The first step for retailers looking to realise the benefits of AI marketing is to understand exactly where they are now.

While pressures are increasing to compete with the likes of Amazon, it’s tempting for them to rush into AI in an effort to keep up, without running due diligence to prepare beforehand.

But it’s the businesses that take time to analyse their current situation and exactly what they need from AI that will gain the most.

Our research, conducted by Forrester, found that 88% of retailers surveyed agreed that AI would reinvent retail. However, 70% regard technical skills as a barrier to mainstream adoption.

“In short, AI for marketing can’t exist without two core components in place: data, and the appropriate framework to host this data”

In short, AI for marketing can’t exist without two core components in place: data, and the appropriate framework to host this data.

For retail marketers venturing down the AI road it is vital to invest time in understanding your organisation’s marketing users’ and leadership team’s readiness for AI marketing.

A clear understanding of the technology and goals for its use needs to be the starting point for any marketing team: each team member should have a clear view, not only of how they can take advantage of AI, but also how it fits into wider business objectives.

Data objective

Retailers should also take the time to organise the organisation’s existing data – after all, it’s a marketer’s most valuable asset.

Get your data ‘in shape’ by using cross-platform integrations to enable the flow of data between different platforms.

AI needs to learn from as much data as possible, so make sure it is collated on one consolidated platform.

Before deploying AI, ensure you conduct thorough analysis of your existing data – then you can determine its quality of insights, preparing the AI technology with this data ready from the off.

As the tech is implemented, it will grow these insights, benefiting from even more learnings from the additional data it digests and processes on an ongoing basis.

Once the above is in place, marketers can then control timing, content and communication in one place at scale and with relevance to each and every customer.