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Marketing AI

A Marketer’s Journey Through the Land of AI – Entry 5, ML + A/B = Awesome

Entry 4.

In the last entry we talked about bias in AI, and the ways that humans in the mix can both help and hinder. Ultimately though, AI cannot happen without the human element. For this entry, I’d like to shift the focus to talk about how AI can serve humans, specifically marketers – especially those of us who have limited capacity. 

Hypothesis testing, specifically A/B testing, is something that I am constantly using when rolling out marketing initiatives. Like so many other marketers, I want to wave a magic wand and hit upon the message, ad campaign, social post, or landing page that really moves the meter as quickly as possible. As a scaleup, Pandata doesn’t have the luxury of long-running A/B tests to land on a winner. So often I am trying to accomplish one of two things: create more brand awareness or get new, qualified prospects. This is where machine learning + A/B testing is a winning combination for someone in my position. There are many solutions that allow for this combination, including Hubspot, which is what we use as our marketing management software. As this blog, authored by Hubspot’s Kayla Carmicheal, points out, “A/B testing can hit some snags — data might not be conclusive when you need it, and you might find your audience is relatively evenly split, with a large group preferring the less-favored option. Machine learning’s powerful makeup can help with these issues by automating A/B testing. The algorithms of machine learning also enable marketers to analyze results more accurately.”

Gone are the days of waiting, waiting, waiting to see which will perform better.  ML powered A/B testing can quickly sort through large quantities of marketing data to help me make a decision on which message will help me accomplish my goals in a more “educated” way. 

With so many AI-powered marketing tools to choose from, it comes down to getting on paper what you need AI to help you accomplish. Maybe, like me, it’s a bandwidth issue. For others it’s about automating manual processes. Bells and whistles await you, and as marketers, we well know the allure. My best advice – have a strategy before you choose a solution. Educate yourself on how AI can help address YOUR pain points. We have all been pulled in by the “shiny,” only to realize that while it looks really pretty, it doesn’t really do what we need it to.

Nicole Ponstingle McCaffrey is the Chief People and Marketing Officer and resident AI Translator at Pandata.