It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is bringing about significant changes in the world around us. It’s revolutionized our approach to everything from healthcare to traffic management and the way in which we discover and consume entertainment content.
And of course, digital marketing is no different, and in fact, it’s one of the industries that’s historically been an early adopter of new technologies. We shouldn’t be surprised that marketers are already finding new ways to put AI algorithms to use in order to better target their audience.
Marketing has always been about reaching the right person in the right place with the right message at the right time. AI is the perfect tool for this because it can allow us to implement personalization at scale. For example, Netflix can provide such accurate movie and TV show recommendations because it uses AI and machine learning to crunch millions upon millions of data points. No human being could be that accurate, and no human being could serve so many users at the same time.
This brings us on to the idea of customer behavior. Every customer category is unique. These include behavior patterns, money spending structure, customer journey, touchpoints, and even demographic factors like how old they are and where they live.
Back in the olden days, shopkeepers could get to know each of their customers individually. They could remember names and faces and greet everyone as they walked through the door. These days, though, we live in a global marketplace in which business is mostly conducted online.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t personalize our user experience so that we still greet them by name and make product suggestions based on previous purchases. We can also learn a lot about our customers’ online behaviors through the use of analytics.
Sure, due to data privacy laws, you’ll only ever see data in aggregate, but that’s enough to draw overall conclusions. At the same time, algorithms can safely process individual data to provide super personalized user experiences based on individual customer behavior.
Let’s say that you’re a clothes retailer, and you know that a customer regularly reads your celebrity gossip blogs and opens emails related to seasonal trends. If they navigate to your website, you can reflect what you know about them by showcasing products that are similar to those worn by celebrities or displaying the products that were inside the emails they opened.
The possibilities are practically limitless, and there’s a lot of space for marketers to experiment and to innovate. Done well, it can provide a huge competitive advantage.
Chatbots have come a long way over the last few years, and there’s a reason for that: AI. Artificial intelligence, combined with other innovative technologies like natural language processing, is able to make chatbots more human-sounding – and therefore more useful than ever.
There’s a concept in AI known as the Turing test, which was coined by the computer scientist Alan Turing. A machine can beat the Turing test by successfully convincing a human that it’s another human.
Corporate chatbots won’t be passing the Turing test any time soon, but that doesn’t matter. Instead, they offer a 24/7 point of contact for your company where people can reach out and expect immediate answers. Again, no human being could achieve this much coverage or react this quickly.
Chatbots are typically used to allow customers to check tracking information or to receive answers to common questions, but there are also plenty of other innovative uses out there too. Just remember that if you use machine learning to allow your bot to learn from your customers, it can be subverted. Just look at what happened to Microsoft’s Tay.
Content marketing is a vital aspect of any modern marketing strategy, but not everyone realizes that AI now has the capacity to take a lot of the hassle away from us. It can create certain types of content, such as when AI is used to create financial tickers and other simple news formats. Some AI algorithms create royalty-free music that can be added to the background of videos.
But for most marketers, AI-based content creation is something for the future. The good news is that there’s something that AI can help, and that’s content curation. If you can’t create original content, the next best step is to curate content, whether you’re sharing links to third-party news sources or whether you’re running a user-generated content campaign.
AI can make these processes much faster and more efficient by doing all of the hard work for you, curating only the most relevant content so that you can then share it with just a simple click of a button.
Voice search has taken off in leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. As more and more consumers grow used to interacting with devices through their voices, optimizing for voice search will become as important as optimizing for regular search.
Of course, it’s still early days for voice search at the moment, and so it’s difficult to say how your company can best position itself to take advantage of the voice revolution. For now, it’s probably enough to ensure that your developers are keeping their eyes peeled on APIs and that you have one eye on voice as the battlefield of the future.
Computer vision is essentially a new technology that combines artificial intelligence and machine learning to give computers a set of “eyes.” Computer vision algorithms are able to process visual data in the same way that natural language recognition allows AI to process voice data.
This has all sorts of potential applications. A clothing retailer could allow shoppers to upload photos of their favorite celebrities and be automatically routed to the closest matching garments. Content creators could use AI to generate images at scale.
For example, the same retailer could create digital models to show off their clothes instead of having to stage manual photoshoots. Some clothing stores even allow people to upload photographs and to virtually model items as though they’re checking them out in a changing room.
As we’ve seen, AI is destined to forever change the way we think about marketing, and we shouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, we see everything from AI Insurance companies to AI songwriters and perhaps even AI marketers. After all, AI is already able to carry out automation at scale, making it the perfect tool to tackle everything from programmatic advertising to content curation.
But don’t worry, because there’s no need for us to worry too much about robots coming to take our jobs. As a general rule, instead of worrying about whether AI or human beings are a better option, it’s almost always the case that the best possible option is a combination of the two.
So, if you haven’t already, consider making AI a part of your marketing strategy, or at the very least, start to familiarize yourself with the latest technologies and best practices. Hopefully, this blog post has helped!
From 2017 as a CTO at Zfort Group, Andrew concentrates on growing the company into the areas of modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence, BigData, and IoT. Being a CTO, Andrew doesn’t give up programming himself because it is critical for some of the projects Andrew curates as a CTO.