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What do you do about AI?

What impacts might AI have on marketing, and what do you need to consider with the intersection of AI and your marketing? Learn more in this article.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been flagged as both a game changer and a serious threat to a whole range of human activity. You don’t necessarily need to be fluent in all the changes AI has brought and will bring, but you do need to be aware of the impact it will have on marketing.

Zeroing in on how AI impacts marketing focuses on one thing more than others, and it isn’t technology.

It’s people. Both you and your customers. There are two halves of AI and marketing – automation tools to help you market more efficiently and the way AI is – and will – shape the marketplace.

These are some of the considerations when it comes to the intersection of AI and your marketing.

Using AI to automate your marketing processes

AI Automation

AI can be a powerful tool to enhance and optimise marketing strategies, helping businesses to reach and engage with their target audience more effectively. Here are some ways AI can be used in marketing:

  1. Personalisation: AI can help to personalise marketing messages and content to the interests, preferences, and behaviour of individual customers. By analysing data on customer behaviour and preferences, AI can create personalised product recommendations, customised email campaigns, and targeted ads. Two of the best examples are Spotify and Amazon, who use recommendation engines to suggest certain options to customers based on their characteristics or usage.
  2. Customer segmentation: AI can help to identify distinct groups of customers based on demographics, behaviour, and other factors. This allows marketers to create more targeted and effective campaigns for each segment, increasing the likelihood of conversion. IBM Watson are using machine learning algorithms to identify niche customer segments and then target them with highly-crafted, highly-personal campaigns.
  3. Predictive analytics: AI can be used to analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and make predictions about future behaviour. This can help marketers to optimise their campaigns, predict sales trends, and identify new opportunities. Retailers are working with AI using data based on incomplete transactions to predict how many future customers will abandon their online shopping cart, and then tailoring their content to reduce it.
  4. Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can be used to provide customer support and answer common questions, improving the customer experience and reducing the workload of human customer support teams. Here in Australia, supermarket chain Woolworths leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to interact with customers through a first-impression chatbot. That means when you drop into their website, you are met with AI to handle the majority of questions drawing from an aggregation of responses. More complicated requests are then handled by customer service, which means they can spend more time with customers who need it.
  5. Social media analysis: AI can be used to analyse social media data, tracking everything from the sentiment of posts and engagement, mentions or customer behaviour and preferences on social media platforms. This can help you as the marketer to create more effective social media campaigns and engage with customers more effectively.

Which software or platforms should you use? As mentioned in the course introduction this isn’t the place for recommending specific platforms – after all, your organisation may already be using its own – but this is on the shopping list for AI:

  • Portability of data: are you able to easily access the data you create?
  • Protection of your own IP: who controls the access to your customer data, and how can you control that?
  • Cost v benefit analysis: does this software deliver a return on your investment, and if so, how much?
  • Engineering the analysis: are you able to tailor the analysis so it delivers EXACTLY what you need it to?

AI and control of consumer decisions

AI is changing the way that brands interact with customers online by providing more personalised experiences and automating certain marketing tasks.  The rise of voice-activated devices like smart speakers is changing the way that people search for information online, and brands need to optimise their content for voice search to remain visible.

Smart speakers

For example, think about the average person using Alexa (or Siri or Amazon Echo or Google Assistant) to work out where to eat.

They ask their smart speaker where is a good place to eat. The speaker selects from a database and presents an option or two. The consumer chooses one and orders food to be delivered.

Now why is that an issue for marketers? Because the choice isn’t automatically made by the consumer. It’s made for them.

What impact does that have? Your marketing strategy and activity need to factor in – now – how AI and retail change your customers.

This article is from the free online

Marketing Essentials

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