What Artificial Intelligence Can Do for Marketing
Written by Sara Carter
06 November 2018
The world of marketing has transitioned to a far more tech-focused business model in recent years. What began with simple additions to the marketing toolkit, such as social media and Google ads, has been transformed by the wide adoption of technologies such as virtual reality. One of the biggest changes in the industry is the addition of artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is a software-based system that allows computers or machines to think, learn, and do tasks that once required human intelligence. The belief of developers is that someday these machines will be able to act and perform jobs just as humans do. Shazam CEO Rich Riley once said, “It used to be that there was a ‘tech’ industry and then everything else. What’s so exciting to me is that every business is becoming a ‘tech’ business and our lives are being enriched by technology as everything gets smarter.”
Technology — specifically AI — is forging a path into every field and profession, and marketing is no exception.
As more people come to recognize the value of AI, everyone wants to know how and when to use it correctly. Advancements in marketing now help professionals do that through new systems created by developers to expand the availability and abilities of marketing. Several of these tools help optimize planning and personalization and also provide promotional and targeting benefits.
According to the recent report from Business Insider, “AI will transform marketers from reactive to proactive planners.” Marketers will focus their work on three main areas: segmentation, tracking, and keyword tagging. This is a change from traditional marketing, which has typically been more of a response rather than pre-emptive preparation.
Nearly 90 percent of the data in the world was created in the last two years, and all this data creates a need for improved technology to work with it. The benefits of AI could be vast and could save time for marketers to focus on more urgent tasks. There are numerous AI programs that can assist by collecting or organizing data and presenting it coherently.
Thanks to AI’s ability to assess where and when ads will be more effective, ad targeting or remarketing has become more cost-effective. This technology can also target users by demographics and browsing history. When you look up “coffee mugs” on a retailer’s website and later see ads on your sidebar for that same product or retailer, that’s the work of artificial intelligence. Although customers might not realize it, these ads are having an impact on their shopping choices and are extremely influential when trying to drive traffic to a product or site.
Similar to the data gathered for targeted advertising, information is also being collected to target customers with B2B marketing. The insight companies can gather far more details thanks to AI. These insights can enable companies to break into new markets and target new customers. Potential clients can be discovered through their activities, their interests, and even their search histories. There’s an enormous amount of data being collected every day, with 90% of that data being created within the last two years alone. That’s so much data that if you transferred it to disks and stacked them, it would get to the moon and back. Often a large portion of that data goes unused. Thanks to AI and marketing there’s more ways to use this information for productive and influential work such as these insights.
If you enjoy reading about stocks and sports, there’s a high probability you’ve read an article created by an algorithm. AI can generate these posts by forming cohesive and comprehensible sentences with automatically gathered and analyzed data.
Narrative Science is one such company “humanizing data like never before, with technology that interprets your data, then transforms it into insightful, natural language narratives at unprecedented speed and scale.”
Chatbots, often referred to as virtual assistants, are becoming more common day by day. The capabilities of these bots now extend beyond simply chatting and assisting site visitors, and they are proving to be exceedingly beneficial in the marketing world. A significant advantage of chatbots is the ability to increase engagement. Unlike humans, chatbots are able to talk to customers any time of day. Thanks to this technology, hundreds of hours can be saved on basic tasks of customer service that are now moving towards full automation. These bots can also integrate multiple messaging platforms such as Twitter and other social media sites, providing the chance to reach a wider audience. This gives companies the chance to increase sales by quickly connecting with more people.
An underestimated, and often unknown asset of chatbots is the capacity to conduct research, evaluate data, and generally offer support in maximizing efficiency and organization in your day-to-day work. Nikabot is a bot that can be used to track an entire team. This system collects data from employees on their daily tasks and the amount of time devoted to each task. It can also be integrated into Slack and remind users to log their information. This data can then be aggregated to create reports and insights. This kind of AI can be used for any type of office environment, including B2B marketing. In a field as ever-changing and fast-paced as marketing where employees typically work to juggle several projects at once, it can and does, seem to have a positive impact on individuals and the team overall.
What’s Next in AI and Business
It’s vital to stay current in marketing, or any field of work for that matter. This technology is a perfect way to do so. It’s important to remember that AI can be used for a number of things and not to limit the use of it in your business. “When you start integrating it (AI) into customer solutions, you can get some things done by the computer that frankly can’t be done by humans,” says Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. Whether you’re trying to market a product or working to find better solutions for business customers, AI can play an integral part in helping you stay ahead of the competition.
Author Bio: Sara is an experienced tech expert who writes with her colleagues on Enlightened Digital, to share her passion with others around the web. After 15 years in the industry, her goal is to bring information on all technology to the masses. Her philosophy is to create each article so that anyone can understand the content, whether they are a consumer or a technology expert. Check out her site at Enlightened-Digital.