We have all watched Sci-fi movies and have been fascinated by the advanced technology these movies portray. With the pace at which technology is sprinting ahead, it won’t be long before fantasy turns into reality. Artificial intelligence is gradually making its way into our lives.
Many tech companies are jumping on the AI bandwagon and are heavily investing in technology. Companies’ artificial intelligence usage has gone up by a whopping 270% in the past four years. Telecom companies are increasingly using AI to support customer service. Vodafone was able to improve customer satisfaction by 68 percent after it introduced its chatbot. Google, Yelp, and Amazon are some more names on the list that are deploying artificial intelligence to support their business operations. Digital marketing is yet another field that has started to benefit from AI.
Table of contents
- What is digital marketing?
- AI meets digital marketing
- Predictive analysis
- Digital shopping experience
- The other side of the coin
What is digital marketing?
When the term digital marketing is used, it is often misinterpreted as advertisements and marketing efforts on social media platforms. Digital marketing, however, is a broader term that includes all attempts businesses make to reach their audience through an electronic device, including google search, email marketing, social media, and websites.
Digital marketing is gaining traction as traditional media fades into the background. Once TV, radio and print ads were a common medium for businesses to reach their target audience, but they were expensive and there was no way of ensuring they hit the target. Digital media, on the other hand, is cost-effective, precise and gives feedback in real-time.
AI meets digital marketing
AI is no longer a fad or a new thing when it comes to digital marketing. Firms regardless of their size are now opting for AI-powered digital marketing tools. Google has long been using AI to bring accurate search results to its users. The tech giant bought an AI firm DeepMind in 2014.
Other tech companies are following suit. Social media giant, Facebook is also rapidly investing in AI. Facebook and Twitter are investing heavily in AI research and acquisitions of AI startups. Facebook has a dedicated AI research lab, FAIR that explores new opportunities in AI while Twitter has recently acquired London-based Fabula AI, a startup working on a technology that can identify misinformation by identifying patterns of how genuine and fake news spread.
Today, high-speed internet has become ubiquitous. They are not just easily available but affordable as well. Windstream Services, for example, offer internet and phone deals at very reasonable prices. The mass availability of super-fast internet has considerably changed the outlook of digital by giving birth to video content. AI, however, has the potential to completely revolutionize the dynamics and outlook of digital marketing.
AI impacts all areas that require automation, decision making or predictive analysis.
The pinnacle of successful digital marketing lies in how well marketers can utilize data. Digital marketing efforts generate an enormous amount of data. AI has made digital marketers’ lives easier by converting this data into meaningful and actionable information. Marketers now know exactly where their customers are, how to approach them, what they like, how and when to connect with them?
The greatest challenge for marketers in this era is changing consumer behaviors. Continuous social interactions and a connected world have given rise to dynamic consumer personas. Hence, there is no longer a single buyer persona, but a dynamic target audience that marketers need to keep track of. AI makes it easier to keep track of changing customer habits, likes, and interests and convert them into actionable targeting strategies.
The photo-sharing platform, Instagram, sits on a treasure of data as millions of photos are shared every day by its users. People then interact with these pictures by commenting on them and liking them. Instagram uses AI to predict what content its users will like and share. Initially, the platform used to show content in chronological order. Now it has changed its strategy to show people what they prefer so that they find what is valuable to them.
In one very interesting study, 100 million Instagram photos were used to learn about global clothing patterns. The researchers behind the study were interested in studying how clothing styles vary across the world and how they are changing with time.
The results they found were quite fascinating. For example, they observed black and brown are more common during winters while blue and white were more popular during summers. They also discovered red is losing its popularity, however, interest in the color spikes at the end of October and December i.e. at Halloween and Christmas.
Digital shopping experience
AI is taking the digital shopping experience to the next level. The most annoying sentence we all have heard is perhaps “your call is important to us please wait”. AI eliminates the need to wait for customer support representatives. Facebook has now introduced chatbots that businesses can use to answer simple questions instantly. These automated messages instantly solve customer issues and queries and subsequently increase conversion rates.
Chatbots can also be used to introduce a business to potential customers to help them move along the sales funnel. Brands can either send people a warm greetings message or a menu to let them ask more questions.
AI is also transforming the way people shop on social media platforms. Facebook has recently acquired AI-powered, visual shopping software GrokStyle. GrokStyle was initially incorporated in Ikea’s mobile app. It allowed users to take a picture of an object and then recommended similar objects that can be bought from the furniture store app.
Thanks to AI, virtual assistants are becoming ubiquitous and so is voice search. From self-driving cars to smartphones and home assistants, voice search has become a phenomenon that is here to stay. However, voice search is changing the rules of digital marketing.
It has changed how people search for stuff online; they use a more conversational tone instead of keywords or phrases. For example, instead of asking about Texas weather in writing, they may ask ‘what is the weather in Texas’ verbally. This change is, therefore, defining the rules of SEO and SEM.
For years, digital marketers have toiled hard to be visible on Google’s first page. This won’t matter anymore with voice search since voice search doesn’t present them with 10 options to explore; users are usually satisfied with the first answer or they just change their initial query. Hence, marketers now need to adopt a conversational tone in their content rather than just focus on keywords or phrases.
The other side of the coin
While AI is all set to improve customer experience, there are some drawbacks associated with it as well. People are concerned about their privacy. Since AI needs a lot of training, it is a possibility that companies listen to customer conversations.
If not deployed properly, AI can make things worse for your company too. For example, the provision of automated customer care via chatbots has had to be cut back in one instance because of their failure to respond to user requests once deployed without human support.
Top AI-powered digital marketing tools:
While the world is quite excited, the technology is still quite premature. There are various myths about AI, as well as about what it can and cannot do. However, the entire picture will become clear with time once its adoption rate increases.
Abdul Sami Hameed is a Digital Marketer, who loves to actively contribute and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the tech community. When he is not working, you can find him gaming with his friends, or listening to motivational stuff. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org