Artificial intelligence (AI) is without a doubt the biggest business buzzword around right now. We have progressed from nightmarish scenarios involving robots and mass human job losses to a clearer and more straightforward appreciation of what AI can add to business. Marketing is one topic where AI has a lot to contribute. Although it’s still very early days, AI is already beginning to have an impact on the marketing world.
Helping to discover new audiences
One of the areas where AI has a serious advantage over human capability is in identifying from previous behaviours a susceptibility to a product or service. Machine learning can be used to trawl through what consumers do before they make an online purchase. Working with these behaviours and looking at the content that was favoured, a marketing AI can identify potential intent in an audience that may not even have been on the radar of a human marketer. It’s this kind of insight that will allow the brands using AI to get ahead, particularly in already crowded markets.
According to a recent Salesforce survey, the use of AI among marketers is predicted to grow by 50% in the next two years. One of the reasons for this accelerated take up is that it offers some certainty to marketers where there has previously been only well-informed guesswork. Initially, many predict that we will go through a phase of Actual Intelligence – the first step on the Artificial Intelligence pathway. During this phase, the combination of analytics and automation will enable marketers to make increasingly well-informed decisions. Campaigns can be better targeted and early stage AI will enable marketers to be more responsive and pivot quickly when necessary.
We are entering the age of big data and this represents an immense opportunity for marketers and businesses. However, the volume of data involved is intimidating and it’s currently difficult to plough through it to gain the insights required for truly effective targeting. Machine learning will simplify this and speed it up, processing six figures of variables every second and significantly reducing the time and effort it takes to get to actionable insights.
One of the benefits of an AI is that it learns as it goes. So, if you set machine learning the task of extracting data to enable better targeting the machine will get on with the task and refine its parameters as it progresses. The result is that you end up with both better results and a more efficient process.
The use of machine learning will drive the personalisation trend to grow further in marketing. Already, we are starting to move away from a general and generic approach to marketing and to look for ways in which behavioural patterns can be used to personalise. Applying the skills of machine learning to this task will produce greater depth of insight and on a much broader scale. So, personalisation can be more effective and reach much wider numbers of consumers.