As technology increases, so do the tools that we as marketers have at our disposal. One of the more recent developments, artificial intelligence (AI), is no exception. While most just hear AI and think of self-driving cars or sentient robots, this is an area of science that we can use to help us be more effective as marketers.
What is AI again?
AI is the method of using machine learning to mimic human intelligence, patterns and tendencies. Computers use algorithms and historical data to determine how to respond to certain actions. If that sounds a little too futuristic for you, think about your Netflix queue. Netflix uses AI that looks at your watching behaviors and patterns to recommend shows or movies that it thinks you’ll like. Everyone’s recommended viewing section looks a little different.
AI and marketing
With all that data collection done by AI, you can bet marketers have found a way to segment and utilize that information to help them better understand what their audience wants and needs.
AI can help marketers better understand what kinds of content their target audience wants to see, how they want it delivered, when is the optimal time, etc. Some predict that content marketing may completely be assumed by machines in the future, including writing. Some publications are starting to test “robot journalism,” but we’re still several years away from that becoming a reality. It will be a useful tool in the future, however.
Another area of marketing that’s being influenced by AI is paid search. For example, marketers consider six or so factors to influence their bidding strategy when they are setting up pay-per-click campaigns. Google’s “Smart Bidding” development uses AI, which factors in millions of signals to determine its bidding strategy. Incorporating some AI into pay-per-click or other paid search advertising can guarantee better placements and better response rates. Take this even further with retargeting or display network advertising and imagine the possibilities.
Actions aren’t the only factors that AI is considering. It’s also analyzing sentiments and understanding how language is used in social conversations. AI is already being used in some tools to provide depth to social listening reports. Large brands can use these tools to determine at a glance what the prevailing sentiment is toward their brand and/or products. It can also be used to determine any issues with their products quickly and respond proactively instead of waiting until something goes “viral.”
Chatbots may have garnered a bad reputation in the beginning, but they are getting better with the rise of AI data. Some keen marketers are starting to use chatbots to personalize websites to each user. Data has found that users interacting with chatbots stay on your site longer and are also more likely to return. Using AI, chatbots can provide a level of personalization to online customers that’s unprecedented.
The future of AI and marketing
We’re only starting to scratch the surface of what is possible with AI. As we become more familiar with the data available, more creative ways of using AI for marketing will certainly be popping up in the future.