Strategy

The Influence of AI on Digital Marketing

Louai Nasser

June 11, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and Digital Marketing are two terms that in recent years have started to progress together hand-in-hand. The constant innovation and consistent development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to make significant and permanent changes to the world of Digital Marketing & Advertising. Here’s how AI continues to change the game for marketers and advertisers alike.

In today’s world, Artificial Intelligence, more commonly known as AI, is steadily increasing its presence in a plethora of different ways. From Siri to chatbots and Google’s Alexa to predictive analytics, the possibilities are endless and the sky’s the limit! There’s no telling where AI developers are drawing the line with new innovations and updates constantly being revealed.

But what is Artificial Intelligence?

The official Oxford Dictionary definition for AI is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

When it was first introduced a few years back, many marketers and advertisers around the globe were a bit apprehensive and hesitant about embracing and incorporating Artificial Intelligence into their digital strategies. But with time, it is starting to become accepted as the future of Digital Marketing and may become the platform for future campaigns and advertising strategies.

AI is often improved & developed through Machine Learning. Machine Learning is essentially an application of Artificial Intelligence that provides computer systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from past experiences without actually being programmed to do so by a human. It relies solely on a set of patterns and algorithms that it uses to train itself and make more accurate actions or assessments.

There are several types of AI applications and features that have already started revolutionising the digital marketing industry, however, we’re only just getting started.

Narrow vs Strong AI

Let’s start by explaining one fundamental difference. AI can be divided into two categories: Narrow AI & Strong AI.

Most of the Artificial Intelligence that we see integrated in today’s digital marketing strategies is considered Narrow AI. That’s because Narrow or Weak AI is focused on one narrow task. A prime example of Narrow AI is Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant.

Since Siri operates within a limited, pre-defined range of functions, it is the perfect example of narrow intelligence. She may be able to answer many of your questions, but that’s because of the way Siri has been set up to answer your questions in certain ways, rather than come up with its own form of intelligence and develop its own answers.

On the other hand, Strong AI has the ability to apply its own intelligence to any problem, even if it has never come across it before. Systems with strong intelligence require consciousness & self-awareness that allow them to develop their own solutions to problems without any human intervention.

Today’s AI

Over the last few years, Artificial Intelligence has strongly impacted advertisers’ strategies as they continue to think of innovative ways to revolutionise their products, services and campaigns. For now, we’ll be focusing on Narrow AI as this is the type of intelligence that can be found most prominently in today’s digital marketing strategies. Let’s have a look at a few ways in which AI has already influenced Digital Marketing.

Improving the Customer Experience

One of the most crucial elements of a successful digital marketing strategy is ensuring a smooth, efficient and enjoyable customer experience. If you can’t offer this to your user or customer, then there is little chance of him/her converting or returning in the future. Retaining customers costs far less than attracting new ones, so providing them with a positive experience is absolutely key.

AI has a significant role to play here. That’s because its ability to gather data and decide which type of content is most relevant and suitable to a member of your target audience based on factors such as location and past behaviour & data is extremely important. It may give consumers the feeling that a certain brand offers them exactly what they’re looking for, as if it was built in order to tailor their preferences.

A perfect example of this is the recent introduction of AR or Augmented Reality. Some retailers have implemented AI into their systems so that it allows customers to visually try out an item of clothing without actually putting it on. In fact, last year, Amazon patented a mirror that dresses you in virtual clothes so you can see whether you think something will look good on you before deciding whether to purchase.

Chat Support

Thousands of brands have in the last few years started communicating with customers and prospects through messaging applications such as Messenger & WhatsApp. That’s because, nowadays, customers need to have the option of asking a question and receiving a quick and helpful response.

However, with the introduction of AI chatbots, users will get the impression that they’re talking to a customer service member, when they’re actually just talking to an automated tool bot. Chatbots are designed in a way so that they appear and feel more “human”, enabling them to answer and reply to basic questions about a company’s product or services.

This usually works by having the chatbot identifying certain keywords that the user mentions during the chat, allowing AI to do the rest and come up with a sufficient response. What’s also great about these type of bots is that they can be made available 24/7, resulting in a decrease in call waiting time which in turn can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Although these systems may not yet be able to accurately answer every question you may have, it is definitely the beginning of a new era and it can only improve from here on.

Voice Activated Assistance

Another great addition to AI was the introduction of voice search technology allowing users to get results in the quickest and most efficient way: verbally asking them. Introducing innovations such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant have revolutionised the way in which users search for answers as it allows them to do so in the simplest way possible: speech.

In fact, Google has recently disclosed that the overwhelming majority of its Google Assistant voice searches are done in a natural, conversational language tone as opposed to spelling out some relevant keywords as you might do when looking something up on Google.com

In order to implement an efficient mode of voice searches, advertisers and marketers may have to adapt some of their content so that it is closer to the way in which someone would verbally express themselves when it comes to a certain topic.

Employing an intelligent and effective form of voice searching can help a company significantly increase its organic traffic, which in turn may help bring in more revenue to the business.

Customer Behaviour Analysis

Another great aspect of AI is that it can also predict the behaviour of new and current users with the help of statistics gathered from past behaviours. This is made possible through the collection of data which AI can collect from users across the web as well as those interacting with your website.

By gaining these invaluable insights, you will be able to personalise your offers to customers according to their preference, which in turn allows you to target users more accurately, increasing their chances of converting.

Artificial Intelligence has the ability to spot behavioural patterns and other crucial insights based on previous data with more accuracy than anyone could ever have imagined years ago.

When we consider the fact that marketers often base their campaigns on buyer personas & data and information collected from buyer journeys, conducting a thorough analysis with the help of AI seems like the best possible solution.

Takeaway

Artificial Intelligence is growing and expanding rapidly, showing no signs of letting up. Slowly implementing AI into your digital marketing strategy is starting to become a must and is certainly a challenge that many companies and brands around the world are facing in today’s ever-evolving marketing & advertising industry. What do you think of the implementation of AI into digital marketing? Are you as excited about the future as we are? Let us know!

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