Chatbots, Alexa, androids, and tablets — even as little as 10 years ago, these innovations were just figments of our imagination. But in 2018, there’s very little that can surprise us. Now cars can drive themselves, watches can track calories, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can predict a consumer’s every move – almost like it’s reading minds! But for the most part, AI’s remarkably helpful. It’s used to personalize our binge-watching sessions (Netflix and Hotstar recommendations, anyone?), make video games more immersive, and make our shopping experiences smoother!
While these examples focus more on the personal than the professional front, it’s in the arena of business that AI truly shines. Every customer wants to feel like they are important, so personalization becomes key to taking customer experience to the next level – which can be achieved via analysis of reams of user data. It is this data that helps businesses gather insights that allow them to deliver enhanced service and narrow their focus. A business sector that is truly benefitting from this fascinating technology is digital marketing! Now, let’s take a look at how:
Thanks to AI, advertising today is based on intuition backed by intelligence. Marketers can leverage cutting-edge technology to collect and analyze huge amounts of customer data to come up with a set of predictive strategies. These strategies can, in turn, be employed at every step of a marketing campaign, creating ‘smart ads’ that are tailored to search queries. Compared to pre-AI strategies that were built on IP-address-based assumptions, this strategy is miles ahead in predicting what consumers want.
The use of analytics, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and social data lead to higher ROIs on marketing campaigns – but these have always been complex tasks to accomplish. A current application of AI, Machine Learning, is now making it easier for marketers to identify commonalities and trends in behaviour. The intersection of AI and marketing enables multi-layered strategies that automatically produce messages customized to each user. This ensures that customers receive the right triggers at the right time, seamlessly leading them to the next stage of the buying journey.
Search engines and the search process have become smarter and more hassle-free with AI-infused digital marketing. AI can effectively track search queries, online behaviour, purchase patterns, and navigation processes, generating highly accurate results for any search query. In fact, it helps predict keywords, and enables Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), i.e., generating keywords that are semantically related to your main keyword, making for more relevant search results. One example of LSI would be ‘Apple’ and ‘iTunes’ – note that these are not synonyms, but words that are frequently used in the same context.
Most websites now provide a chat interface that allows customers to chat directly with an agent. Sure, it adds a touch of personalization, but it’s time to upgrade these traditional interactions to AI-powered chatbots. Why? Because unlike chatting with actual human beings, bots never lose patience. Your customers may be a nightmare, but bots will treat them with the utmost courtesy. Just as important is the fact that they are available 24x7 and can handle several requests simultaneously, all while retaining user details. But remember, a truly intelligent chatbot must understand the nuances of a language in order to give convincing responses.
After all, these chatbots are based on the human capability of self-learning and storing information. Thus, it helps to use tools like IBM Watson, Api.ai, and Wit.ai to incorporate natural language processing and learning faculties into a chatbot.
The list could go on and on – the possibilities of AI in digital marketing are endless. That being said, icons like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have warned that AI could soon turn into a major threat to humanity. Supercomputers could take over the human race, leading to the kind of dystopian future we’ve only seen in movies. But as we’ve seen time and again, any change to the status quo has its fair share of detractors – at least in the beginning – and AI is no exception. For now, however, marketers still have the power to leverage this new wave of intelligence and make hay while the sun shines!
Tina Garg is the Founder and CEO of Pink Lemonade, a creative agency specializing in communication, content, and design.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)