From predictive texting and social media algorithms to Google Maps, artificial intelligence (AI) has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry. It influences almost every aspect of our lives – and it’s changing the way we market our products and services. Or at least it should be. By adding AI tools to our arsenal, we can transform our marketing strategies to improve customer experience at every point in their journey.
But how, exactly? What does AI in marketing look like – and how can you make it part of your marketing strategy?
What is AI in Marketing?
AI isn’t just one thing. It encompasses several technologies – like predictive analytics and machine learning – to learn and mimic human intelligence and behavior. In marketing, AI allows us to:
- Hand off labor-intensive or impossible tasks to machines. For instance, it can automate competitor analysis, leaving more time for you to make a plan and take action.
- Gather more information about your target audience to create a more personalized customer experience.
- Streamline a variety of processes, so you to focus on executing the most strategic marketing campaigns that will serve your customers – and your business.
When bringing new technology like AI to the table, make sure you understand how it will improve your current marketing strategies and processes. The key is to look for AI solutions that will enhance your work. Here are three ways AI helps you work smarter, not harder.
1. Content Creation – Write for the Right Audience
Creating valuable content that attracts the right audience is the holy grail of marketing. Many content marketers churn out blogs or articles solely for the sake of having more content. But quality, not quantity, is the name of the game. And AI can help content marketers focus their efforts on the content that will produce results.
MarketMuse, a content marketing platform, uses AI to transform how brands research, plan, and craft relevant content. This tool helps marketers analyze massive amounts of web content to determine what people are writing about for a particular topic. In other words, what’s already being said. It then uses the insights to build content “blueprints” – outlines that show content marketers how to comprehensively cover a topic. The goal is to help you create quality content that addresses searcher intent and rises to the top of search engines.
Let’s say you’re trying to rank in Google’s top 10 results for the topic “marketing brainstorms.” MarketMuse can provide recommendations for how to optimize content for that specific topic. This includes tips like target word count and adding related keywords.
Wondering if it really works? You tell us. This article was optimized for the topic “AI in Marketing” using AI and MarketMuse. We may have just entered the matrix.
AI analyzes data, identifies statistical patterns, and provides predictions at a speed and scale impossible to humans. By using AI-driven tools like MarketMuse, marketers can automate processes that used to take up tons of valuable time and brainpower – like keyword research.
2. Better Personalization (Leads to a Better Customer Experience)
Today’s marketers are moving away from generic, “one-to-many” marketing campaigns. Instead, they’re able to create data-driven and personalized, one-to-one campaigns at scale. It seems contradictory – but not in the world of AI.
Take Uberflip, an up-and-comer in B2B content marketing. It’s uniting user intent data with the power of AI to help marketers understand audiences on a deeper level. The platform uses machine learning and predictive analytics to learn what prospects care about and creates unique experiences for every person with content recommendations. When people have more relevant and personalized content in front of them, they move through the customer journey faster. This “self-nurturing” is made easier, or even made possible, with the help of AI. Automating the process of wrangling content – blogs, videos, e-books, webinars – and serving it to the right people at the right time is a win-win. Marketers can focus their energy on quality and strategy while giving consumers the personalized content experience they want.
The nature of traditional marketing, like print or radio ads, means everyone gets the same message. It doesn’t allow marketers to communicate with individual customers or vice versa. Today, the opposite is true. Customer experiences like the one offered by Uberflip have become the industry standard. In fact, 80% of consumers today are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
Keep this in mind when creating marketing campaigns with your team. One-to-many strategies – such as sending generic flyers via direct mail – aren’t entirely extinct. But you’ll see better campaign results by using a personalized, AI-driven strategy.
3. Gain a Deeper Understanding of Your Competition
To be an effective marketer, you have to understand what your competition is doing. To gain competitive insights, you can conduct a thorough analysis with the help of AI. Instead of manually gathering competitor data, AI can help streamline this process. This helps you better identify what’s happening and what will happen in your industry – and what that means for your organization.
Adthena processes more than 200 million keywords and 10 terabytes of new search data every day. Just slightly more than any of us might be able to on our own. This AI-powered solution helps marketers identify crucial opportunities in their search marketing strategies. Using machine learning algorithms and data-driven segmentation, Adthena monitors competitor activity across the entire search landscape. With the software, marketers can keep a constant watch on competitor tactics, both good and bad, to maintain an edge in their market.
With B2B tech marketing projected to hit $68.5 billion by 2022, the competition for customer loyalty and brand recognition doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. In the coming years, marketers must continue using AI technologies to help streamline processes – and stand out against competitors.
AI: The Road Ahead
We’ve only just begun to uncover what’s possible with AI. As we move deeper into the fourth industrial revolution, we’ll continue to see trends in AI as well as other technologies.
- Additional investment and advancement in natural language processing (NLP): We interact with NLP every time we use Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. A study by the Weinheimer Group found that nearly half of Americans use voice assistants weekly or daily. Moving forward, we’ll see greater adoption of NLP in marketing. For example, automated sentiment analyses is already helping marketers analyze how consumers perceive brands.
- Ongoing conversations surrounding consumer data privacy: With any new technology, questions about ethics always come into play. As we gain deeper understanding of AI’s role in marketing, marketers must define how to use its technology ethically.
- Convergence of AI with other technologies: The combination of AI with the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain will provide more granular customer data across devices. Whether your business operates in B2B tech, manufacturing, or healthcare, convergence can help to uncover opportunities in marketing and operations.
The past decade brought AI to the masses – and changed the way we approach marketing forever. As marketers, we should continually be looking for ways to evolve with and incorporate new technology like AI into our efforts. In doing so, we can solve one of the biggest challenges of all – working smarter, not harder.