The term artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in a lot of different contexts to describe everything from life-like robots to sleek, modern-day cars that can drive themselves. Up until recently, AI was considered a concept of the future—an idea better suited for science fiction than reality. But in the past decade, AI has gone from a concept of the imagination to a real-life buzzword in the business world.
What is AI?
The definition of AI has changed over the years. It has gone from human-like robots to computers that can think for themselves. Despite its various conceptualizations, the overall idea of AI has been more or less the same—a machine, device, or program that can think for itself and behave similarly to humans without being specifically programmed or managed by humankind to do so. AI can learn, think abstractly, and be creative — all things we imagine to be “exclusive” to mankind.
What Does AI Mean for Marketers?
Many businesses are starting to take advantage of AI technology and incorporate it into their marketing strategies. Here are some of the biggest ways AI is changing things for the advertising world:
- Improved Search. AI makes it possible for marketers to include search options on websites that don’t just match basic keywords; they go beyond helping users find what they’re looking for but become suggestive and can offer similar items.
- Better Optimized and Strategically Placed Ads. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is an important aspect of marketing, but it can be difficult to optimize. Rather than having individuals try to analyze massive amounts of data, optimize the ad text, and hope their ad placement is effective, AI can do all that for you. AI can easily sort through the volume of data currently being compiled by businesses to optimize ad text, find the best placement, and maximize return on investment.
- Personalized Website Experiences. Because it can read data and optimize information based on that information, AI can create a more personalized web experience for visitors. It can look at the user’s location, device, history, and so on to show the most relevant, personalized content and customize any given visitor’s experience. No two people are the same, and, thanks to AI, no two people will have the same online experience.
- Automatic Content Generation. You’ve heard the phrase, “content is king,” and if that’s true, it’s important for you to focus on high-quality content generation. It can take a lot of time, though, to come up with relevant content. But AI can already create content in a variety of formats, like sports game recaps, hotel descriptions, and product reviews, and it won’t be long before it’s able to produce content that reads as if a human wrote it.
- More Effective Email Content. Website and blog content aren’t the only written content AI has changed. Because of its ability to sort and analyze data, AI can optimize email content by personalizing it based on web interactions, wish lists, similar interests, and more. Emails will become more effective and offer content that is of interest to each consumer.
- More Customer Interaction. Interacting with customers is important, but there’s only so much one or two marketers or a small marketing team can do — without AI, that is. AI has been used to develop chatbots that can interact with consumers on the website via messenger to help answer questions, walk them through processes, and provide suggestions.
- A Focus on Voice Search. There has already been a noticeable shift from desktop web browsing to mobile browsing on the web. Many companies have optimized their websites for mobile to accommodate visitors and attract more traffic. Things are continuing to change, though, since more searches are voice activated. AI is already being used in products like the Amazon Echo, speeding up the transition to voice search. It can also be used to help you optimize for voice search and stay ahead of the curve.
- Better Defined Audiences. Having a well-defined audience is important if you want to market effectively. Our platforms use AI to help you build smart personas that accurately represent your customer base and ideal customer. The more you know about your audience, the more effectively you’ll be able to market to them.
- Deeper, More Relevant Insights. Sorting through the massive amount of data out there can be difficult for manpower, but the data that’s available can provide deep insights into customer behavior and how to engage them. Our platforms use AI to sort through that data and provide you with insights that will help you nurture leads.
- Automation. There is a surprising number of processes that can be automated, yet there are still people spending valuable time going through the motions when they could be adding value elsewhere. AI makes it possible to automate and manage a variety of processes so manpower can be used in places where AI cannot be applied.
Although our vision of AI has grown and changed through the years, it ultimately boils down to giving a machine the ability to think and act like a human. Still being developed, AI already offers a lot of benefits to businesses and is changing things like marketing for good—taking over difficult and mundane processes and allowing people to focus on those things that still need a human touch.
What are your thoughts on AI? In what other ways is it affecting marketing?