Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is estimated to grow 53% faster than any other type of marketing technology over the next 2 years, according to Salesforce's annual State of Marketing report. 51% of respondents expressed some level of familiarity with A.I. powered digital marketing, while a quarter planned to begin a pilot program within the next 2 years.
A.I. is expected to have a big impact for direct marketers in 2018. Some of the top benefits include:
- hyper-personalization of content
- targeted product recommendations
- optimized email delivery times
- sentiment analysis
- predictive journeys of buyers
Understanding where a consumer is coming from emotionally based on actions or conversations with your brand, helps to formulate a better response. It also helps to determine the next marketing engagement. Campaigns that are in sync with consumer behavior could yield double- or even triple- digit returns for marketers by increasing marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
Let's look at some of the key marketing applications of A.I.:
- Content curation - showing blog, website articles or products related to recently viewed or purchased items. Netflix is a good example of a company that recommends items based on past customer behavior. Not only do they know what movie a consumer has watched and rated, but also analyze which movies are watched multiple times, rewound, fast-forwarded etc. to provide the best recommendations.
- Content generation - some sports and finance articles are already being written by machines, not humans. In the future, companies may have product descriptions or entire product lines composed by machines.
- Chat bots - communicating with your customers inside messaging apps. There is a big trend ahead, over the next 2 years, for use of chatbots to better reach and engage with consumers.
- Sales - optimizing sales activities such as predictive lead acquisition, understanding customer behavior and personalized recommendations. A.I. can enable sales teams to convert leads into meetings at a higher rate.
- Optimizing ad targeting - choosing the right sites, screens and times to display ads to consumers who would be most interested. A.I. technologies have algorithms that analyze a visitor's behavior allowing for real-time campaign optimizations toward an audience most likely to convert. Programmatic companies gather this data to target an audience more precisely.
When data is leveraged strategically, marketing becomes more effective - but how much A.I. is too much? Facebook and Google have faced criticism over the past year for allowing advertisers to target online ads based on ethnicity and race. They no longer allow machines to create categories on their own.
Our team emphasis is to use A.I. as a tool for understanding behavior, suggesting content, and identifying the best methods for reaching your audience. Click here for help in creating and executing A.I. powered digital marketing campaigns.