Introduction: The Future of SaaS – AI and Personalized Marketing
SaaS, or Software as a Service, has been well established in the world of business. It’s a massive market on its own and has grown year-to-year by tremendous amounts. However, the companies that produce these SaaS platforms are not comfortable with resting on their laurels, and that is part of the reason why they see such tremendous growth. There is a wide array of innovations in the SaaS space, but today, we’ll look at one of the most exciting: AI and personalized marketing. There are plenty of new technologies making their way into the world of SaaS, but few are as exciting or groundbreaking as the AI technology, and the way it can power other services such as personalized marketing. We’ll take a look at SaaS, AI, and personalized marketing in this blog.
What is SaaS?
Before we dive into the meat of the issue, it’s important to understand what SaaS really means. Software as a Service means that an end-user pays a subscription fee, typically monthly or yearly, to access the SaaS platform, typically hosted on the cloud. This is in contrast to traditional software models, in which an end-user would have to pay an up-front cost and install the software directly on all of their computer platforms. The advantages of the SaaS platform are numerous – updates come regularly and frequently, meaning you’re always up-to-date, the platform is accessible from any platform with an internet connection, collaboration between employees is seamless and easy, and is often a cheaper product in the long-term.
Next, let’s take a look at what personalized marketing is. Unsurprisingly, the answer is largely in the name – this type of marketing targets individuals with more relevant, personalized brand messages. This is part of a fairly natural progression for marketing strategies. The old type of marketing – with broad, generic advertisements that get blasted everywhere – is no longer tolerated by most people. Consumers now are more sophisticated than ever in their consumption of media and advertising and have grown numb to those old styles.
Now, people want to be treated as individuals, and not just nameless, faceless nobodies targeted by a broad, umbrella of a marketing scheme. People want to feel like their needs are known, that they’re remembered, they want their needs to be anticipated. This type of marketing tends to poll well amongst the public, certainly more so than more traditional marketing styles.
Most importantly, what allows this sort of personalization, individualization, and targeting is data. People create more data than ever these days, with the websites and apps they use, the purchases they make, the searches they conduct, and beyond. What’s difficult is sifting through all of this data, of making sense of the seemingly endless flood of information out there.
What is AI, exactly?
That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. AI, rather than powering killer robots from the future, is simply a useful tool to harness, especially as we continue to move into a world that’s increasingly complex and information-dense. Most AI that you’d see operating today is used to sift through tremendous amounts of data, recognize certain objects in images, power chatbots, and beyond.
Artificial intelligence is referred to as such because they “learn” how to do their jobs. You may have heard about the processes that allow this learning – machine learning and deep learning. Without getting too bogged down in technical mumbo-jumbo, machine learning happens when a computer is given data and uses certain statistical techniques to learn how to get better at its given task. This way, a computer will “learn” how to do something, like how to analyze trends in data, without being specifically programmed to do so. Deep learning is a type of machine learning. It runs off the same principle, just with the data inputs being run through a neural network inspired by real-life biology.
AI, Personalized Marketing, and SaaS
So, where does that all leave us? We can pull all of those ideas together to see how AI can shape personalized marketing in the world of SaaS. SaaS platforms are capable of collecting a massive amount of data, to the point that it can become difficult to properly analyze and sift through. However, that data is vital, especially if you’re trying to target customers with a personalized marketing strategy. You need to be able to understand your customers on a deep level if you want to properly market to them.
That’s where AI can come in. As mentioned above, AI can be trained in processing all of this data and making it usable. This allows for proper implementation of a personalized marketing scheme, given the ability to properly analyze data for all of the customers on your SaaS platform.
There are plenty of things to be excited about in the future of SaaS, but there are few things quite as exciting as the potential of AI. Though its application in personalized marketing is just one of the many things AI can do, improving the ability to market is hugely important.
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