07 July 2021 - Gavin Duff

Artificial Intelligence: Changing digital marketing… and the world

There are many cities around the world offering smart city solutions. Did you know that Dublin is one of them?

While driving to work may seem challenging at times, Artificial Intelligence is already making it less difficult with things like smart traffic lights and traffic management systems.

AI is actually improving the quality of life for everyone, often without our knowledge.

Advances in healthcare, research, education and other fields have benefited from it, which ultimately aim to boost economic prosperity and life expectancy. AI is a wonderful thing.

And yet there’s a certain level of fear out there about AI.

For example, a few years ago Facebook shut down two chatbots because they began talking to each other in a strange language that only they understood.

People freaked out about this.

But in fact, they merely malfunctioned and were not serving the purpose of supporting human conversations. That’s all. No panic required.

And then there’s those who think that The Terminator is more plausible than it actually is.

So let’s take a deep breath, a reality check, and look at what we’re actually dealing with here.

The Business Transformation Index 2021 report compiled by Expleo shows that almost two-thirds of businesses in Ireland will be utilising AI or machine learning by the year 2023.

Compared to 22% of companies currently using the technology, this is a considerable increase.

Very strange for something that we’re supposed to be afraid of, right?!

Reducing costs

In response to the pandemic, 40% of businesses have managed to automate more processes, one out of five people have claimed that both AI and machine learning are important to ensure the success of their business, while 17% of them believe that automation can help to reduce the Covid-19 backlog.

Technology will have a major impact over the next three years on areas such as enabling employees to focus on their business-critical tasks, accelerating processes, and reducing costs, according to a TechPro survey conducted among 200 businesses and IT professionals on behalf of Expleo.

Digital marketing is one area of integration with AI that cannot be ignored, and it’s already happening.

Many of Google’s algorithm changes are already based on machine learning. Facebook Ads are already optimised this way.

Forget about that cookieless future – AI predictors will know your behaviours anyway. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Must be utilised

The concept of AI encompasses the use of computing devices and cloud computing in business processes, systems, and daily life operations, as well as the integration of robotics, computer and digital content production in various business processes, systems, and daily activities.

In order to benefit from future marketing efforts, AI must be utilised. The use of AI software is increasing every day as companies use it to optimise their processes, decrease overheads, and turnaround time, and augment productivity.

We are naturally worried that AI will eventually replace humans, but we must remember that AI systems are not yet capable of dealing with emotion, empathy, or critical thinking. There is a very real possibility that it never will.

robots replacing humans

Those who become adept at marketing AI software will have a distinct advantage — technology is evolving at a rate that is unparalleled. One by one, AI is transforming industries. An obvious example is self-driving cars, and then there’s robotics in manufacturing. Very soon, elderly care will use personal assistant robots.

AI can be used to find patterns in data to identify market risks, to measure customer satisfaction by creating virtual assistants, or even to assess thousands of documents across an organization’s servers to identify compliance.

Self-learning

A self-learning system enables Artificial Intelligence to use tools such as pattern recognition, data mining, and natural language processing. Thus, AI has the advantage of being highly scalable in comparison to human intelligence, resulting in tremendous cost savings.

Through the use of browsers and applications, data is collected and manipulated by computer programs that generate and send personalised recommendations based on interests and behavior data recorded by the application. This is machine learning.

Digital marketing and advertising are also becoming increasingly reliant on AI, and this trend is also picking up speed.

Many CRM systems, such as Salesforce, require a high level of human intervention to be accurate and current – but they are AI-driven. A typical CRM system becomes an auto-updating, auto-correcting system when AI is applied to it, which manages your relationships on your behalf.

CRM AI

Due to the enormous amount of information people leave behind intentionally and unintentionally in social media, AI can hold immense potential for the world of digital marketing.

AI is already saving companies money, providing targeted marketing, predictive analytics, and a better customer experience with enhanced ROI.

Marketing is characterised by rapid change. Digital marketing involves changes that happen in real-time.

Real-time marketing

With AI-driven data feeds, real-time marketing involves formulating a marketing strategy based on the most recent historical and current events.

AI will feed data to marketers’ real-time efforts as they leverage current trends and customer feedback to connect consumers with products and services they might be interested in.

Because social media provides businesses with real-time information on their target audiences, real-time marketing is becoming increasingly popular.

Marketing professionals have tapped into that data and turned it into messages and products that they believed their customers would enjoy. With real-time marketing, companies can now analyse all types of customer data to gain a better understanding of how customers behave.

With real-time personalisation, you can make your website visitors feel that they are receiving content that is both relevant and timely, and you will be delivering a more personalised experience to them.

When prospects feel valued, they develop brand loyalty more readily than those who feel like just another lead.

AI’s growth in the past has been stunted by limited data sets, data samples that represent real-life data rather than real-time data, and the inability to analyse massive amounts of data rapidly. However, that is no longer the case.

Look at self-driving cars again – learning from each other’s mistakes in real-time to prevent any future ones.

AI has also been used for sentiment analysis on social media to predict things like box office performance and election successes.

This real-time data is what gives you Netflix recommendations based on your viewing habits, and even those ‘because you also bought’ Amazon impulse buys that you just can’t resist.

Relevant to marketing

This technology encompasses a wide range of capabilities, such as voice recognition, image recognition, machine learning, and semantic search – all relevant to marketing.

It is far harder to win and retain a customer today with traditional marketing or outbound marketing campaigns. The use of Artificial Intelligence is essential for marketers as they engage with customers continuously on an individual basis, delivering customised, insight-driven interactions that foster sustainable competitive advantage in an always-connected, real-time world.

AI, when taken seriously, allows brands to scale and take advantage of a competitive advantage that is very hard to replicate. Rather than focusing on technology, AI is about delivering the right content in the right context.

Of course, many consumer and business products today already utilise AI, including Apple’s Siri. Siri interprets voice commands using natural language processing (NLP).

Siri NLP

In the past, marketers were reluctant to use AI in marketing. However, marketers have recently become increasingly confident about its application. As a result, there is a reduction in ambiguity about the results since more and more sectors have already benefited from it.

The topic cannot be ignored any longer.

It is a fact that there is an abundance of data available, which makes process management more difficult if done manually. It creates a human tendency to ignore data and follow intuition instead.

In such scenarios, AI can prove to be a useful tool, since intuition isn’t always the best guide.

Create engagement

Digital marketers are constantly trying to call upon their intuition – Whom should I contact? Is there anything I should send? What is the best time to schedule my posts? Where will my posts be most effective?

By answering these questions, organisations can create engagement among customers, foster sales, and improve branding. Artificial intelligence can speed up your progress.

With AI, we will be able to do everything we do on a daily basis in a much more efficient, better and faster way. By implementing this, marketers will be able to measure and run campaigns differently from before.

Digital marketing will be shaped by AI now and in the future.

Digital marketing will learn from its own mistakes.

There are numerous platforms that collect and store customer analytics these days as part of analysing customer patterns and profile information to target certain markets and develop automated systems.

As new algorithms become available to analyse behavior and customer profiles, they will be able to design their own outreach strategies, to tailor copy to the needs of specific online customers based on their voice.

Predictive marketing

The use of Predictive Marketing will prove useful in this regard.

Marketers can gather more personal information about potential customers by using social media, which helps them to create more targeted campaigns.

New data is generated with every click.

Not only can AI help find your perfect customers by going through multiple piles of data, but it can also predict how hot the prospect is. The marketer can use this time and energy to do other things such as strategising.

Predictive Marketing

Chatbots

An AI-driven chatbot provides real-time interaction with users in a natural language, and it can be a very powerful sales and retention tool.

Marketing professionals are becoming increasingly interested in these programs as social media traffic has moved towards private messaging services such as WhatsApp and Facebook. It’s hard to ignore an engagement opportunity like that.

Chatbots are tangentially related to marketing, as opposed to direct relations. Many digital marketers view them as ways to offer personalised customer service at scale. A chatbot can also assist users in their journey to purchase.

In the long run, chatbots will never have true empathy, but they can be highly useful in certain circumstances if they are trained to prioritise human interaction over robot interaction.

Content creation

Artificial Intelligence is used by many brands to automate content creation. The creation of content is now faster and easier thanks to this technology. Coca Cola automates its advertising narratives through AI. Context-based logos and music scripts are automatically generated.

SEO and the place of artificially generated content within it is generating concerns and for good reason. Content in this category is typically non-emotional and can be difficult to relate to. A certain amount of human input is always necessary.

Campaigns

Digital ads and their delivery are also refined with AI. PPC campaigns on Google and Facebook dominate over 60% of all campaigns in the United States, according to some figures. PPC advertisers can discover new advertising channels by using AI.

AI can give advertisers an advantage because competitors may not use these channels, at least not in this same sophisticated way.

Email marketing

Both marketers and their customers benefit from AI’s use in email marketing. You can use AI to create personalised emails for each member of your list based on how they have previously interacted with the brand.

The content they consume, what’s on their wish list, what pages they spend the most time on, and so on can be leveraged to fit their preferences.

AI could, for example, send two different emails with the most relevant links to each user if one visits links to product pages, but the other skips the links and goes straight for content. It’s real-time segmentation of email lists!

Where do we go from here?

Your digital agency is likely already using AI in many of its marketing tools in order to run your campaigns, so you are likely already interacting with it without even realising it.

Large media agencies have been using technology like this for a while now for buying purposes, but now smaller agencies and in-house marketers have started to adopt it as well across other channels.

Keep reading about it, because it isn’t going anywhere.

As always, we will keep you updated.