Constantly working in the background to mimic the human intelligence process through algorithms and applications, AI is going to completely change the way marketers work and the way customers engage with brands. And to think, it has only scratched the surface of its capabilities within the marketing realm. But as usual, marketers are eager to know what’s next and what’s needed to succeed.
The overarching umbrella? Artificial Intelligence.
So how much of an impact has AI made for marketers up until this point? Well, according to a survey conducted by Salesforce, 51% marketing leaders are using AI to some capacity and in a separate study, Deloitte reported that 82% of marketers have had a positive ROI from their AI initiatives. Needless to say, AI won’t be going anywhere any time soon. From optimizing paid ad campaigns, developing and distributing content and creating completely personalized website experiences for users, AI is the leading digital trend that will drastically shape the future of marketing.
Here are just a few areas you can expect to see AI having a major effect on in 2019:
Scaling Traditional Channels
A little over 10 years ago, media buyers had absolutely no way of measuring the effect their campaigns were having on audiences. Scale has always been a leading challenge as advertisers have been completely in the dark as to whether their efforts are reaching, impacting or influencing consumers. Because of AI, this problem is coming to an end.
Using AI, data scientists have the ability to map multiple devices in a household and connect online behavior with offline behavior. What does this mean for advertisers? We now have the capability of knowing if household members are watching tv, playing on their phones or even both. The saying “meet your audience where they’re at” just got a whole lot easier.
And if that doesn’t completely blow your mind, we can now track the ROI of TV ads. For example, if a household TV is presented with a fast food commercial in the evening and a few hours later, a mobile device associated with that household shows up at one of the fast food restaurants, advertisers can now assume that the commercial was effective.
TV is just one of the channels in which AI is drastically changing. Other traditional channels such as direct mail and radio will also see similar benefits of this rapidly growing technology.
Deeper Consumer Interaction
If you’ve ever tried calling a credit card company, you can understand why consumers have a bad taste in their mouth when speaking with bots. Up until now, it’s been pretty obvious that you aren’t talking to a real person and what’s worse, it’s been extremely difficult to get a simple question answered. However, over the past few years, chatbots have come into play and have been making the customer service experience much more fluent. Currently, bots are capable of quickly assisting consumers with basic support questions, and as they become more human-like, they will have an insurmountable impact on consumer interaction.
Bots are now being designed with something called natural language programming (NLP), which allows bots to respond in complete sentences, use specific dialects, and even insert pauses and small sounds that make customers feel they are talking to a real person. This alone will drastically improve customer experience and get questions answered much quicker.
As bots continue evolving and interacting with customers, they will collect data about their target audiences and figure out what they want and need. Leading to my next point, not only will the data being collected be invaluable for marketers, but it will be easier than ever to create more personalized user experiences.
Personalized User Experiences
Whether we are leveraging TV spots, bots, emails, or social media ads, as marketers, our goal is to create personalized experiences that make the lives of our consumers easier. And today more than ever, customers demand it. According to an Adobe whitepaper, “brands that don’t create experiences that meet the ever-growing expectations of their customers will lose those customers to brands that can.”
With AI, marketers will no longer have to do the guesswork to figure out what users want. The self-learning system will analyze each step of a user’s behavior and feedback to predict their future behavior. It will automatically optimize the user’s experiences and alter what they see (images, headlines, videos, etc.) to deliver a completely customized and personalized experience. In return, this will build a better brand image, improve user experience, and get customers to convert much quicker.
AI is touching all aspects of the marketing industry and if it were a person, consider it in its awkward high-school stage. Throughout 2019 and for years to come, marketers will begin to slowly but surely put manual systems and processes away and dive deeper into what consumers want, what they are interested in and provide amazing experiences around the data.
AI will not only continue to evolve the lives of marketers but the lives of all humanity. AI will eventually take over the world but as for 2019, businesses adopting AI will be able to save costs and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.