at risk of churn, AI can also be used to predict your brand’s best spenders, enabling you to tailor marketing outreach to drive upsells, repeat purchases and lifetime value.

8. Generating marketing reports

Beyond creating images and marketing copy, generative AI can also be tapped to produce insightful dashboards and reports that might otherwise take up valuable team member time to put together.

3 Examples of Companies Using AI Marketing

1. Majid al Futtaim

After transitioning all 10+ of their brands to Braze, Majid al Futtaim was looking to revamp all of their marketing campaigns for the SHARE Rewards Programme. By using key Sage AI by Braze features, they were able to automate over 110 campaigns to create complex, responsive customer journeys that drove resouts. By leveraging AI and automation capabilities like Intelligent Channel and Intelligent Timing, Majid al Futtaim ensures their customers get the right message at the time and in the channel they’re most likely to engage with.

four phone screens showing the majid al futtaim app

2. OneRoof

New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s property platform OneRoof provides listings, housing trends, insights, and commentary for buyers, sellers, and renters. When OneRoof wanted more control of content and deeper access to location data, they turned to Braze and its AI capabilities to improve the user experience and increase data-driven touchpoints through better content testing, personalization, message timing, and use of location data.

3. 8fit

Health and fitness app 8fit utilized predictive technology powered by machine learning to find customers that are most likely to purchase and convert. Using these insights, they boosted conversion rates by nearly 4X, compared to efforts without the use of AI marketing solutions.

three phones showing push notifications and the 8fit app

The Benefits of AI Marketing

Marketers are under more pressure than ever to drive key business outcomes in connection with acquisition, revenue, and retention—often with fewer resources at their disposal as companies tighten their purse strings. Up against these challenges, savvy brands are leveraging AI marketing solutions to gain efficiencies and deliver better results—faster than the competition.

1. Scaling and automating marketing personalization

AI marketing tools can be used to automate the process of selecting the right marketing campaign variants, channels, segments, and recommendations at the 1:1 level by learning from past customer behavior and comparing that to customers who have already converted—making it possible to truly tailor experiences for each individual.

2. Improving campaign performance

Machine learning algorithms can predict the most effective marketing channels, the best time to deliver campaigns at the individual level, which segments should receive which campaigns, which audience members are at risk of churn, which are most likely to make a purchase, and more. With this kind of information, brands can see campaign performance and key metrics, such as conversions and revenue, grow over time.

3. Speeding up the time to launch new marketing campaigns

Creating images, drafting content, and reviewing assets are key steps in the campaign development lifecycle, usually requiring significant amounts of time to complete. But thanks to AI, brands can automate and assist some or all of these steps, cutting back on production time and reducing delays.

4. Reducing marketing costs

Brands that are able to achieve efficiencies by using AI to create campaign materials and review assets as part of the QA process can save not only time, but also money. In addition, smarter segmentation powered by machine learning can help companies lower advertising and marketing costs by targeting the audiences with the highest value.

5. Increased brand equity

A range of AI marketing tools let brands allow customers to have the experiences they enjoy the most, making them more likely to open, click, and convert. This will help to deliver content that is more personalized to individuals’ preferences at times when they’re most likely to engage—a tactic that will keep them coming back for more.

6. Reducing costs by preventing churn and targeting the right users

Irrelevant content and offers. Disruptive messages that get sent too often or at the wrong times. With AI, brands have the insights they need to avoid these kinds of poor experiences, which can turn customers away over time. Businesses can also use predictive insights to pinpoint customers at risk of churning in the moment and drive retention.

7. Work smarter and spark creativity

With AI on hand to take on many of marketers’ most tedious tasks, it becomes possible for previously overburdened team members to act more nimbly and spend time driving strategy to get more done faster than ever.

8. Maximizing revenue

Figuring out which content is resonating, which channels are having the strongest impact, and which users are primed to purchase has been historically hard for companies to determine in real time. However, that’s changing with AI—and unlocking these learnings is making it possible for brands to engage customers in ways that bring in more revenue.

Find the Right AI Marketing Platform

For many companies, external pressures from the competition and internal pressures to cut costs and automate processes are fueling AI adoption. If that’s the case for your organization, Braze is here to help you on your journey. Check out how Sage AI by Braze can empower you to work smarter in crafting, scaling, and adapting memorable experiences that foster stronger relationships between your brand and your customers.

Want to learn more about how AI can transform your customer engagement strategy? Check out the AI in Action: Improve Every Step in the Campaign Lifecycle webinar.

Team Braze

Team Braze

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