Artificial intelligence used to be something of the future — something that was only fathomable in The Jetsons when we were children.
Alas, 2020 is nearly here, and while we may not have flying cars, what we do have is artificial intelligence (AI). If you have ever used Siri, you’re familiar with how one form of AI works. You can also see it when Facebook automatically suggests whom to tag when you upload new photos.
Many industries have already seen the impact of AI in their industry, the best example could be Uber’s mission to automate driving using AI by developing self-driven cars and processes. Website building & development is another industry currently being disrupted by AI in the case of Bookmark’s Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant (AiDA) which builds a whole new website that fits a certain niche in a matter of minutes.
Artificial intelligence is a complex combination of algorithms that imitate certain human actions: speaking, seeing, making decisions, and translating. In a limited way (for now), it’s a machine that can think for itself and make sophisticated decisions using networks of information and data
As AI’s uses and implications are catching on, more and more industries are finding ways to use this disruptive technology to transform the “normal flow” of work. The marketing industry, among other industries, is the latest to be impacted by AI.
The changes are not bad; in fact, we are seeing a lot more positive impacts with the right use of AI. With artificial intelligence, for example, “human error” might just become something of the past, increasing our efficiency and productivity.
Prior to the use of artificial intelligence in marketing, we used to trust our gut when it came to improving our marketing process.
However, that left a lot of place for something we call human error. We might like to believe that we make objective decisions with regards to our marketing campaigns, but we can also be hindered by our being human — our biases rising from our backgrounds and experiences, our personality, our energy level at that time.
All these could mean mistakes in how we proceed with the campaign, mistakes that could prove expensive later on.
An AI software, on the other hand, won’t have this human error problem and will be able to go through all data tirelessly and objectively. It will work round the clock at a speed unmatched by any human, and will never get tired.
This raises the question: what will happen to the human in this equation? Will there no longer be any need for us? Will we be staring at the world as our creation is literally taking over?
While that’s not going to be likely, and will remain in the domain of science fiction, there will, however, be some changes that will modify the way marketing works. Here are some of them:
Making a decision can sometimes be the hardest thing to do. Whether we like it or not, humans will have a lot of “what ifs” in mind, and this will prevent us from making a timely decision.
AI, on the other hand, won’t face this limitation, simply because there is no “feeling” involved. It’s just hard data. The AI can go through hundreds of algorithms in just a few seconds and analyze all the information necessary to make an objective decision.
When AI software makes a decision, it will back it up with reports on customer behavior, strategies, and real-time trend analysis. It will tell you exactly where you are in the marketplace and where you will be if you make a certain decision.
With artificial intelligence, all actions are done logically and with profit in mind, with fewer chances of human error affecting the decision making process.
When companies first started advertising their business in the marketplace, they had the tendency to focus on aesthetics, making campaigns into a work of art that they believed would suit the image of their business well.
Unfortunately, there is a big difference between what looks good and what will actually bring you profit.
AI has a predictive nature, and it will know beforehand whether a campaign will be successful or not, without having to subject it through numerous test runs. It will know, for example, if using the blue button will be more successful, or if you’ll have more success with the red one. This will be based primarily on understanding certain key metrics such as consumer behaviors, past purchasing history and marketing campaign performances.
With the use of AI, advertising will go from art to science, potentially contributing much to the company’s growth.
Plus, since all the reports on the campaign will be done automatically, there will no longer be a need to waste workforce on this kind of tedious work. You will reduce human error, improve productivity, and more importantly, you will have freed up time for yourself to focus on other things that are more important for growing your company.
Have you ever noticed how all the online ads seem to lead to things that actually interest you? You look up your favorite cell phone type, and soon enough you’ll be getting ads on the same kinds of phones. You probably didn’t realize this, but an AI is also responsible for all this.
The AI will “map” your online behavior, understanding how you think (by noting which websites you checked out, what links you clicked, etc.), and then use that data to make your experience even more pleasant by bringing you exactly what you want.
Some may describe this as creepy, but this is also an attempt to improve sales and the overall user experience. For instance, AI can predict where you are most likely to click on an ad and when, therefore improving your marketing experience.
The idea of an AI is to be a true detective that will always see what the customer is doing. That way, a company will be able to offer the right item to the right person, making it much easier for both parties.
In the past, customer service means a team of people somewhere in the world answering phones, emails, or chatting with clients regarding a product line.
These people get tired at the end of their shift, and sleepy, and more likely to commit mistakes. Sometimes, they are also short-handed, leading to long waiting times on the phone or chatbox, often leading to reduced customer satisfaction.
With the introduction of artificial intelligence in customer service, there’s no longer the need to wait. The system, unlike the human, has access to unlimited data — and they can scan through all of it very fast, giving answers just when the customer needs them the most. It doesn’t get tired and it doesn’t go to sleep.
With increased efficiency in the use of AI in customer service, the customer experience will definitely improve, leading to potentially higher sales for the company. Some experts however, believe that AI shouldn’t replace customer service as it will take human empathy out of the process. Nevertheless, AI will definitely become an integral component of the customer service process.
If there’s something we actually dislike in marketing, it’s coming up with the schedules. It’s cumbersome, it’s time-consuming, and the risk of “human error” is very high.
An AI, on the other hand, will be able to properly schedule everything for you, so that you will no longer have to work long hours on putting a program together — especially when you could use that time to do something more important for your company.
Surely, artificial intelligence is on pace to become one of the most disruptive technologies in recent years. It’s disruptive nature will have a major impact on various industries around the world. We are yet to see exactly how it’ll impact the world as we know it, but small business owners who want to get ahead of their competition will definitely need to take AI seriously and assess how they will integrate AI into their everyday business operation. Whether it’s by using an AI-powered marketing software, web design platform or even simply by using Siri, the potential of using AI to make your business operations highly effective & efficient is higher than ever!