When you imagine what artificial intelligence (AI) "looks like," you might be thinking of a synthetic consciousness developed by humans, as many sci-fi movies portray.
Apart from the realm of fantasy, AI is simply a system that can perform tasks that normally requires human intelligence. These include problem-solving, recognizing emotions, and even diagnosing diseases.
Artificial Intelligence Marketing At A Glance
AI marketing is a method of leveraging technology to improve the customer journey. It can also be used to boost the return on investment (ROI) of marketing campaigns. This is accomplished by using big data analytics, machine learning, and other processes to gain insight into your target audience. With these insights, you can create more effective customer touch points. Whether you're engaging in email marketing or providing customer support, AI eliminates much of the guesswork involved in customer interactions.
On a grander scale, it can be used to automate processes that were once dependent on humans. Content generation, PPC ads, and even web design are all possible applications for AI marketing. Right now, our agency primarily uses AI to help with our video marketing efforts.
AI And Digital Marketing
In the world of digital marketing, AI can streamline and optimize marketing campaigns. It can also eliminate the risk of human error. While much of the digital marketing world is still dependent on human ingenuity, an AI program might be able to generate a report using nothing but data. However, to truly connect with your customers, you'll still need the human touch.
Empathy, compassion and storytelling are all attributes that machines can't emulate, at least not yet. At the end of the day, AI is not bound by human limitations. If Moore's Law holds steady for a while, there's no telling what AI will be able to do in the near future.
In the meantime, here are some of the innovations that could affect the industry as AI marketing enters the mainstream.
Content Curation And Generation
At present, content marketing has ballooned into a global industry. It's so prevalent that some refer to it as the only type of marketing.
AI has the potential to both curate and generate content, then place it in front of the right people on the right platforms. This technology is already automating content generation on a basic level, but eventually, AI could generate viable topics for writers, or even develop initial drafts of content based on certain parameters.
On the strategy side, AI has the potential to help marketers map out an end-to-end content strategy. Some marketing tools are already providing this feature. I predict it will also be able to generate comprehensive reporting on content initiatives, with little to no human labor involved.
AI-Enhanced Digital Advertising
I believe artificial intelligence will also continue to change the way businesses advertise. In fact, today's digital advertising strategies would be impossible without a rudimentary form of AI. Even electronic billboards can be powered by AI-based delivery systems.
These systems operate autonomously, placing the right kinds of ads in front of the right kinds of people based on complex algorithms and big data. This is what's known as "programmatic advertising."
Not too long ago, ad development was mostly a creative endeavor. It still is, but businesses must look beyond creativity if they want their ads to be effective. Today, it's all about targeting and delivering the right message.
Consumers and business to business (B2B) buyers are overwhelmed every day with advertisements. Most of them are irrelevant, so they simply close the ad or move on to their next task. When this happens, advertisers lose money.
With AI, businesses can optimize their return on investment by only placing ads in front of relevant viewers. Ads can be bought automatically, then personalized at scale. Many advertisers are already using this technology.
If there's one type of AI that businesses see as a game-changer, it's chatbots. Chatbots are already on numerous websites, as they excel at answering customers' frequently asked questions.
The key fascination with chatbots is the impact they can have on the customer experience. For some businesses, there aren't enough employees or hours in the day to answer customer queries quickly. Chatbots allow customers to help themselves.
Nonetheless, there is a right way and a wrong way to use chatbots. This technology should never have the final say regarding a customer complaint. It should also be easy for a lead or customer to speak with a human if they prefer.
The real potential lies in smart chatbots, as opposed to the simple ones you regularly see now. These are AI-powered systems that communicate with humans using real-time, originally generated responses.
In the future, I wouldn't be surprised to see smart chatbots engaging in sales prospecting, lead generation and customer service.
Behavior Analysis And Predictive Analytics
More and more companies are hiring professionals like data scientists and programmers for their marketing departments. That's because their skills will soon be the backbone of most marketing campaigns.
The internet is like a giant behavioral science laboratory, but there are so many data sets that humans alone can't possibly hope to analyze them all. That's where AI comes in.
Using machine learning and big data analysis, AI is able to provide businesses with deep insights into their customers. Not only will businesses be able to hyper-personalize interactions, but I imagine they'll also be able to predict future customer behaviors based on the data collected.
Businesses are pouring plenty of money into AI investments. As more AI use-cases occur, we'll discover the most and least effective ways of applying this technology in digital marketing.
By Jason Hall
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