AI Will Take Robotic Process Automation to the Next Level
A New York Harley-Davidson dealership managed to increase their sales leads by 2,930% using AI driven marketing platform Albert.
“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” These ominous words were uttered by HAL 9000, a rogue AI-powered supercomputer in charge of the spaceship Discovery 1 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and have sent chills down the spines of generations of moviegoers. One of humanity’s greatest fears has long since been that AI would materialize and take over the world, their jobs, and their freedom.
Fast forward exactly 50 years, and here we are saying “Alexa, order me a pizza” or “Hey, Siri, call my mom.” And nobody is worried that these two helpful virtual assistants could develop minds of their own and start controlling our phones, cars, and homes.
AI is everywhere around us, and hi-tech companies are trying to implement it into various business platforms and services in order to boost their productivity, automate different processes, accelerate things, and cut expenses. What’s particularly important is the synergy of AI and Robotic Process Automation, as it will completely revolutionize digital marketing.
AI + RPA
First of all, it’s important to establish that these two disruptive technologies are completely different, although people tend to mix them up. However, AI and RPA are complementary and when used together they turn into a powerful combination. RPA automates some repetitive, tedious processes by replicating the actions of humans who operate computers.
In other words, this robotic software can be “trained” to perform rule-based processes efficiently, precisely, accurately, and tirelessly. Which is why they can replace people when it comes to various high-volume processes consisting of a number of steps. Robots will carry out these tasks more quickly than people, always repeating the same pattern. Unlike AI, RPA lacks self-learning capabilities and that’s its greatest weakness. But, RPA can cut costs and eliminate human error, and that’s the reason why it’s becoming indispensable for any thriving company.
Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, is capable of dealing with the input consisting of unstructured and semi-structured data – for example, customer emails or invoices respectively, and turn it into structured data. Besides that, AI can make complex decisions by taking into consideration a wide variety of criteria and their peculiarities. So, this technology can supercharge RPA by adding it much-needed judgment and context. By enriching robot process automation with intelligent skills such as ML, natural language processing, and speech recognition among many others, the door to countless new possibilities in digital marketing will be created.
Empowering Customer Service with Chatbots
Chatbots are all the rage at the moment, and a growing number of companies use these widgets on their websites and integrate them with the Facebook messenger in order to improve their customer support and automate responses to the most common user questions and issues.
According to Gartner, by 2020 almost 85% of customer interactions with companies will be conducted without any human intervention. This will tremendously improve customer service as chatbots will be able to provide responses within seconds. What’s even better, customer service will be working 24/7 and customers won’t have to wait until the weekend is over to solve their issue.
However, chatbots heavily rely on RPA technology to collect data crucial for providing timely and meaningful responses. But, due to previously mentioned limitations, RPA can only handle closed-ended questions which is why Artificial Intelligence is necessary to create an intelligent customer experience. In the not too distant future, it will be hard to distinguish whether you’re talking to a chatbot or a human being.
Amping up Email Marketing
Every now and then, a question about the effectiveness of email marketing arises. This strategy has even been declared dead on several occasions, but it’s still very much alive and kicking. But, we can’t deny that it needs a facelift. Bland and impersonal mass emails can’t generate clicks, which means that open and click-through rates plunge.
This clever tactic allows marketers and salespeople to establish more meaningful relationships with their prospects through leveraging personalized outreach. By collecting and analyzing large volumes of customer information, it’s possible to predict the best days of the week and times of the day for sending emails, as well as to establish what kind of content grabs a particular segment’s attention based on their previous behavior and engagement history. With all these metrics, AI can help you come up with more personal messaging, tailored to the needs of smaller segments, which in turn increases conversion rates. RPA is at the core of every marketing automation software, but it’s AI that turns it into more than a spam machine.
Boosting Lead Generation and Nurturing
Surveys have shown that generating traffic and qualified leads is still the top challenge for 63% of marketers. This is a huge problem because it directly affects a company’s bottom line, which is why disruptive technologies must be employed in order to save the day.
A recent example perfectly illustrates the power of the latest cognitive technologies. Namely, a New York Harley-Davidson dealership managed to increase (although catapult would be a more appropriate term) their sales leads by 2,930%. This impressive result was achieved thanks to Albert, the company’s AI-powered marketing platform which drove tons of qualified traffic by predictive analytics. After analyzing past customers, their behavior, and lots of other metrics, Albert created a lookalike audience, segmented it, and established what types of content, headlines, visuals, and social media posts would capture their attention, and scaled campaigns across different channels. As simple as that. It would take an army of human marketers to do this within a reasonable time frame.
When it comes to lead nurturing, an instant reaction is essential. Namely, if you don’t reach out to your lead within the first 5 minutes after they requested information, booked a demo, or engaged in any other way, your chances of turning that lead into a paying customer drop significantly. AI allows you to follow up with your leads right after a touch point has taken place, which can reduce your missed opportunities tremendously. The same goes for every follow-up, as many leads, especially in the B2B industry, need more nurturing in order to convert.
Robotic Process Automation is a staple technology in many companies despite its limitations, but paired with AI, it will open up new horizons in the field of digital marketing, sales, and many others.
Guest Post By: Michael Deane from www.qeedle.com