Artificial Intelligence. For some this phrase represents an incredible technological achievement that will ultimately lead to a better, more automated world. Others aren’t so sure, cautioning against overuse, warning that relying too much on machine thinking is unethical or even dangerous. It’s hard to blame them considering that most popular science fiction films dealing with this subject matter – think Terminator, The Matrix, Blade Runner or the more recent Ex Machina – exploit those fears, but the truth is artificial intelligence is here to stay and has already started to change the way we approach many aspects of life, including business.
And that means marketing. Over the past few years, AI and related technologies have become an increasingly important part of digital marketing strategy, a trend that will inevitably continue throughout 2018 and beyond with each new advancement. Below you’ll find three specific examples of how artificial intelligence can benefit your brand today, as well as a few predictions for the future.
Improve User Experience
While Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and plenty of video games clearly use artificial intelligence for convenience and entertainment’s sake, many websites and apps also utilize AI to create a personalized browsing experience without users noticing the difference. And that’s the point.
Based on data like location, device type, past interaction and even search history, highly tailored content can be displayed automatically, giving individual users the impression that a business’s website was built just for them. In a way, it was, but it wasn’t a real live person doing the research.
When content is relevant, consumers are more likely to spend time on your website, which in turn makes them more likely to remember your brand, become interested in your products and services or make a purchase. As tech writer Vivian Michaels stated in a recent article for The Next Web, “It is the most crucial area where AI can break in and create a significant impact.”
While for the most part today’s AI determines what content is relevant to each user, there are some tools that actually produce content based on personal data. As these technologies develop, businesses will be able to save significant time and money on content development, which is often a lengthy, time-consuming process.
Answer Customer Inquiries
Chatbots are a common form of AI that can significantly reduce wait time when a customer has a question or needs help finding information. They immediately, automatically respond to customer inquiries, often in the same way a hired representative would, with many users unaware they were actually talking to a machine throughout the entire interaction.
If a question is too complex for the bot to answer, or the chatbot uses language that clearly isn’t human, this strategy may backfire leaving consumers feeling tricked and unsatisfied. But, as auto responders become more advanced and their responses more realistic, they are increasingly difficult to detect.
There’s still limited accounting for context, but artificial intelligence is generally much better than humans at collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. From predictive marketing to sales forecasting to determining ROI, AI can help with nearly every step of marketing analytics, provided businesses use the right tools.
Through Google AdWords and other software, companies have access to a variety of applications that not only demonstrate the results of a particular marketing effort or ad campaign, but can also tell them who to market to and how to do it. Combined with human insight, these tools make for extremely effective marketing plans that take much less time and effort to develop than when research needed to be done with manually-collected sales figures and non-live databases.
Whatever your opinion on artificial intelligence may be, there’s no arguing that it will become a crucial digital marketing tool in the near future – If it can’t be considered one already. Some businesses may find it difficult to keep up with AI technology’s lighting fast pace. Rest assured, Strunk Media will be here to let you know the latest developments and how they can be used more effectively.