There has been a lot of debate on the impact of AI on marketing. Many believe that AI has completely revolutionized the marketing industry while others believe that it may hurt marketing in the long run. Regardless of your perspective, it is undeniable that AI has had a major impact on marketing over the last few years. According to studies done by salesforce research, AI has seen more than a 55% increase in adoption by marketers from 2018 to 2020. This percentage has more than likely gone up by now which means more and more businesses are now using AI in their marketing strategies and advertising campaigns.
It is safe to say that AI is the future of marketing. This is because more and more processes in marketing are being automated, for example, content creation, content management, and more. The question is just how much has AI impacted marketing? and what does it mean for your business?
Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what AI and marketing are.
What is marketing?
Marketing is simply the act of promoting or creating awareness for products or services using one or many advertising platforms such as social media, print media, television, radio E.T.C.
Marketing includes advert creation, sales, and product delivery to the customers or businesses involved.
Marketing could be done traditionally. The traditional methods include the use of print media such as newspapers, the use of billboards, flyers, and posters. These methods are time and capital-intensive. They require a lot of design and they usually need to be approved by some government advertising bodies before they could be released to the public.
Marketing could also be done digitally. This is commonly known as digital marketing. These methods of marketing include social media advertising, email marketing newsletters, television and radio marketing, and more. Artificial intelligence can be directly applied to this kind of marketing because they are both technology-based. AI cannot be applied to the traditional forms of marketing directly because they do not operate digitally.
What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
Artificial intelligence can be seen as the use of data to develop computer systems and devices that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence such as speech recognition, decision-making, translation of languages, and more.
Artificial Intelligence takes its data from studying human Intelligence and the decision-making processes involved in making certain decisions. This data is then programmed into machines that would be used to perform the same tasks.
The Impact of AI in marketing and on advertising
- Improved Targeting methods
- Automated responses
- Improved Customer Experience
- Sales forecasting
- Improved Sentiment analysis
Improved targeting methods
Artificial intelligence makes use of a concept known as machine learning. Machine learning involves algorithms that allow computers to become smarter by taking notice of human behaviour and decision-making processes. For example, the text and emoji suggestion features appear when you are sending someone a message. These features are all part of artificial intelligence.
Marketing platforms make use of machine learning to improve their targeting methods. Machine learning provides information on customer behavioural patterns to the advertising platforms. This data collection has many applications such as content recommendation but is also essential for effective targeting. The marketers that make use of these platforms to launch their advertising campaigns would need this data to help implement their targeting strategy For example, Facebook takes in data provided by its users such as their interests, location, age, and even their earning range. The data collected is then stored and would be available for use by any marketer that is looking to target such a customer. All this information necessary for effective targeting will not be possible without the use of artificial intelligence.
Gone are the days when your customers have to wait for hours before they get a response to their inquiries. With the introduction of artificial intelligence to the customer service aspect of marketing, automated response services are now possible where as soon as a customer posts a question on your website or the comment section of a promoted post, they receive a response either answering the question or referring them to a customer service agent.
There are also chatbots that promote engagement on websites and social media platforms. These bots can be gotten by either programming them yourself or outsourcing them from companies that offer the service online. They can be programmed to either initiate a conversation with a potential customer to gain information from them or answer the frequently asked questions customers may have about your product or service. For example, you could add a Facebook chatbot to your business page that can provide answers to questions your customers may have using the Facebook messenger app.
Another great thing about the chatbot AI technology is that it also makes use of machine learning. It is able to use previous conversations with customers to become smarter. For example, assuming that your customer does not like a specific colour of your product, it would store that information and never recommend that specific colour to the customer and focus more on the interests of the customer.
These automated response services offer twenty-four hours of customer service. This means that your customers can have answers to their questions or complaints at any time of the day. The downside is that they cannot answer complicated questions which means that you need to have a customer service representative on call as a backup.
Improved customer experience
The machine learning technology that AI uses enables businesses to create and also improve their customer experience. when creating UX designs for advertising campaigns or websites, the addition of artificial intelligence allows the business to gain data from their existing customers such as their interests and more. This data would be valuable in creating a personalized user experience for your customers.
It is usually difficult to predict your sales or your ROI when you are creating your marketing strategies. This is because it is difficult to predict just how well your advertising campaigns would do when they go live. Many businesses need this information to help improve their digital marketing ROI. Predicting your sales is made much easier with artificial intelligence because there are algorithms on many software online that can help you predict the profitability of your advertising campaigns based on your target audience. Some of these platforms also provide high-performing blueprints that you can use to create your digital marketing campaigns. These blueprints contain data from successful advertising campaigns that have been live or simulated using artificial intelligence. The information from these blueprints can help guide you when you are creating your digital marketing strategy and also help improve the ROI of the strategy.
Improved sentiment analysis
Market sentiment in business refers to the products or services that customers are interested in at the moment. Market sentiment analysis helps business people know where to focus their production and marketing because it provides them with the information on what the customers are interested in buying. For example, when many customers on Facebook are engaging with a specific brand or product, market sentiment analysis provides this information to similar brands. These similar brands would be able to use the information from the analysis to make their marketing or production better suited to the needs of the customers. Market sentiments are usually gotten from forums and platforms that customers use to express their needs for specific services or products like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, and more.
Many marketers struggle to get the sentiment analysis they need because the platforms that customers use are increasing. There simply isn’t enough time to go through each post on blogs and social media relating to the products or services they offer. Artificial intelligence makes this possible because it is able to go through all these posts and inform the marketers on what their customers are thinking and how they feel about their brand. This information is especially important because marketing is all about presenting the customers with what they want to see and this information helps marketers accomplish that goal with ease.
Steps on how to use AI in marketing
- Specify your Intention
- Select an AI platform
- Read the privacy standards before accepting
- Keep the quality and quantity of your data high
- Employ skilled data scientists
When you want to include AI in your marketing strategies, it is vital to have a plan. This is because AI has many applications and without a plan, you may end up spending more without seeing any return on investments. It is also important to know what aspects of your marketing include AI and how. So before including AI in your marketing strategy here are some steps you need to know.
Specify your intentions
Before you begin using AI in your marketing you need to have goals and these goals need to be as specific as possible. You need to specify the areas in your marketing strategy that AI could improve such as your target audience or market segment definition. Once this is done, you also need to set up key performance indicators that would help you analyze how successful the implementation has been within a specific period of time.
Select an AI platform
The goals that you set should determine what AI platforms you choose. Choosing the right AI platform is an important step that many marketers overlook. When selecting a platform for use, it is best to look at a few, carefully analyze the solutions they provide, and select the platform that best fits your intentions. For example, if my goal is to improve my overall UX (user experience) the AI tools that I would select would be different from tools meant to optimize my target market descriptions.
Another thing to note before selecting an AI platform to use is its transparency. The AI algorithms would make recommendations to you based on the data that is provided however, it is important to know what led to the recommendations that you were provided. This data is usually provided as reports. These reports are essential to know why certain decisions were made by the algorithms and also what specific piece of data influenced the decisions the most.
Read the privacy standards before accepting
Ensure you read through the terms and conditions before using any platform and also watch out for updates on the terms when you are now using the platforms because they are always subject to change. You need to watch and make sure that any updates being made are still acceptable to you.
Keep the quality and quantity of your data high
Artificial intelligence programs use a lot of data in order to provide you with the best results. This does not mean that there would be no mistakes if the data that is being provided is not reliable. This is why you must ensure that the data you provide to the program should be free of errors else the decisions made and recommended to you by the program would not be useful.
In order to ensure that your data quality remains good, you need to have a standard data management system that includes effective methods for data cleansing and editing. It is also important to have a vast amount of data at your disposal before you get started with Artificial intelligence programs. This means that you need to have gathered a vast amount of data. This data would enable the programs to learn about your entire business and other components that would influence the success of the artificial intelligence programs.
This data can be gathered from many sources such as sales records, marketing campaigns, customer preferences, and more. All this data can be buttressed by other useful information such as the location of the business, weather conditions, population statistics, and more. All this data would help the algorithms perform better depending on the intention for use.
Employ skilled data scientists
A lot of businesses do not have the right data science teams backing up their marketing departments. The lack of skilled data scientists puts a lot of pressure on the marketing team because they have to organize, sort, and maintain a lot of data. They also have to interpret the analysis and decisions provided by the AI programs in order to implement them in their advertising campaigns. Data scientists are needed because they make the job of marketers easier. They can adequately handle all the data requirements and provide useful interpretations of the analyzed data for implementation by the marketing team. It would be best to have employed a few skilled data scientists before including AI in your marketing strategies.
Benefits of artificial intelligence in marketing
- Improved marketing ROI
- Improved UI & UX (user interfaces and user experience)
- A Faster decision-making process
Improved marketing ROI
When AI is utilized properly, marketers can use the information provided by the program to optimize their advertising campaigns to provide the best use results. The AI programs would also help the marketers determine what platforms are best for each advertising campaign and where to allocate the bulk of their advertising budgets. This information would enable the marketers to create engaging advertising campaigns and place them on the right marketing platforms for the best results ultimately leading to an improved return on investment.
Improved user interface and user experience
UI & UX are integral parts of a marketing campaign. They work hand in hand in providing users with a suitable environment to make transactions. Many customers would not engage with your adverts if the user experience is lacking. Customers are also known to leave websites or mobile apps that are not user-friendly and do not provide a seamless user experience. With the inclusion of AI in your marketing, the algorithms would provide you with useful information from the data analysis of your customer preferences and the market sentiment to help improve your user interface and user experience designs.
A faster marketing decision-making process
Speed is an important factor when it comes to marketing. Companies that are first to market usually take up the majority of the market share. For example, when the market sentiment suggests that the customers are interested in a certain product, the business that uses this information to take the said product to market would be recognized by the majority of the customers interested, and other brands that market later would have to compete.
It is vital to have a really quick decision-making process; which is from data analysis to implementation. AI when utilized properly would aid the marketers in their decision-making process by providing information necessary to arrive at a decision as fast as possible. The algorithms analyze the market sentiments, customer preferences and more and report this data to the data analysts and marketers who would then make decisions based on the data that is provided.
Challenges involved in using AI in marketing
- Long adoption process
- Data security
- Job losses
Artificial intelligence is relatively new when it comes to marketing and there are many benefits to using it in your marketing. In today’s marketing, AI plays a vital part in helping businesses understand their customer needs, interests, and market sentiments because this information would help them optimize their marketing processes and attract new clients to the business. However, AI does come with its challenges. here are some challenges that you may experience when using Artificial intelligence.
There are many marketing AI programs on the internet and because of the solutions that they provide they could be quite costly to purchase. Some programs would require one-time payments in order to receive full access to the features of the programs while others require monthly or yearly subscription payments.
It is best to find AI programs that are within your budget. look through online reviews of these programs on platforms like youtube and other communities that would provide useful information about the program. Ensure that you find programs that offer demo versions so you can try them out before making your purchase.
Long adoption process
AI may still be new to you or your marketing staff and this means that it might take a few months to be fully acquainted with the user interfaces and the general operations of such programs. This is also the same for the program you use. It requires time to understand your business goals, your customer history, preferences and more before it would start providing useful information.
Some of these AI platforms are not always honest about how they use the data provided to them by your business. At the same time, the AI platforms are not smart enough to know when they’re breaking the law in terms of data usage or monitoring. This is why it is important that you read the terms and conditions that the programs provide.
It is also important that you familiarize yourself with the laws of your country regarding data privacy. This is important so that you can program the AI tools on your program in such a way that they adhere to the laws.
Artificial intelligence programs provide a lot of automated services like data analysis and can also perform multiple operations at the same time. This means that some staff may lose their jobs like data analysts and other junior marketers because the AI programs can do their jobs faster and more accurately than they could. This may help the business cut down on staff and reduce costs on the bright side but you may also have to let go of some promising individuals that may have contributed to the growth of your business.
Last Updated on July 8, 2022 by Nansel Nanzip Bongdap
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