Adapting current marketing practices and match it with technology is an ongoing trend in any industry. While most marketing managers and individuals realize the significant offerings of using more technology tools, there is still room for improvement.
Part of that improvement is the use of artificial intelligence in marketing teams. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation and building of machines that think and act like humans. Part of AI’s emerging capabilities comes from its ability to manage and learn human tasks like speech recognition, planning and problem-solving.
Bridging the gap between AI and marketing is going to help numerous people in the future. There are a few ways in which this technology is currently used, but there are places where AI can take over current jobs or roles. However, that does not mean marketers should fear for their jobs.
AI is not anywhere near perfect right now. Having individuals who know what AI should accomplish will help it learn correctly. Which means that marketers will need to aid in passing along their knowledge.
But as the following sections point out, once marketing teams integrate AI, it will help them even more. Below is a discussion on how marketing management is using AI today, what the future holds, and how AI will be an important marketing team member.
How AI is Used Now
Currently, AI is helping markets with data collection and insights into customers. There are a few ways in which AI completes these tasks.
Chatbots for social media and websites are growing in popularity as a useful tool for marketing management. Rather than worry about how to respond quickly to an inquiry, AI now manages the conversation. Marketers simply program the AI bot for when to respond and what to respond with.
Since people on social media want a response within minutes, chatbots take over the pain of having a single individual monitoring social media channels 24/7. Since AI is always developing, there may come a day when chatbots receive and solve a customer inquiry from start to finish.
Segmenting user data is another task that AI manages for marketers. Think of all the data that marketing managers collect each day. Data from social media interactions, in-store purchases, website traffic and conversions.
All of this information is not something easily handled by one person. Instead, AI now maintains the organization and categorization of all of this data. It looks over the information and breaks it down into specific customer categories and segments. For instance, if a shoe company wants to know what customers are visiting their winter boots page, the AI gathered data displays how many visitors the page receives, what time the page is most popular and whether or not an individual made a purchase from that page.
By analyzing this data, AI also maps a customer’s buying journey and gathers insights marketers can use for future promotions. If people know that a customer responds to ads more on Facebook rather than Twitter, it saves the extra time and money of running a campaign that no one interacts with or views.
It also turns into an opportunity to offer the customer an additional product to purchase or another item they might be interested in. By programming an AI bot to retarget a customer, once they make a purchase, with a product to compliment their purchase, marketers can gain insight into consumer purchasing habits.
Amazon is well known for this type of AI. Their product pages and purchase notifications include items similar to what people just purchased, and recommendations for what to buy next. Although some consumers find it annoying, others enjoy it or realize that they need another item to go along with their purchase.
Looking through customer analytics, AI gathers information that could be useful in the future. The division and organization of current customers into various categories allows managers to think about how to not only continually target them, but also test how to reach new customers.
What’s in the future for marketing and AI
Using AI for marketing management will expand into various sectors heading into the future. From social media to consumer insights, AI will alleviate some tasks from other team members.
For Facebook advertising, the social media site only provides an estimated prediction of how many people the ad may reach. But in the impending future, AI might give advertisers a more exact number. As more people either join the platform or contribute additional details, AI can gather this data for marketers. Plus, Facebook will gather more data on its users which they can use for perspective advertising numbers.
With a better picture of what interests people, AI will help marketing management narrow in on their targeted demographics. But it will also aid with exact numbers that a campaign will reach. By having more concise numbers and data, there won’t be any opportunity for an overspend or underspend on a campaign. Also, gathering information on new audiences will already be included from what the AI bot has gathered itself.
Predicting user behavior is touch and go in today’s market. But as AI collects more data on a customer’s journey, it can clearly map out how users interact with businesses. Using that information, marketers will know how to acquire new customers or where to fix their call to actions. There may also come a day where AI can find and fix these issues by itself.
For instance, if a digital campaign is not reaching the right amount of people, AI will know when to switch up messaging or targets. Even if people create these messages or demographics, AI will test when to execute these different options.
But user behavior will also help with personalization. Users aren’t happy with mass emails or general messaging anymore. Calling out what they like and acknowledging what they need is something AI can aid marketers in doing. Having a system in place that automatically knows what a customer likes and would be interested in, ensures that a campaign does not waste money. It also builds another opportunity for a customer to make a purchase or complete an action that aids in business growth or income.
Personalized messaging also aids a company’s outlook in a customer’s eyes. Taking the time to add in a person’s name or what products they might find helpful builds up a user’s trust in that company. Building up good feelings between a customer and business leads to return visits or recommendations from that consumer.
Writing is another area where AI can help or take over responsibilities in marketing. Presently, there are tests for AI machines writing and crafting responses or writing entire articles. Some journalists have even had AI algorithms write content for them. But it’s still early days and the technology is not always correct and needs lots of work done.
Going forward, AI might learn enough to create standard pieces like press releases or content when provided with basic information. Although it may take many years for AI to write like humans, it’s still a possibility that AI will manage smaller writing pieces.
Using AI to manage or help with various tasks
By giving mundane tasks over to AI, marketing managers and personnel will have more time for creative tasks. Although AI currently monitors and reports consumer data, in the future it could handle even more tasks. This will include running promotions and adjusting when necessary. Or answering consumer questions on social media or by phone and email.
Having AI handle easier or data-centric tasks, marketers can focus on being creative. Worrying less about reporting information or checking social media frees up time to research and brainstorm campaigns. Teams can gather together during the extra time to discuss their thoughts rather than excluding a member who has to gather data or respond to social media requests.
Marketing managers in the future will think of AI as another person on their team. With its ability to segment and collect data, AI will be able to answer questions teams have about their current or forthcoming campaigns.
Think of the possibilities when people do not have to spend time collecting consumer data. AI will collect data in one spot for easy access during meetings or presentations. Merging voice and AI technology will also mean an opportunity for people just to ask the bot a question. Which area should we target next? What are the characteristics of this targeted demographic?
AI can also keep an eye on competitors. Setting up a database for AI to amass this information spares yet another person from a mundane task. AI can integrate all the ways marketers currently search for their competitor, and in turn, it assembles all of the materials into one spot. Accessible by everyone on the team, this data also be utilized during meetings or other gatherings.
The future of the AI and marketing management partnership seems very bright. Although this technology is slowly being utilized today, forthcoming developments will lead to further implementation.
AI will soon take over various mundane jobs, plus become a database of useful consumer data. Removing individuals from responding to customer inquiries or monitoring competitor tactics leads to additional time for creative brainstorming. AI may also be able to write smaller public relations pieces as well.
Overall, marketing managers will see AI as another team member. This technology can adapt to its surroundings, much like current marketers when they land a new client.
Based in New York City, I am a software engineer and contributor to Enlightened Digital. My hobbies include finding the best record store in the city, and binging on Netflix with my dog, Hendrix.