After learning my purchasing behavior, Amazon’s purchasing predictive AI recommended I pick up The Wizard of Oz from its digital library – a great suggestion as I love the movie and the elaborate symbolism that underlies the story. Four fictional characters, led by a young girl named Dorothy, separately and as a group are searching for something. Only with a unifying, outside force could they realize the thing they were out to find was always within themselves. The relationship between martech tools and artificial intelligence is advancing in a similar way.
Inherent, Yet Hidden Strength
One of Dorothy’s gang traveling to Oz to meet the Wizard is the Tin Man. The character is, what we would call now, an android. He’s a walking, talking and thinking metal man with a conscience. His dilemma is that his maker did not give him a heart and he seeks out the Wizard to help him. But, despite this fact, he is the most thoughtful and caring of the four characters traveling to see the Wizard.
At the end of the film – spoiler alert – the Wizard gives the Tin Man a symbolic heart but one that gets him realize the empathetic potential he had all along. The Wizard didn’t give the Tin Man his heart – he always had it but just needed to realize it, or as America put it (wielding a whopping four negatives): “Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have”.
Just like the Tin Man’s dilemma, individual martech tools already have the power to make our marketing activities more effective when actualized. And just like the group of four traveling to Oz, a unifying force like the Wizard can bring the group together by illuminating individual strengths and redirecting the common goal.
Like Dorothy, many marketers take their incomplete companions on journeys. For the modern marketer, their troop consists of martech tools and the trek is the customer funnel. The contemporary digital Dorothy utilizes a plethora of tools to bring her customer home – social media behavior in Hootsuite; the CRM power of Mailchimp; or campaign and article traffic from Google Analytics. According to a leadspace study, most companies utilize 15 marketing tools and bigger companies even use 100.
Unifying Silos and Strengthening Individually
How will AI affect marketing, and more specifically, martech tools? Well, it will enable each individual marketing tool to realize its full potential. It will also unify tools so they communicate more effectively between each other. This will not only allow for more effective information flows but would eliminate many of the blind spots inherent in these tools.
For today’s marketer, the realization and unification comes from the marketer themselves. They go through each program for different sets of data and cross it with information tracked by a different tool. But what’s currently happening, and will happen more in the future, is AI enables each to effectively actualize their potential and unifies them with automated communication features.
Marketing communication is already changing with AI through the enhancement of chat with chat bots. Modern consumers expect quick and personalized responses to their queries and chat bots give quick and automatic feedback to questions posed by visitors to websites. Like the Tin Man, the chat feature was always capable of providing relevant and personalized responses (by a human) but only needed to be actualized.
Salesforce Einstein or AI for CRM is strengthening sales and account management. This AI-enhanced Salesforce promises to “enable companies to be smarter and more predictive about their customers”. How does it do this? By leveraging AI to find the right time to communicate to potential customers using the right channel. Like the Tin Man, the power was always within Salesforce, everything was there, but it just took an outside force to actualize it.
Another important technological advancement in martech is the enhancement of design analysis with AI. In the past, design analysis meant costly and tedious data analysis or accepting guesswork. But now, companies like EyeQuant are using AI to actualize the potential of visual tracking on websites.
There are many more AI-enhanced martech tools and we should expect more to change with AI going forward. Additionally, AI will unify many features previously disjointed. In The Wizard of Oz, the characters believed the Wizard had magical powers but found out at the end that he didn’t. He simply showed each character, like the Tin Man, their potential.
Artificial intelligence isn’t something mythical, it’s a technological advancement that’s improving much of our professional tools, and martech is one key area. And for marketers, it will enable them to be effective and creative. Cumulus, our digital asset management solution, will be enhanced with image recognition soon, automating tagging and streamlining content creation. With this advancement, AI is actuating potential already in Cumulus while unifying it with another valuable tool.