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Driving Market Research and Buyer Persona Development With AI

In addition to general business studies and traditional marketing subjects, students in Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing program explore business technologies, management information systems, analytics and e-marketing. The online BBA in Marketing program prepares graduates with the persuasive and analytical skills to build customer relationships, analyze market factors and societal trends, conduct market research and analysis and develop the consumer knowledge needed to promote products and services successfully.

The Marketing Analytics course, in particular, prepares graduates to harness emerging marketing applications of technologies powered by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and other uses of data in marketing. Conducting marketing research and developing buyer personas with AI are among the most in-demand digital marketing skills today. Here, we explore how AI-driven technologies are leading to innovation in these areas of strategic marketing.

AI Marketing Trends, Applications and Tools

Several trends drive the utilization of AI in marketing: increased computing power and lower costs, big data and machine learning (ML) models and algorithms. Now that AI technologies have become so accessible, professionals apply them in three ways: thinking, feeling and mechanical.

Thinking AI uses data to draw conclusions or make decisions, including the recognition of patterns, speech and faces. Feeling AI helps to facilitate two-way interactions between humans and analyzes their feelings and emotions. Sentiment analysis, natural language processing (NLP), text-to-speech and chatbots are current technologies used in feeling AI. Mechanical AI aims to automate repetitive and routine tasks through remote sensing, machine translation, classification algorithms and clustering algorithms.

Market Research and AI

Well-executed market research explains who consumers are, what they want or need and why. Deep inquiries can reveal consumer perceptions of a product or service, expectations for how it will benefit them and even how to set pricing. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to market research, including surveys and focus groups, have become prohibitively expensive for many organizations. As computing power and big data have become more accessible, thinking, feeling and mechanical AI-powered market research offers a cost-effective alternative with a much higher ceiling.

Algorithms enable businesses with huge volumes of data to scan billions of data points and generate thousands of market reports in multiple languages from various sources. AI automates tasks that would take many professionals weeks or months, depending on the size of the business and the scope of the work.

To this end, AI is creating new work for digital marketers and absorbing effort from support and pure analysis jobs, such as statistician and research analyst, and strategic positions, such as market research project manager and customer insights manager. Now, digital marketing is about harnessing these technologies, which is why programs like Lamar University’s online BBA in Marketing program are critical to employers’ hiring needs.

Developing Buyer Personas With AI

According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Fully developed personas factor in buyer motivations, demographics and behaviors and offer insights that enable more effective customer acquisition and retention efforts.

The more personalized marketing campaigns and communications appear to be to each consumer, the more effective they can be. AI and machine learning (ML) technologies synthesize mountains of internal and external data, including CRM, web analytics, transaction call logs, surveys, interviews, emails, reviews and social media. These tools use thinking, feeling and mechanical AI to automate the creation of highly detailed personas. The software also automates the creation of content and marketing campaigns based on these personas and even streamlines or automates the delivery of marketing communications.

From the consumer’s perspective, the result is highly relevant communications that speak directly to their unique circumstances and needs. The final product reads as though someone – like a skilled salesperson – cared enough to understand them, invested the time to match them with the right products or services and could explain how the benefits relate to their needs. Achieving the same result without AI would require time-consuming and costly work in aggregating, sorting through and making sense of data before even beginning to derive meaningful insights.

Employers demand marketers who can harness these technologies to achieve more in less time with a lower investment. Pre-AI methods of conducting market research and developing buyer personas have become outmoded, creating exciting opportunities for marketers with training in AI applications, such as graduates of Lamar University’s online BBA in Marketing program.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing program.

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