Marketers work at the intersection of data, strategy, and creativity. You need to find out everything you can about your customers, uncover the insights hidden in all that data, and craft messages that connect with people on a personal, human level. Often, you’re also juggling multiple projects and a heavy load of meetings. It’s a lot to balance.
With only so many minutes in the day, marketers are always hungry for more time to devote to deep strategic thinking and breakthrough creativity. But the vast majority of marketers (89 percent) say they struggle with having the time and/or the energy to do their jobs, according to the Work Trend Index survey of 31,000 people in 31 countries.
Today, AI can begin to lighten the load, helping you with everything from data analysis to getting a jump start on creative projects. For marketers who embrace these tools, the advantages are clear. For starters, you and your team can learn so much more about your customers—and you can simplify and speed up many of your processes. Here’s how to tap into AI to boost your marketing intelligence and carve out more time for the work that matters most.
Finding predictive insights about your customers
The scramble begins. Over the next month, you need to create a campaign to get the word out about a new launch. There’s a lot to be excited about, whether you’re working for an athleisure start-up or a craft root beer brand or the launch of a new organic pet treat, and you want to make sure your audience knows all about it. Of course, people might not know they need new, better yoga pants, so you have some work to do.
The challenge: You need to find meaningful insights about your customers as quickly as you can, which will help with market segmentation. But you’re not a data analyst, and you need help understanding how to find the right data and interpret it.
New AI-powered tools can help you pull the information yourself, using simple, natural-language commands. It’s as easy as it sounds. If you’re looking for your most loyal customers—the ones most likely to try your new yoga gear—you can
ask Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
“How many customers have at least 150 rewards points?” You get your answer, along with other related information (the average rewards point balance for all customers, say).
You might also get actionable insights you didn’t expect. “It might say, ‘You just asked about people who buy product X, but did you know they also buy an absurd amount of product Y?’” says Angela Byers, senior director for product marketing, customer experience at Microsoft. “So maybe you’ll want to do a cross-promotion type of campaign.”
AI-powered tools also help with market segmentation—grouping people based on characteristics like demographics, shared interests, and behaviors, so you can make sure your marketing resonates with each group you’re trying to reach. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights lets you ask simple questions in your own words to break out the groups you’re looking for. Say you want to create a segment of athleisure wearers who were born between 1970 and 2000, make more than $50,000 a year, and have visited your website in the past 30 days. You don’t have to wade into analytics—you just have to ask for what you need.
Building a landing page
Now that you know who your customers are, you need to build a landing page to answer their questions. Who founded your new athleisure brand, and why? Where are your products made, and do they use sustainable materials? When there are so many products already on the market, why even try yours? People are going to do their research.
The challenge: You need a landing page, but you’re a marketer, not a website developer. You’re on a tight deadline, and the budget is even tighter.
Low-code tools can help you be self-sufficient on tasks that used to require a team of developers—like building a web page. When people give it a try, they come away convinced: nearly
9 in 10 people
with access to them say low-code tools help the organization automate repetitive or menial tasks, reduce costs, improve analytical capabilities, better manage data, and foster innovation.
The latest developments in AI are making low-code tools even easier to use. Copilot in Power Pages can help with site theming, image generation, and general zhuzhing. Say you’re looking at your homepage and you realize the headline feels a little flat. You can just say, “Make the headline more energetic.”
Creating an email campaign
Your web page is up and running. But the clock is still ticking toward launch day, and you have to send out promotional emails to let people know about it. Even the most creative marketer knows the gut-churning feeling of being up against a deadline and staring at a blank page. You’ve got a lot of writing ahead of you. Where to start?
The challenge: You’ve found your target market and created an engaging and helpful web page to tell people about your product. Now you have to get them to find it, which means sending out a lot of emails—ones that speak directly to your potential segments of customers.
This is exactly the sort of work creatives would love for generative AI to help with. When employees and managers were asked about how they hoped AI might change their work lives for the better, “
producing high-quality work in half the time
” topped the list.
The solution: The latest AI tools kick-start your email creation: What are some of the key points you want to make? If you’re struggling to come up with those, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights can suggest a few. Then you have to decide what sort of tone you want the note to have. Casual? Formal? Adventurous? Your draft won’t be perfect—even the smartest AI gets things wrong, sometimes hilariously so. But even if it’s off, your human skills and experience can take it the rest of the way. Today, first drafts can be created in fractions of a second. Simply use what you want, and change or add what you need to make the message uniquely your own.
Chris Barnhart, marketing director for the NC Fusion soccer team, says AI has radically improved his efficiency: “It takes me around 25 percent of the time it took before to create email content.”
Catching up on meetings
Things have been busy, and you skipped a few internal planning meetings this week. In the run-up to the launch, you needed to carve out some focus time . (Since February 2020, the number of Teams meetings and calls that workers have to contend with every week has tripled .)
The challenge: You can’t attend every meeting you get invited to, no matter how well you manage your calendar. Endless emails and chats keep you mired in digital debt , and it’s getting harder to keep up.
For all you know, the meetings you missed might have touched on the new campaign. Or they might not have. You can get a meeting transcript, but those never fully capture the mood. And if you don’t have time to attend a meeting, you might not have the time to pore through the entire transcript of it, either.
The solution: AI-powered tools let you skip the parts of the meeting rundown that don’t concern you and go right to the most relevant bits. Using Microsoft 365 Copilot , you can ask detailed questions, in simple, ordinary language, about what went on. Did anyone have any questions about Proposal B? What was the mood of the meeting? Were there any points of contention?
If the meeting contained hidden gems, AI lets you find them, fast. And if the meeting was a dud, which is always possible (according to the latest Work Trend Index , “having inefficient meetings” topped the list of productivity disruptors), you’ll know right away.
Maybe you’re looking to shave off hours of work from your day, or eliminate the stress that comes with staring at a blank page. The latest AI-powered tools can trim some of the weight off digital tasks, give you an analytics boost, help you get a jump start on writing—and give you more time to imagine the next big thing.