With Intelligent Tools On The Rise, How Do Brands Stay Human?

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intelligent tools

Intelligent tools are taking over.

With the proliferation of chatbots, marketing automation, and machine learning, we marketers have opened up ways to send our messaging at scale.

We’ve reduced human capital and data is changing the way we do business.

But should machines replace humans? And how do brands use these tools while still keeping the human front and center with their branding?


The Connected Consumer

The connected consumer is just marketing jargon for the consumer.

It’s not just millennials who infiltrate the interwebs.

  • 5 billion people – over half the world’s population – now use a smartphone
  • More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones
  • More than 1 in 5 of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days

And what does the connected consumer want?

It turns out they don’t mind the use of intelligent tools — like chatbots — but they want their online and offline experiences to be seamless.

Meaning if the chatbot isn’t cutting it, they want a human to intervene immediately. This seems to be a big disconnect with companies using AI; they think machines can entirely replace humans while consumers are not ready to make that leap.

Knowing this, how can brands use intelligent tools and still keep their humanity? [I have a few more ideas on Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog]

Marketing With Intelligent Tools

Intelligent tools are things like automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and so on. You’ve seen them being used in marketing with your tool suite, with chatbots, and other social and advertising algorithms.

In fact, AI and Machine Learning were slated as the #3 marketing activity that marketers thought would make the largest impact on their business last year.

Predictive analytics was up there, too.


[Image Source]

Still not convinced intelligent tools pertain to you?

Salesforce released a report on the state of marketing in 2018 that showed,

  • High-performing marketing teams are more than 2x as likely to use AI in their campaigns than under-performers
  • 57% of marketers using AI already say it’s absolutely or very essential in helping increase touch points with customers and prospects

A few places you can easily get your feet wet …

  • Chatbots for customer service or sales-related tasks
  • Advertising automation and optimization
  • Content personalization (you should already be doing this, IMO!)

Intelligent Tools + Humans

One cool example of a brand doing the online-offline seamless experience right is Panera. (no surprise there, right?!)

Panera makes ordering seamless by allowing their customers to order in three ways,

  • Online
  • With a human
  • In-store on a touchscreen

You can even choose your table when ordering through Panera’s website. SWEET!

This is a great example of using intelligent tools to help with efficiency, but not at the detriment of giving consumers a choice.

There are other ways to keep the human in your intelligent tools loop …


Be transparent! Let the consumer know from the start that they’re chatting with a bot. Be sure to also let them know how they can chat with a human instead, or when and how humans are available for customer service.

(chatbots are a seriously easy way to dip your toe into AI waters!)

Social Listening

Letting a social listening tool (like we do with Sprout Social!) do the heavy lifting with machines is smart. What’s smarter? Letting the data the machine churn out help you make better decisions around,

  • Online conversations
  • Customer service
  • Marketing research
  • Product development

Predictive Analytics

A few weeks ago, we had an eye-opening conversation with Katie Robbert of Trust Insights on how marketers can use predictive analytics to help with social media marketing.

Katie goes into detail about how predictive analytics can help marketers with …

  • Content marketing
  • Analytics
  • CRM data (social selling, FTW!)
  • Advertising

The options are literally endless.

Watch our video below for some smart examples of how you can use predictive analytics.

There are a myriad of ways we can connect the machine … and keep the human touch.

Say HELLO With B Squared Media To Learn More

Whether you’re on the fence about intelligent tools, or just want to ensure you’re keeping the human element in your intelligent tools loops, we’re here to help.

In fact, on March 28th, 2019 we’re hosting our first-ever marketing conference on this exact topic.

Join B Squared Media and our world-renowned experts — Mark Schaefer, Katie Robbert & Christopher Penn of Trust Insights, Luke Reynebeau of Sprout Social, and more — as we not only show you how to use these powerful machines, but how to stay human while doing so.

Attendees are going to have their socks knocked off — not only with the sessions each speaker is presenting on but with some seriously heavy-hitting swag and super secret special events.

Buy tickets here!

Are you already marketing with intelligent tools? Comment below with your intelligent tool use (and how you keep it human).

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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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Category: Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Tools
Tags: artificial intelligence, chatbots, HELLO Conference, intelligent tools, marketing algorithms, marketing conference, predictive analytics,
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