We have seen marketing and technology go hand in hand for quite some time now. The tools that marketers use have grown leaps and bounds in their capabilities and have made a huge impact on how marketers can target the right audience at the right time with the apt message. The latest buzzword in marketing seems to be Artificial Intelligence.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a broad field, covering a range of machine applications to carry out tasks that typically require human intelligence.
There are three different categories of AI.
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)– For Unique / specific things or task. Eg: Playing chess.
- Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)– When AI is capable of performing, understanding and reasoning in a human fashion.
- Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)- When the AI has reached a capacity that is beyond the abilities of the human
ANI has been used since 2010 when IBM introduced Watson, an AI-powered analytical computer system that can understand native language. The latest addition to the use of ANI is Google’s RankBrain, which is a machine-learning AI system that processes Google’s search results.
AI plays an instrumental role in enabling data-driven decisions in digital marketing. Here are a few ways AI has made an impact in this area.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are AI-powered and can assist customers and store relevant data, thus, removing the need for customer authentication for every interaction, and making the overall experience more user-friendly. They are machines and hence devoid of human emotions and can’t be rattled easily and hence can respond to every customer more rationally. You can handle more customers as waiting time is reduced as a chatbot can service multiple customers at a time.
The use of AI in content is demonstrated very well with tools like Wordsmith and Acrolinx which use AI to turn data into text in any language. These tools can’t use AI to write human understandable natural language content for every topic, but it is useful for some types of data-focused content such as market data, earnings forecast, etc.
Customers now expect a more personalised experience from brands. Marketers will have to rely more heavily on AI and machine learning to help them make sense of customer data to engage with customers effectively. Personalised and heavily targeted ads are the need of the hour and if implemented correctly, brands can see increases in revenue and conversion rates.
What Does The Future Hold?
With the ever-changing nature of AI, it won’t only augment marketing but will in fact also have an impact on what marketers can and should do in the future. Marketing teams will need to adapt in areas where AI does what the teams could do initially. With AI able to generate reports and optimise campaigns, marketers will need to develop advanced skills to generate newer insights and analysis from these reports. Where content generation is possible with AI, content writers will need to innovate in terms of creative ideas and writing. With predictive analysis, where AI is able to make rational decisions to target customers more effectively, marketers will need to be agile in generating newer ideas and dreams to sell to the customers. In the end, it will all boil down to the emotional quotient and skills and how well the marketers can use this to combat the rational superiority of AI-driven data.
The industry is still divided about the impact of AI on agencies and marketing. Some are excited about the endless possibilities whilst others are not convinced about its transformational abilities. The reality is that AI is here to stay. Will it completely replace the need for human intervention? Maybe not in the near future, as machines will still need humans to run/program them. But AI has and will definitely change the nature of marketing and customer interaction with brands.