AI and marketing: Key takeaways from Xchange Analytics 2023

Generating new leads is the top objective for 84% of marketers according to our recent survey, which is why unlocking growth was the theme of our 2023 Marketing Xchange Analytics Event.

Held at Somerset House, the day included talks from Ben Legg, former COO of Google Europe and Author of ‘Marketing for CEOs – Death or Glory in the Digital Age’, and Murray Picton, Head of Development at Mediahawk.

Throughout the event there was also lively roundtable and panel discussions with marketers across various industries and business sizes. If you couldn’t make it, here are the top three takeaways you need to know from our speakers, as well as what the industry is saying:

Three key takeaways from our speakers

1. Changes to analytics with GA4

Think With Google says the average online customer journey can range from 20 to 500 touchpoints. This doesn’t consider any offline sources, such as phone calls.

As marketers, tracking these touchpoints is key to understanding the success of your channels, campaigns, and messaging. But this tracking is changing with the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

This brings with it some key changes that marketing teams will need to adapt to including attribution modelling. GA4 has meant an end to rules-based attribution models and an introduction of a strict data threshold. This means the attribution model in GA4 is either last click or GA4’s data-driven attribution which uses AI and conversion rate modelling.

2. The growing importance of data modelling and an exciting product launch

Using data to inform decisions is becoming more important to give companies a competitive advantage. 58% of business leaders see aligning data and analytics with business strategy as the top three drivers of success (Gartner). This means making sure data isn’t siloed, so marketing teams’ data needs to be valuable and easily shareable across the business, and the same goes for other departments.

This is why, at Mediahawk, we’re introducing a new flexible data model, customisable, and joins website and non-website call data. With this new model, you can set up parameter reports as well as add the ‘source/medium’ for non-website callers. This means you can track campaigns more accurately and can also bring multi-location businesses together.

To truly drive value, not just for marketing teams, but the wider business, Mediahawk can also integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems like SalesForce and Hubspot, and you can also use Webhooks and APIs to pull the data into software like Power BI.

3. AI, chatbots, and the effect of emerging technologies

It wouldn’t be a marketing event in 2023 without a mention of AI, and across the day it came up as a theme again and again. To start with, there is an expectation that chatbots will become a prevalent part of customer service channels for about a quarter of organisations (Gartner). This isn’t just big enterprise businesses either, research found that 43% of micro-businesses, 60% of small businesses, 80% of medium-sized businesses, and 71% of big businesses are planning to deploy chatbots (Business News).

The growth in chatbots is just a part of the current evolution of sales and marketing. We are moving from a world where all sales were made from a conversation with a person, in a one-off sales call once a year and 100% human customer service to a digital-first world. As part of this, we will see more sales moving online, and for those that aren’t, it will move to advisory calls with a focus on reoccurring revenue and lifetime value. Plus, customer service will be about 50% automaton with chatbots, and 50% human with phone calls and other interactions.

Generative AI is also becoming more prominent. At Mediahawk, we’re looking at ways to use machine learning to do more automatic analysis to give marketing teams access to data and recommendations. We’re also looking at ways to improve our speech analytics so that it’s not only providing you transcripts and keywords but also analysis and recommendations on the back of the data.

What is the marketing industry saying?

Throughout the event there were various discussions across the industries about how to prove campaign success and how to exploit technology. We also had a panel discussion with Ben and Murray, as well as Michael Morrell the CEO of Mediahawk and Natalie Sawford Smith, Client Success Manager at Mediahawk, about unlocking growth with marketing insight. Here are some highlights:

  1. There is an emphasis on having all data in one place and enabling the CRM to be the central point of truth across all departments.
  2. Across various industries there has been a visible shift in the buying process to be more digitally focused and marketing budgets are changing to reflect this, with a growth in digital-specific spending. In this, Google Organic is still commonly seen as the biggest source of traffic to websites.
  3. Chatbots, ChatGPT, and other AI tools are commonly seen as emerging technologies that some companies are starting to implement, but there are concerns about their impact on the user journey. This is particularly sector dependent, for example, in the care home sector, chatbots are seen as too impersonal for such a sensitive subject matter.

Ready to get started?

After an impactful day, the attendees were left with a lot to consider. But as a priority, businesses should start to look at a mixture of journey analytics, speech, and generative AI as they all relate and interact with each other and, by working with all three, businesses will get the best benefits.

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About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.

Graphic representing Mediahawk call tracking paid ad analytics report
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