Once upon a time, marketing was all about print and out of home media, and ‘digital marketing’ was the newcomer that specifically referred to the new digital world. Today, digital has become the norm and marketers are looking at the next frontier - Artificial Intelligence.
AI has the potential to revolutionise marketing by providing valuable insights into consumer behaviour, automating repetitive tasks, and personalising marketing campaigns to individual customers, but there are also risks and challenges involved.
In this blog post, we will explore the different ways AI is being used in marketing today and the benefits it can offer businesses of all sizes. We will also examine some of the potential challenges and ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in marketing, and how you can navigate them to ensure you’re using these technologies in a responsible and effective way.
Using AI in marketing goes beyond using ChatGPT to write your content. Although ChatGPT is the flavour of the month and has perhaps been the most widely used, there have been a number of commonly used AI tools in the marketing world for a while.
AI can be used to adapt a marketing asset (like a web page, social post, or email) according to a customer’s past interactions to encourage the customer to take a specific action. For example, if a first-time visitor to a sales page may see something slightly different to someone who is returning to the page for the 4th time, due to the different intent signals.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Most of us will have used a chat bot by now, and have experienced the difference between a natural sounding dialogue and one that feels awkward and mechanical. NLP is the key tool for creating dialogue that feels human for content creation, bots, and experience personalisation.
AI can be used to analyse previous data and predict the most effective ad and media placements to help reach your target audience and maximise your ROI on ad spend.
Automated Decision Making
Many email marketing platforms and social media scheduling tools offer an inbuilt ‘send at best time’ tool. AI can also analyse past data and help businesses decide which growth strategies are most likely to succeed.
Chat GPT aside, there are a suite of content writing tools available (with results of varying quality). From tools that promise whole blogs to social media posts, video subtitles, and email subject lines.
AI can collect, sort, and analyse large amounts of data from marketing campaigns, saving marketers and data analysts from having to do it manually.
If these uses for AI seem varied, you’ll enjoy peeking behind the curtain and familiarising yourself with a couple of the different types of technology at play.
Big Data & Analytics
A digital-first landscape is great for marketers because just about everything can be tracked and measured. The downside is that it produces massive data sets, leaving marketers trying to decide which data is worth collecting and analysing. AI can help sort through huge amounts of data at speed.
Machine learning involves computer algorithms that analyse data from past experience and use it to automatically improve digital marketing campaigns. This works by examining new information in the context of historical data and making decisions based on what has (or hasn’t) worked in the past.
- AI can analyse big data, providing insights into consumer behaviours and preferences which marketers can use to create more effective campaigns.
- Automating repetitive tasks such as data analysis and ad placement frees up resources for more strategic thinking.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants can provide round the clock customer service, improving the customer experience.
- Big data analytics can identify new trends and opportunities before they’d otherwise be noticed.
- Over-reliance on AI can lead to neglecting the human touch that creates true connection between customers and brands.
- Widespread use of AI may lead to decrease in breakthrough creativity, resulting in homogeneity in media and advertising.
- Data privacy becomes ever more important as companies collect and analyse more and more personal data from consumers.
- One of the main risks of using AI in marketing is the potential for biassed algorithms that could perpetuate or even amplify existing biases in society.
- AI powered marketing campaigns may backfire if they come across as too intrusive, resulting in reduced trust and engagement from your audience.
Know your goals
As with any marketing initiative, you can only know you’re succeeding if you have a clear view of what your goals are and how they’re measured. Start small, decide on realistic metrics, and make sure you understand how AI can help you with them.
Check your privacy standards
Different countries have different privacy laws. Make sure your data collection doesn’t cross any legal lines!
Invest in the appropriate skills
If you’re working with big data, you need to invest in data scientists. There’s no way around it. A good data scientist is essential to analysing your data and extracting the insights needed to make smart business decisions.
Ensure quality data
AI can only help you as long as it’s being fed relevant and correct data. A data scientist can help you maintain your data quality.
In conclusion, AI is set to transform the world of marketing by offering businesses valuable insights into consumer behaviour, automating repetitive tasks, and personalising marketing campaigns to individual customers. However, it is important to be aware of the potential challenges and ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in marketing, such as biassed algorithms and data privacy concerns. By investing in the appropriate skills and ensuring quality data, businesses can effectively navigate these challenges and reap the benefits of AI in their marketing strategies. Ultimately, it is about using these technologies in a responsible and effective way to create true connections between customers and brands.
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