Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
Let us examine how recent artificial intelligence developments change how we do marketing now and in the near future as well as whether these AI developments will ultimately lead to replacing us as humans and marketing professionals.
Artificial intelligence (AI) enables marketers to offer customers a personalized consumer experience by serving them content and offerings tailored to their perceived needs based on better/more intelligent segmentation. AI can dynamically segment consumers based on various criterion but most importantly based on ‘look alike’, consumers who behaved like this ended up buying that, or those who behaved like this never bought anything. Consider that AI can do this numerous times and produce an infinite number of dynamic segments that can be targeted with pinpoint accuracy potentially resulting in better sales.
But most people already expected that. AI’s deep learning will learn from historical website traffic and past purchases coupling that with consumer profiles and naturally be able to continuously update segmentation and let you know which segment is to be targeted with which offering through which channel, on which day of the week and at what time of the day. One can argue that a highly trained human can achieve the same result but definitely not at the same speed or level of granularity.
Particularly in B2B marketing where there are usually several stakeholders per organization that might be searching for the same product or service, AI can easily ‘discover’ and group together potential stakeholders from each company and help you by serving the content consumed by one stakeholder to the rest of the stakeholders potentially familiarizing buyers on the same team with content consumed by any one of them. This can be a huge advantage because it can quickly get the buyers on the same page and arguably speedup the purchase decision and increase the win probability.
The Less Expected
We all know that well-crafted copy lends itself as an effective tool for building a brand identity and boosting search engine optimization (SEO). More importantly, it compels readers to take action, moving them through the conversion or sales funnel.
In the last 12-18 months AI copywriting started making its mark in e-commerce product descriptions, product marketing writeups, advertising copy and social media text. AI copywriters are AI-powered tools that automatically generates copy based on a given set of information. AI will generate various types of copy, from long-form blog posts to social media captions. For instance, you can provide the AI with a blog post title, outline, tone of voice and even brand background, consequently it will be able to momentarily come up with a few paragraphs you can further refine.
The AI draws its linguistic skills and understanding of the world from the data it has “seen”. To a certain extent, it simulates how the human brain works when it comes to learning and processing information. Of course, much like a human, an AI copywriter is not all-knowing. It needs to be trained on data relating to a specific industry in order to have sufficient context to write effective copy. For example, an AI content generator designed for ecommerce would have been “exposed” to a lot more ecommerce-related content and ideally how this content has actually performed in terms of attracting consumers.
The growing popularity of AI copywriters is only a testament to how they’ve been a useful tool for brands, copywriters and even SEO agencies.
Naturally, graphic design is one of the most important parts of successful marketing. Marketers use graphics, diagrams, and illustrations to express their messages and attract their audience. However, experienced and talented graphic designers are difficult to come by and/or retain.Although not widely available commercially yet, AI based graphic designers are definitely on the way. The ability to ask AI to generate an image based on a text that you provide is just around the corner.
While we can all imagine situations where AI generated images can be used to implicate an innocent person in a particular crime or show a specific person in a compromising position, one can say that many if not all AI graphic design tool developers are equally worried about that prospect as well and that might explain why such tools are not widely accessible at this time.
The image on the right-hand side was generated by one such tool; DALL.E 2 after providing it with the text “a painting of a fox sitting in a field at sunrise in the style of Claude Monet”. I guess it is not hard to see the endless possibilities AI can bring to graphic design once the technology improves and the legal or ethical issues have been covered.
Will AI Replace Marketers?
I am not here to neither tell you that your job is totally safe nor to tell you that AI is a gimmick. AI just like all other types of automation will keep developing, will become less expensive, will gradually take more and more of the repetitive tasks marketers do and will keep climbing the ladder. At one point in time or another humans won’t be able to compete with AI for certain tasks but luckily, we all know that the demands on marketing departments are always increasing to be more productive, to deliver more ready clients to sales, to innovate and elevate brands so humans are always likely to be ahead.