Artificial Intelligence And The Future Of Marketing | 7wData

Artificial Intelligence And The Future Of Marketing | 7wData

marketing is one of the areas of business operations where it is widely predicted that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will drive enormous change. In fact, a McKinsey study found that, along with sales, it is the single business function where it will have the most financial impact. This means that if you’re a marketer and you’re not using AI, you’re missing out on the benefits of what is possibly the most transformational technology.

Actually, though, the chances that there are people out there doing marketing today and not using AI in any shape or form is somewhat unlikely. This is simply because there are so many tools with AI features that we are used to using without even thinking about it. The most frequently used social and search engine advertising solutions, email marketing platforms, e-commerce solutions, and tools designed to assist with content creation all provide functionality that taps into what we refer to as “AI” in business today. To be clear, this isn’t what we think of as “general” AI – machines that have the capability to think and communicate like us and turn their hands to just about any task. In business today (and in marketing in particular), AI refers to software that helps us to carry out one particular job – such as identifying where to place advertising in order to maximize efficiency or how to personalize an email to increase the likelihood of receiving a reply – and get better and better as it is exposed to more data.

However, it’s my experience that, while there may be many tools out there and most marketers are increasingly comfortable with using them on a day-to-day basis, it’s often done in an ad-hoc manner. Many marketing departments still lack a coordinated, strategy-focused approach to implementing bigger projects. Just as importantly, many are lagging when it comes to fostering an AI-friendly, data-first culture as well as developing competencies and upskilling in order to meet the skills demand.

Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute and author of the new book ‘Marketing Artificial Intelligence’, told me that this is true in his experience too. In fact, when recently setting out to check up on his own hunch by searching for mentions of AI terminology in connection with 50 of the world’s top chief marketing officers, he found that only four of them had spoken publicly or been connected with their use of AI.

“My question was, who is leading this? Who is doing this within marketing?

So, what we found was the industries that have a lot of data and a need for heavy personalization, and intelligent automation of their operations have been doing AI for probably the last decade - healthcare, financial services - but doing it within the operations of their business, not within marketing and sales.

“But those same industries have a strong need for personalization, better customer experiences, better predictability of outcomes, the reasons you’d use AI. But generally, at a macro level, we are extremely early in the understanding and adoption of AI …; that is my perception.”

So what are the most exciting opportunities when it comes to using AI in marketing, and where are they already being tapped?

Advertisers face the perennial problem of working out how best to place adverts in order to achieve the most bang for their buck.

Facebook and Google are the biggest online advertising platforms, and they both offer tools that work by combining audience segmentation with predictive analytics. Segmentation splits customers into groups according to characteristics – gender, age, income level, interests, for example, and potentially an infinity of others. Predictive analytics works out which of these groups a particular product or service is most likely to appeal to.

Images Powered by Shutterstock