Can you imagine that the year on year adoption of AI in marketing has reached 53% already?
According to the Business insider’s report, called “AI in Marketing 2018”, 51% of marketers use at least some form of artificial intelligence. And 27% plan to add it to their campaigns next year.
But as Other sources suggest, many marketers still find AI mysterious. Puzzling. And frightening.
Unfortunately, with that, they also struggle to realize the impact using AI tools could have on their marketing initiatives. As a result, they miss out on many opportunities to use data to deliver a higher marketing ROI.
Luckily, that’s exactly what we’ll show you in this guide.
Keep on reading to understand what AI in marketing is. Learn how artificial intelligence impacts digital marketing. And find out whether you should feel threatened by machine learning and intelligent artificial intelligence at all.
AI in marketing (also referred to as artificial intelligence marketing) is a strategy of leveraging data and machine learning to deliver campaigns that help achieve a brand’s goals more effectively. Most marketers utilize AI in market research, data science, and real-time campaign analysis.
Although gaining prominence in recent years, various forms of artificial intelligence have existed in marketing in the past. They allow marketers to analyze more data a human mind could comprehend, responding to the audience’s preferences better, and using natural language processing to understand the target market.
Digital and retargeting advertising platforms use customer behavior to display relevant messages at the right time. Other strategies use artificial intelligence to personalize marketing messages in real time. Not to mention, act on the findings at an instant.
(Note: Keep on reading to discover various examples of how brands use AI to promote their products.)
What’s more, many experts predict that soon, AI will transform marketing completely.
Gartner, for example, predicts that in just 2 years, chatbots will take over 85% of customer service interactions. In comparison, artificial intelligence handles about 30% of it right now.
According to eMarketer, AI will mainly affect targeting, personalization, and programmatic advertising.
At least, at first.
Finally, instead of eliminating jobs, experts predict that AI will generate 2.3 million new employment opportunities.
Which brings us to this…
Many marketers I speak about AI to feel at least a little concerned about the rise of machine learning algorithms.
Many feel anxious about machines replacing their jobs, potentially. Others worry about AI-powered systems spying and gathering data about their campaigns.
I’ve already shown you some evidence that not only jobs are safe with AI. It might even create more demand for employees.
And when it comes to the omnipresence of AI, it seems unavoidable. We’ve been using AI almost every day for quite some time, after all.
Think about it:
Plenty of evidence confirms the positive impact, though… Consider this:
But, as eMarketer states in their report, “Artificial intelligence for marketers 2018”:
“Though market analysis by Grand View Research found that AI applications related to advertising and media make up the largest share (20%) of the global AI market, many of these applications are still very nascent.”
Further, they add:
“No disrespect to the work being done now, but when we look at the possibility of artificial intelligence, we have so much further to go and so many more advancements,”
With artificial intelligence, marketers can analyze complex data sets faster than a human.
But this increased speed doesn’t mean greater efficiency only. Or the ability to gather and act on insights faster.
It also suggests that organizations could reduce the time associated with processing information manually. As a result, they could launch more effective campaigns faster and deliver higher ROI at a lower cost.
Using AI opens up the possibility to conduct a more in-depth analysis of the data. A machine-learning algorithm could break down complex data sets, correlate them with other information and deliver deeper insights.
For a marketer, the above means finally having the ability to utilize more insights when planning campaigns. And also, being able to act much faster on those findings.
For them to work, today’s marketing campaigns must be 100% relevant to the target audience. Unfortunately, many marketers lack data and insights to launch an initiative capable of engaging their intended audience.
With AI, they can acquire all the insight they need and increase the efficiency of their efforts.
In spite of many attempts, AI is still incapable of being creative. Machine learning algorithms can’t act on the data in the same manner as a human would.
And what goes with it, their ability to create something based on those insights remains severely limited.
That’s just one reason why AI-created content lacks the magic touch making a blog post, article or even a Facebook Ad engaging.
Although, if you’re interested in seeing the results of machine-powered content creation, I recommend you check out this Sci-Fi movie scripted entirely by an AI. Be prepared to laugh a lot.
As you may have gathered from this guide already, AI opens up incredible opportunities for marketers.
But I admit, it can be hard to realize its full potential. Particularly, when you try to imagine how you could use it in your work.
So, let me show you some of the ways to use artificial intelligence to enrich your work.
(Note: This section lists possible use cases for AI for in marketing. The next one, however, includes real-life examples of companies using AI to boost their growth.)
Today’s customers expect a Personalized marketing experience. In fact, to even consider buying from you, they want you to make them feel as if you knew them in person.
And the minimum prerequisite to meeting those expectations is delivering the right message to the right customer. And at the right time, at that.
Which, as I’m sure you’ll agree is quite a challenge. That’s especially true, if you try doing it without having a deep understanding of various customer segments your brand can serve.
That’s where AI comes in.
Artificial intelligence allows marketers to analyze their customer data in detail. Such insight helps create precise customer segments. And also, map those to the entire Customer journey.
But that’s just a start.
Such in-depth data analysis could also reveal each segment’s motivations, desires, and pain points. Correlated with other data points, it could even help predict the customers’ next moves. For example, it could help forecast each segment’s buying pattern throughout the year per product or service.
And with such information, marketers can launch campaigns designed to engage a specific segment. And do so with a message tailored to those customers’ needs, and perfectly timed.
For most marketers, the benefits of Data-driven marketing remain limited by their ability to access, and then, analyze the information.
The solution? Incorporate artificial intelligence to help process and correlate large data sets to obtain deeper insights.
AI platforms can help marketers spot and understand anomalies in the market behavior or campaign performance. In turn, they could act and tackle problems before they escalate.
Having a deeper understanding of the data could help predict future campaign performance as well. It could even aid forecast the growth and set realistic, achievable expectations.
According to Gartner, AI will handle 85% of all customer service inquiries by 2020.
And we can see the first signs of this already.
For example, chatbots have moved to the frontline of customer interactions. Without much opposition from customers, at that.
According to Drift, 35% of customers would be happy to use a chatbot to resolve a complaint or a problem.
The same number would use it to get detailed answers or explanations. And 34% would use it to connect with the right customer assistant.
Finally, to most, the 24-hour service and getting instant support are the main benefits of AI-powered customer service.
Then, there are voice assistants too.
16% of Americans already own a smart speaker like Amazon Echo. And experts predict the voice search adoption to reach 55% by 2022.
For most customers, voice search means being able to conduct search and discover information in various situations.
What’s important is that those platforms use artificial intelligence too. Chatbots are nothing but computer programs that conduct conversations with customers. What’s more, they use patterns in data to learn. And then, use that info to solve similar problems for customers.
By far, the most recognizable example of artificial intelligence in marketing is Amazon using AI to recommend products for users.
Amazon’s AI analyzes a person’s past purchases and viewing history, and identifies products they are the most likely to buy next.
Car rental companies, hotels, and many other organizations use AI to monitor buying trends and determine the most competitive pricing. By doing so, they can offer customers prices based on external factors and their buying trends.
Similarly, many e-commerce stores use AI to monitor competitor prices as well as internal factors (like costs, etc.) to adjust pricing to an optimum point of competitiveness.
Spotify’s AI analyzes each user’s listening history to suggest other artists, records or playlists that should match their taste in music.
And they use quite a sophisticated algorithm to do that.
More and more brands turn to AI to help reduce customer service costs too. Augmented messaging, routing support inquiries to relevant agents, enhanced phone support are just some of the use cases for AI in customer service.
Here’s an example of how AI helps with processing website inquiries:
One of the biggest challenges facing email marketers today is the customers’ demand for personalization. It seems that buyers turn only to emails that speak to them directly. And they ignore the rest.
For an email marketer, this means a need to increase the relevancy of any messages they send out.
And that’s where AI can help too. From analyzing customer behavior and interests to segmenting them based on those findings, artificial intelligence helps marketers become more relevant to their audience.
Some examples of the above include sending time optimization, dynamic email content with precise product recommendations, tailored to a recipient, and much more.
AI helps marketers improve content too. From crafted the perfect subject line to the perfect ad copy, lots of services are focussing on taking the pain out of copywriting.
Various tools can analyze the audience’s interests to identify better topic ideas. With others, marketers can understand the audience’s intent. Based on that, they can identify factors that would help their content succeed in the search results, for example.
SEMrush, for example, uses AI to research topics, and suggest different approaches that would help engage the audience.
Various AI-powered solutions allow writers and marketers to analyze and improve their content.
Grammarly, for example, finds grammar, spelling and styling errors. The tool also provides recommendations for improving the content based on user-defined criteria.
AI-powered business analytics tools help uncover an unprecedented insight from the company’s data.
Understanding anomalies in the campaign performance, to help identify and overcome potential issues.
Forecast business performance. And with such insight, help set realistic expectations, KPIs, etc.
Create benchmarks based on various data points, and use machine learning to help improve marketing ROI from other campaign’s data.
In the end, it is clear that machine learning, big data and AI will help marketers do their job. From analytics to forecasting and endless optimization possibilities, your marketing job will look a lot different in 10 years from now. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the famous Content Marketing Institute, has a very clear vision for the future of content creation:
“In 10 years the majority of content will be generated by software. In 20 years, humans will wonder why we wasted so much time on content creation. I can’t see any other way around this.”
Passionate marketer and traveller. Loves sports, Thai Food and spending time with friends and family. Talk to him about video games, data-driven advertising and internet pop culture on Twitter @eugilicious