If you are a digital technology native, you’ve probably come across the term Artificial Intelligence, or AI. And if you’re in the tech industry, you probably hear the term ad nauseum. AI is changing the way we work and process data – and there are tons of data to be processed in the internet cloud. Each industry is busily figuring out how to harness the benefits of AI for their workstreams and processes, and marketing is no exception. The fact that majority of businesses have gone digital in the past few years is enough reason to start investing in AI technologies sooner rather than later.
AI has gone a long way from its first appearance in the 1950’s. In fact, machines have already outdone humans in reading comprehension tests (albeit just slightly). This shows the massive potential that AI and machine learning possess. Once machines can start thinking almost like humans – with the added benefit of doing it much faster – the immense amount of data floating around the web can finally be filtered into something meaningful and actionable. That’s the premise behind marketing AI – machines can collate data and churn out useful consumer insights that feed into digital campaigns.
Marketing AI is not the same as Marketing Automation. Currently, marketing automation is already being used to streamline the digital marketing process. Marketing automation collects data from different marketing touchpoints – web page, social media, blog, email – and compiles them into neat packages for the marketer to use. Sometimes it also involves the execution of marketing tasks, such as publication, syndication, and social media promotion, prompted by previous consumer action. Automation frees up the marketing professional to do more strategic and creative thinking, such as drawing insights from the data collected. These insights can feed into the design of more targeted campaigns and offers, which may result in more sales.
Marketing AI takes things a step further. Instead of just collecting and filing data, AI will be the one to sift through information based on relevance, quality of interaction, and even tone and language. AI is more sensitive to nuances in communication, such as the use of punctuation and specific words to convey emotions. AI collects data that helps marketers figure out where a customer is in the customer experience journey – whether they’re still researching for the best product, narrowing down options, or are ready to make a purchase. This information is then fed to marketers, in order to optimise marketing communications materials to the customer’s status.
Sensitivity to linguistic nuances also give AI the ability to respond in more meaningful ways. Some companies have already employed chatbots to respond to low-level customer service enquiries, with great success. And this is only the beginning.
As AI moves towards more humanistic thinking, creating more personal, relationship-based marketing content becomes faster and easier. This gives brands the ability to connect and engage with their consumers on a deeper level, which inspires loyalty and builds reputation. It’s a marketing win-win.
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