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AI and email marketing - how to secure scarce expert skills?

Published on 11 Sep 2019

Email marketing has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past two decades. 

The first leap was the ability to substitute rudimentary information like a customer’s name and part of an account number into an email or text message. We called this personalization

Then came hyper-personalization and big data – using behavioral, purchase and preference data to provide more highly personalized products and services, as well as to customize the content of each communication to a customer’s circumstances. 

What’s next for email marketing?  Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

With customer experience being such an important competitive differentiator in this digital era – the promise of further improving engagement through AI-fueled communications is highly appealing to email marketers. 

But, introducing AI into the email marketing process is a massive undertaking, and not one to be attempted without the appropriate, expert skills.

Our expert’s advice on assembling the right strategic team for AI and email marketing

You need access to expert skills that represent the Golden Triangle – data, machine learning and communication. You can either hire these skills or partner with companies who already have them. Bear in mind, these skills are in high demand, so you’ll need a deep purse if you decide to hire.

  • Data is the foundation of an AI strategy. No team is complete without people who can assess current data structures, define future data and analytics requirements, as well as map how to get there. Remember, a smart decision tool cannot make up for bad data. Junk in, junk out.
  • Machine learning feeds on data as the input, but the algorithms still have to be taught to generate the required output. You need programmers in languages such as Python, Java, and Scala, as well as access to machine learning engineers and experts in computational statistics.
  • Communication is the third point of the golden triangle – you’ve structured your data; you’ve implemented smart decisioning based on machine learning; now you must deliver the actual message and feed the engagement data back into the process.

It’s obvious that these expert skills will be highly sought after and therefore competition to hire them will be steep.

Fortunately, today’s work teams have a more flexible shape. A combination of internal resources, specialist technology providers and consulting agencies can be very effective – as long as the team is set up to maximize collaboration.

Ross Sibbald

Ross Sibbald

Commercial Director, Africa

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Striata is a leading provider of digital customer communication solutions that improve customer experience and advance the digital transformation of a company’s communication strategy.