The Essential AI Marketing Tools You Need to Enhance Your Strategy

min read
The Essential AI Marketing Tools You Need to Enhance Your Strategy

Five years ago, McKinsey Global Institute stated in a discussion paper on AI use cases that marketing was one of the top areas presenting the greatest value opportunities for AI. That prediction was based in part on the frequency of digital interactions occurring between businesses and customers creating massive amounts of data for marketers that AI techniques could be applied to and generate insights from.

Today, more than three-quarters (77%) of marketers are using some type of marketing automation, and 60% are using AI to predict the behaviors and needs of their customers, according to research from Influencer Marketing Hub. And one recent report projects that the rapidly growing global market for AI in marketing will only continue its trajectory in the years ahead, hitting $78.8 billion by 2030.

In this post, you’ll find details about some types of AI marketing tools currently available in the marketplace, and how they can help your business to enhance its marketing strategy.

Understanding AI Marketing Tools

AI marketing tools come in various forms, from full-blown AI marketing platforms offering multiple tools, like Google AI and Microsoft Azure, to individual AI marketing apps such as

AI marketing tools use automation, machine learning algorithms, and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to help marketers manage a wide range of critical tasks, including the following:

  • Identifying keyword patterns to understand what’s driving conversions
  • Optimizing keyword bidding strategies to generate maximum returns on digital ads
  • Engaging in real-time content creation, such as ad creative or social media posts
  • Rapidly sorting and analyzing huge data dumps and detecting trends and anomalies
  • Automatically grouping likely customers for targeted ad campaigns
  • Predicting consumers’ buying behavior and creating better customer profiles    

7 Key Types of AI Marketing Tools

So, which AI marketing tools should your marketing team have in their toolbox? Here’s an overview of some types of AI-powered marketing automation tools and other solutions widely used today, along with their key features. 

1. AI Content Creation Tools

These tools use NLP and machine learning algorithms to generate content for marketing emails, websites, blogs, and even social media posts automatically. 

Some AI marketing examples include HubSpot and the aforementioned, which provides an AI copywriter as well as customizable marketing templates to generate, format, and check human-like content using the GPT-3 language model from OpenAI. There’s also Flick, an AI-powered social media marketing platform that can create social content fast. And, while not a pure content creation tool, the cloud-based typing assistant Grammarly deserves mention here because it’s built on a sophisticated AI system that can quickly analyze sentences written in English (including marketing copy!) to detect typos, grammar missteps, and more.

2. AI-Powered Social Media Tools

AI marketing apps such as Rapidely use AI to generate and coordinate content for social media posts far faster than any human could. AI marketing automation can help feed search engines, schedule social media posts, monitor brand mentions, and analyze social sentiment.   

3. AI Email Marketing Tools

Key features of AI-powered email marketing tools like Lavender include automating email composition and scheduling, which helps to accelerate marketing campaign timelines. 

Drift is a tool that analyzes and manages incoming emails by offering automated responses and routing emails for follow-up to the appropriate person in the organization. Drift also saves marketers time by automatically updating contacts in customer relationship management (CRM) systems. 

Many AI email marketing tools can also help support marketing teams by simplifying A/B testing and providing analysis to improve open rates, click-through rates, and overall campaign effectiveness. 

4. Natural Language Processing (NLP) Tools

In AI marketing platforms, NLP tools help analyze the voice of the customer (VoC) in customer feedback, social media conversations, and customer support interactions to gain insights into customer sentiment and preferences. IBM’s Watson Assistant and Relative Insight are examples of tools that use NLP. 

5. AI-Powered Call Tracking Tools

AI-powered call tracking, recording, and transcription deliver complete data on every phone conversation. Marketers can capture insights at scale to track call conversions, as well as digital conversions, from their campaigns, and optimize media spending. And when you know what’s driving calls, you have the insights to measure marketing performance and make powerful optimizations across all marketing channels.

Sample Invoca report showing how many phone leads each marketing campaign drives

Consider Invoca’s integration with Google Ads. Invoca’s AI can track call conversions, providing you with detailed insight into which campaigns, ad groups and keywords are driving call conversions. Invoca can input that data into Google Ads automatically to help you improve bidding—and drive more phone leads at a lower cost. 

For more details on how Invoca can help you track phone call conversions in Google Ads, check out this post.

6. AI Recommendation Engine Tools

Any online shopper is familiar with this type of AI-generated prompt: “You bought this, so you might like this.”

AI powers recommendation engines used by e-commerce sites like Amazon and retailers such as IKEA. A key feature, available from Google, Coveo, and, among others, are machine learning algorithms that analyze users’ browsing and purchases and cross-reference that information against other purchasers’ data and related products to offer intelligent product and content recommendations to site visitors.

7. AI-Driven Analytics Tools

Analytics software also belongs on the list of AI marketing tools. IBM Watson, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and a host of others provide AI-driven tools for speedy data analysis. enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions, optimize marketing strategies, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement. 

Analysis of real-time data from phone conversations, once a largely untapped channel for marketers, is a feature of Invoca’s Signal AI and Signal Discovery, which deliver cleaner conversion data from those calls. Marketers can use that data to target more high-intent customers.

Other features of leading AI-driven analytics tools that benefit marketers include predictive analytics and the ability to conduct more rapid A/B testing of ads.

7 Steps to Choose the Right AI Marketing Tools

If you’re ready to fully embrace AI marketing automation, the next step is to select the AI marketing tools that can help you meet your specific needs, goals, and resources. The following checklist can help you decide what you need.

Step 1: Identify Your Marketing Objectives

What do you aim to achieve using AI tools? You can use AI in many ways to support your marketing efforts, but you might not want or need to unleash the power of all available features at once. So, pinpoint your primary need, whether it’s content generation, analytics, or something else, and start there. You can increase your capabilities as you go.

Step 2: Evaluate Available Resources

Do you have the appropriate resources in-house to use the AI marketing tools you want to deploy? Perhaps you need outside expert assistance to get started? If so, factor that cost into your overall budget. 

Training is often a pain point for getting started with AI and using it effectively. There’s tremendous demand to implement solutions, but not enough workers with AI skills and knowledge to help businesses ramp up fast. However, firms like Microsoft demonstrating leadership in the AI space are stepping up to help businesses get up to speed with AI.

Step 3: Assess Compatibility with Existing Systems

Make sure any AI marketing tools you deploy for your marketing organization are compatible and integrate with your existing technology stack. If they don’t, you won’t be getting full value from the AI you’ve deployed. 

Invoca’s conversation intelligence platform, because it is cloud-based, integrates easily throughout a tech stack, including with CRMs like Salesforce Sales Cloud and automated marketing platforms like HubSpot as well as Google Analytics, Facebook Conversions API, and other systems, tools, and solutions. 

Step 4: Research AI Marketing Tools

New automation tools are emerging every day. Conducting thorough research on what tools are currently available in the marketplace and what’s in development can help you create and maintain an AI tools shortlist.

Talk to the developers of the solutions you’re considering to learn what’s on their product road map. That can help you avoid the need to switch to other AI tools and solutions later to access new capabilities that can benefit your business.

Step 5: Request Demos and Trials

Try before you buy: Request demos of AI marketing tools on your shortlist so that you can see these tools in action. Most developers also offer free trials, so you can road-test software and explore critical features. 

Step 6: Seek Reviews

Reviews from prior and current users can be super helpful when deciding which tools are right for your marketing team. Actively seek recommendations from industry peers, colleagues, or professional networks who have experience with AI-powered marketing tools and follow their guidance.

Step 7: Consider Support

Before you buy, make sure the vendor you’ve selected provides ongoing support. AI tools are complex, and training is crucial. Does the vendor provide ample resources for onboarding and training? Is support available 24/7? These are critical questions to ask and get clear answers for upfront.

Best Practices for Implementing AI Marketing Tools

Once you’ve selected the appropriate AI tools from your shortlist, your next challenge is to implement them. Here are some common-sense best practices for deploying and integrating AI marketing tools so you can generate a solid return on investment (ROI).

Start Small and Scale Up

There’s always a learning curve with AI. It’s best to start small with a single tool, or a specific campaign. You can scale up when your team is comfortable with using your new AI solutions. You may want to run fast and go big with shiny new AI tools right out of the gate, but a more conservative approach can save money, missteps, and headaches in the long run. 

Keep Upgrading

There is no “setting and forgetting” with AI. These advanced tools are software, and they need to be updated regularly. New products that raise the bar for the rest of the field are being delivered to the market regularly. Immerse yourself in the latest trends in AI, and you’ll make better decisions about when, where, and how to adapt your tech stack.

Provide Training

Practice makes perfect. Don’t drop your team in the deep end with AI, as they may not be able to swim. Properly train and educate your marketing team on how to use AI marketing tools effectively. Selecting a vendor with a solid onboarding program and ongoing support, and that understands your business needs, is critical to your success.

Monitor and Evaluate Performance

It goes without saying, perhaps, that you must monitor and evaluate the performance of any technology tool that you deploy in your organization. And the truth is, it’s probably more crucial to monitor AI solutions than many other types of tech tools for the business. The quality of every AI tool depends on its ground truth — the data it’s been trained on. So, don’t take past performance for granted and regularly evaluate each AI tool you employ. 

Ready to Improve Your Marketing Strategy with Invoca?

The ROI you can glean from AI marketing tools essentially comes down to two things: 

  • Automation, which allows you to complete tasks faster, and
  • Data—or, more specifically, the ability to gather and group large amounts of it, extract value from it, and then act effectively on insights through constant learning. 

From these two value propositions come a host of derived benefits for businesses and their marketing functions. Take Invoca’s conversation intelligence platform as an example. By using automation and machine learning, Invoca offers several key features to elevate marketing tasks, processes, and performance. 

Sample Invoca report showing call conversions by marketing source

Invoca enables tracking of 100% of calls, both inbound and outbound. This generates huge volumes of customer data that Invoca’s AI can quickly parse and communicate to inform your overall marketing strategy as well as individual campaigns. You can use Invoca’s data to:

  • Boost return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Improve keyword bidding
  • Measure the results of campaigns
  • Optimize ads
  • Reduce cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Reduce wasted ad spend
  • Train sales agents to provide a more complete customer experience
  • Improve sales conversion over the phone and online     

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how Invoca can help you to create more effective marketing campaigns with AI? Check out these resources:

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