Business and global markets are always evolving and changing, but the next decade is predicted to see some monumental changes in both the technological landscape and how businesses operate in general. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are founded on the emergence and massive growth of digital information. Essentially, engineers have been able to manipulate computers and machines to think like human beings.

Already, many industries, such as healthcare, banking and manufacturing, are utilizing this technology for business processes. Revolutionary advancements have been made in an effort for devices to act intelligently and mimic human decision making. It is not uncommon for computers and software to carry out simple and mundane tasks, and over time we have seen the complexity in this arena grow.

Systems are now being designed to proactively react. For example, autonomous vehicles: these principles have been elevated by neural networks that computer systems can access to classify information much like the human brain. Data can now be transmitted to facilitate the capabilities of machines to make decisions and predictions, a huge step when it comes to AI.

How businesses can capitalize today

AI technology may seem out of reach for most businesses, but in reality, the core concepts are being used in many programs today. Let’s look at a basic activity that billions of people around the world do every day—email. Around 54 percent of the planet is currently using email, which equals almost 3.7 billion email users. Handheld devices have made checking email almost second nature.

Think about how many emails are sent every day. A large chunk of this number is not being sent by someone sitting in an office, but rather by a software program that has been trained to intuitively remit messages based on specific triggers. This is called email automation.

Automation is much more than scheduling mass emails to be sent to a large audience. Email marketing platforms have taken this technology to a level of specialization that businesses can use to reach a large audience, but still deliver personalized information that hones in on subscriber interests. Email marketing platforms such as Campaign Monitor have helped big corporations, as well as small businesses, cut through the sea of marketing emails to facilitate 1:1 engagements based on customers’ demographics, location, transaction history, and behavior.

This is accomplished through email workflows. Marketers can create individualized customer journeys that continue to engage customers. When a new customer makes a purchase online, an automatic welcome message is sent. This message is personalized based on the information gathered at conversion, such as name, gender, location, or age.

As customers engage with the email content, email marketing software will automatically send future emails that are personalized to the recipient’s behavior. Campaign Monitor has continued investing in the future of email marketing with their latest announcement of Tagga. Tagga captures subscribers’ digital footprints across the web and creates a profile on every individual. This allows marketers to create more targeted segments of their list than ever before based on engagement, behavior, frequency and other inferred interests. For example, an online jewelry retailer can dynamically send a discount offer for a bestselling bracelet to a VIP spender who searched for bracelets within the last 30 days but did not buy.

The future

Now that we have already seen how automated workflows can track online behaviors, what is the next step? Machine learning algorithms are now able to access big data to deliver predictive content. Companies such as Skytree are actually powered by AI. Skytree uses machine learning to gain a deeper understanding of your big data set and provide modeling for better strategic planning. This method increases relevance of marketing campaigns to the end consumer through personalized 1:1 experiences.

Chatbots and virtual assistance tools respond to users instantaneously and are able to communicate as a live person would. This engagement nurtures leads and prompts the viewer to respond.  With the ability to generate human language and portray the brand voice, statistics show that 50 percent of leads reply to AI emails.

It is hard to predict the future of technology, but it is almost certain to include a high level of AI and Machine Learning. Many aspects of our lives are already influenced by this innovative phenomenon. Siri and Alexa are now household names, and often the customer assistant you are chatting with online is computer generated. Businesses around the world are adapting this technology to be more efficient as well as increase sales and revenue, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. By 2025, the business world will most likely look quite different.

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Megan Totka

Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, which specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources.

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