AI and Digital Marketing

AI is taking the science of marketing to a whole new level.

AI and digital marketing team up

The marketing world in 2018 is largely digital, empirical and much more a science than an art. Doing marketing prior to the commercialization of AI involved using complex tracking methods, measuring every possible metric and extensively number-crunching these metrics, analytics and KPIs in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of each activity, channel and partner. Being a digital marketer had become synonymous with being a data nerd. The creative aspect of marketing had become less important, and the technical side of it had been prevailing. Then AI came along and changed the game.

We could say that the relationship between AI and digital marketing resembles that of an old wizard and his young and willing apprentice. The old wizard can reiterate the rules and principles, but the young apprentice can put them into practice, test them and see if they work.

Here are some of the ways in which AI is revolutionizing digital marketing.

Deeper customer insights

Thanks to social media outreach and big data, brands now know their customers better than they ever did. AI is helping collect and interpret consumer insights from all platforms and points of interaction: websites, e-commerce purchases, support and contact forms, chatbots, email newsletters, social media engagement (shares, follows, likes, comments), forum comments, customer reviews, and more. The data footprints of internet users today are substantial and continue to grow, as people go about their lives online.

Personalized user experiences

The volumes of data generated online make it easy for corporations to build sophisticated profiles on who we are, what our beliefs, tastes and preferences are. As we have recently seen, data scientists can even guess and influence our political convictions based on data willingly provided on social platforms. Whether this is a positive development is up for debate, though, one thing is for sure – users will no longer need to be subjected to generic ads of little relevance or interest to them.

Image recognition for ROI maximization

The early days of AI saw mostly textual and numerical data being processed and analysed. Today’s machine-learning algorithms are becoming smarter and more sophisticated, however, to the point where they can determine what’s in an image and which types of images are most engaging to a specific user.

They do this by recognising image patterns and gradually learning about the emotions and reactions certain images invoke in people by measuring their social engagement.

Computer vision company, GumGum, is utilizing AI to get more data out of each photo or graphic online. They work with Fortune 100 companies to reach targeted audiences in native and non-intrusive ways, which is a win-win scenario for both brands and customers.

Simpler decision-making with predictive marketing

The entire premise of collecting terabytes of user data from all possible channels is to use it for smart decision-making. Future user behaviour can be predicted more reliably by analysing historical data and drawing patterns – something machine-learning algorithms are adept at doing. This allows organizations to carefully plan their marketing and advertising budgets and to invest only in channels, campaigns and messaging that produces the desired results. Marketers no longer need to wait for months to gather and analyse data on consumer behaviour – AI does this for them quickly, efficiently and inexpensively.

Future-proof skills

With the proliferation of AI technology and the companies offering it as a service, many digital marketers are becoming fearful of losing their jobs, which is not dissimilar to what numerous other sectors and professions are experiencing.

What are humans to do in a world where machines are capable of making smart decisions more accurately, rapidly and efficiently? The good news is that marketing has the potential of going back to its roots and becoming more creative again. Once the focus is no longer on analysing data, marketing will have the space and time to become its true self again, where creating the most engaging and sticky experiences for consumers is the priority.

Copywriter: Ina Danova

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