Marketing has always been about finding the best ways to connect the business with its customers. With great advancements in the AI sector, digital marketing also took a dramatic turn for the better.
AI has changed the way businesses establish relationships with their customers. Thanks to this revolutionary technology, it’s now possible to deliver a more personalized experience by utilizing customer data. Marketing campaigns are now more effective because AI gives real-time insights into what the customer needs, resulting in a highly successful venture.
For instance, an AI marketing tool can be used to automate certain menial tasks that come with different marketing strategies. This saves time and money and allows marketers to focus their efforts somewhere else.
Soon AI will be used for every aspect of marketing campaigns. If you don’t want to miss out, you should at least know the basics of how industries are using AI in marketing strategies. That way, when the time really comes, the transition to AI marketing will be a piece of cake for you.
How Is Artificial Intelligence Used in Marketing?
There are different ways marketers use AI marketing tools to create better content, starting from personalization, automation, and gaining insights into customer data. But by saying that, I’m generalizing the full capability of any AI marketing tool. To get a better understanding, I’ve listed some of the ways anyone can use an AI marketing tool for their own business. yeah, even you!
Social Media Listening
First of all, this is not to be confused with spying. Here, AI collects information about you and your competition through social media activity.
Using relevant keywords in phrases, machine learning techniques are applied to understand customers’ thoughts about your company. With all of this information, marketing tools powered by artificial intelligence can help you optimize your social media posts for better results.
As most brands care about the customer experience, social media listening really helps to address a user’s issues. If you find that customers are having a negative reaction to one of your products or services, you can look into the responses collected by your AI tool and trace the problem to its root.
Facebook Pixel can be an excellent example in this case. When Facebook Pixel is activated, whenever a reader visits the company’s website, the company remembers them and sends targeted relevant ads. The job of Machine learning here is, they track the users’ browsing activity and match them with the data of relevant users.
For instance, if a buyer is looking for Engine Oil for their car, there is a very good chance, they will also buy oil filters, air filters and coolants. This analysis and implementation of such data will increase the total sales and revenue for the company.
AI is most commonly used in the content creation department. A lot of its fame can be attributed to the release of ChatGPT earlier this year. As the world was introduced to generative AI, experts in the content creation division jumped at the opportunity to create highly engaging pieces via this particular artificial intelligence AI tool.
Today there are several AI powered tools, like chatGPT that make the job of generating content easy. All you need to do is provide the AI tool with a topic for your content, a general outline and a well-thought-out prompt on how it should be written, and bam! With a simple click, you will have fine-print content rivalling that of a professional copywriter with years of experience.
One of the best things that happened with the rise of AI in marketing is automation. I’m talking about things like generating email subject lines, insights for targeted advertising, tracking purchase history for personalized content, and so on.
With automation in marketing and sales, you can save a lot of time, making the entire process more efficient and less prone to human mistakes. It also cuts down labour costs. Not to mention, since you have access to data analytics for personalized content, it results in more sales as well!
For instance, businesses use AI tools like Zapier to automate the process which creates a seamless and error-free transition between tasks.
Audience Segmentation and Personalization
So, how exactly do AI tools help you with personalization? Well, simply put, it works by analyzing high-quantity data from customers and dividing them into different categories. This is called Customer Segmentation.
This is important because it allows for a more precise and targeted campaign. This eliminates any wasted digital marketing efforts and leaves you with a higher return on investment (ROI). This is also a continuous and scalable process, so you have updated data at your disposal all the time.
Imagine having a department full of personnel handed this very task. Once again, you’re not only leaving room for human errors, but you’re also increasing costs and decreasing efficiency. All of these can now be avoided with nifty little AI tools like Peak.ai or Optimove.
Data Analysis for Customer Insights
Everything these days is data-driven. No matter where you look, you will see the effects of data analytics. AI marketing teams use customer data analysis to see things from the customer’s perspective.
By analyzing previous purchase histories and browsing patterns marketers can apply predictive analytics to anticipate future behavior.
When a customer’s needs are known ahead of time, companies can offer promotions and special benefits accordingly. This is how predictive AI like Salesforce Einstein highly improves the customer experience by evaluating customer insights, thereby your sales.
In order to compete in a market full of worthy competitors, you need to achieve something out of the box. How do you do that? Via competitive intelligence, of course!
The concept of competitive intelligence revolves around gathering information and using it to identify opportunities and risks in a market. Such competitive analysis is completely data-driven and is a regular part of many marketing strategies.
So, how are AI marketing tools involved in this?
If you remember correctly, I talked about data analytics briefly earlier. AI tools give us a similar competitive edge. It takes the data generated by your business and comes up with new insights that can help you get an edge over all the other competitors.
Think of this as an enhanced version of social media listening. Instead of working solely with social media sites, competitive intelligence works with your entire business.
Ask yourself, how receptive are the customers when it comes to your brand?
If you answer positively, you’re already in the right direction. If you hesitated, perhaps it’s time to rectify the brand’s image and build an honourable and attractive reputation.
Customer’s receptiveness is directly tied to its success. By that theory, it is crucial to improve a brand’s online image to engage customers the right way. The role of AI in marketing comes handy, especially in the face of online reputation management.
Here are some of the ways you can use AI in marketing and apply it to ORM:
Monitoring Online Conversations
As the AI marketing tool will have access to customer data across all channels, it will be able to monitor everything they’re saying about your brand online.
The AI marketing tools can show you what real-time conversations are taking place about your brand online (at any given time!).
Artificial intelligence takes things one step further and analyzes the sentiment of the conversations. This way, you can determine how customers perceive your brand image.
Perhaps, I may have covered this already. But, yet another application for this would be reputation management. By anticipating trends in the market and the customer’s browsing patterns using machine learning programs, it’s possible to come up with a course of action that improves your online reputation.
Which AI Technologies Enable AI Marketing?
I hope you already have a general idea about the different applications of AI in the digital marketing industry. But all you know for now is how things look from the outside. It’s time to take a look under the hood of the AI marketing tools and see how it all comes together.
Machine Learning (ML)
What you know as “Artificial Intelligence” is nothing but an application of machine learning. It’s the fundamental pillar, the driving force that makes everything work. So, let me share some more details about what this really is.
Machine learning does exactly what the name suggests. It has a machine (computer program) to learn something. This can be different things depending on which branch of ML we’re talking about. You can categorize between two things, get a prediction based on existing data, and produce a report based on which actions can be taken.
These tasks are carried out by models. If I go back to the car analogy, these models are the engine of the car. You can tune these engines to do whatever you want.
For AI marketing solutions, ML models can be used to determine things like dynamic pricing based on certain conditions. Marketing teams can come together and analyze trends with machine learning to develop new strategies.
Besides this basic stuff, there are some advanced applications for it as well. Let’s take a look at those now.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
NLP is the reason why we have chatbots today. It’s a subfield of artificial intelligence that uses ML and deep learning to understand the meaning of a written text. It’s also able to understand the human voice as well. Every single one of us experiences the applications of NLP in our everyday life.
If you’re confused about what I’m referring to, virtual assistants on our phones are great examples of NLP. Be it Siri, or Google Assistant, these AI assistants are able to understand what we’re saying and perform actions based on our instructions.
When you search for something online, do you get the results for what you meant or for the literal meaning of the words? It’s definitely the former. But have you ever thought about the mechanics behind it?
Semantic search is what makes that happen for us. It’s the counterpart of “lexical search” where every meaning of the word is searched for separately. But when it comes to semantic search, AI technology is used to decipher the meaning of the words or phrases together.
Once that’s been done, only then will the search begin, presenting you with the results that you were looking for. Marketing programs use this when searching for specific keywords to identify trends and patterns. Instead of the literal meaning of the words, the meaning is understood first before beginning the search.
An improvement over semantic search, sentiment analysis gives experts the marketing insights they need for their companies. By assigning positive, negative or neutral outcomes to the speech and using that to generate insights, it’s possible to make improvements to business operations. Addressing the issues on a customer journey is key to guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
By understanding the emotion behind a person’s message, you can realize whether or not you’re doing a good job with your marketing operations. When you see a lot of negative sentiment towards your brand image, you need to start thinking of ways that can flip those negative emotions into positive ones.
AI Marketing Pros and Cons
It’s been more than a decade since the development of AI began for practical applications. The marketing industry saw the rise of marketing AI tools sometime in the last 10 years. And now that we’re fully in the age of AI, it can be used from simple tasks like data collection to complex activities like brand language optimization.
But is it all rainbows and sunshine for the digital marketing niche? Not really. Like everything else, AI powered marketing has its own sets of issues on top of its benefits. Let’s see both sides of the coin.
AI Marketing Advantages
Let’s start with the positives to see how AI improves digital marketing campaigns.
Increase Your ROI
ROI is the measure of whether or not you had successful campaigns on your investment. AI tools help make the most out of your marketing budget. It knows the right measurement tools to use and can generate insights on where to make improvements.
Since the AI algorithms in marketing programs use a data driven approach, that means every action that you take is done after careful consideration. You make the necessary changes to drive customer engagement based on numbers, not assumptions.
That’s why not a single penny is wasted from your budget. You see an increase in organic traffic, which in turn, leads to increased conversion rates.
Improve Customer Relationships
One of the main goals of an AI marketing strategy is to understand who the target audience is. When a company knows its buyers well, a number of things become apparent. The customer journey is one of those.
When you carefully think about each stage of this journey, it becomes easier for content personalization. Think about it. Which buyer in the whole world wouldn’t prefer a customer experience that was tailor-made for them?
This is just one of the ways you can increase customer satisfaction for your target audience. A similar approach can be taken to offer exclusive deals and perform automated email marketing campaigns. All these things point towards the fact that you put a lot of thought into how you treat your consumers.
Make Better, Strategic Marketing Decisions
Marketing teams are only able to take better decisions for the growth of a company when they have information to work with. It’s the same case with AI tools. The insights gained from analyzing customer behavior helps in taking some of the best decision for AI marketing.
The use of data to take decisions that work in changing marketing landscape has existed since the 50s. But after big data became a thing, we started to see the modern applications of customer data for digital marketing.
All that data can be used to understand current trends and predict future market trends. In content marketing, if one isn’t observing the trends in their own niche, then they’re choosing to fall behind in the race for brand reputation.
AI Marketing Disadvantages
As I mentioned, AI in marketing has its own share of troubles. A marketer needs to keep these in mind when working with AI tools so as not to face problems later on.
I’ve talked about content generation in a previous section. The concept seems interesting and the ease of use makes it even better.
But the current state of content generation software is not quite there yet. No matter which one I talk about, it’s riddled with factual errors that you need to them manually fix. If you need to go over the content all over again, then what’s the point of using an AI platform to do the job?
I can say from personal experience that these AI generators are delusional. For example, I tested out ChatGPTs content generation. I asked it to give me 700-word content. But even though I specified, it still gave me content that was 650 words long.
Sometimes, they don’t follow the keyword guidelines and more often then not, they provide a lot of fluff that hurts the quality and the value of the content. ChatGPT has been notorious of adding factually incorrect information in the middle of true facts, which could be totally avoided if they were written by humans.
When you’re using tools for Ai marketing, you need to give it access to all of the data to let it do its job. Many marketers out there are doing this for the sake of improving customer experience without a second thought. But you should think twice and here’s why.
While there are security measures against this, an AI marketing tool might share sensitive information with parties that it’s not supposed to. The opposite can also happen if any hacker decides to attack the system in which case they will have access to all of the private information.
Since the task of Natural language processing on user conversation requires monitoring, some might consider this surveillance a breach of privacy. You don’t want to lose any data points because of these things. That’s why the best approach is to be transparent about your data collection from customers.
Evaluating Non-Quantifiable KPIs
What do I mean by non-quantifiable KPIs? These are the metrics that an AI tool is not able to quantify. These can be brand perception, engagement on social media posts, and so on. In order to understand these, marketing teams need to supervise AI marketing tools.
But don’t you think that defeats the whole point of using an AI tool? To me, it’s a deal breaker. Why do I have to take over the program just because it can’t understand how to quantify customer engagement?
This challenge effectively means that you’re losing out on data for your business. And without enough data, it would become hard for marketing teams to generate insights to work with.
AI marketing as you can see has some great potential to make businesses grow by increasing customer engagement. While there are some concerns regarding the use of AI tools in a marketing strategy, it’s mostly good news.
Right now, the tools that are available to us still require human supervision to some degree. Maybe someday in the future, there will come a time when that will be no longer the case. But as the current state of things makes automation a possibility, it’s the reason why marketing teams prefer to include companies prefer to include these programs as a major part of their marketing strategy.
How Is AI Used in Marketing?
AI can be used to generate customer insights based on their information. It’s possible to predict how a customer will behave based on this information.
What Is an Example of AI in Marketing?
One of the most popular examples out there right now is an AI content generator. Using this, anyone can create content on any topic with some simple instructions.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Target Your Marketing Efforts?
Artificial intelligence can be used for customer segmentation which can help you isolate certain groups of customers with similar preferences. Based on their needs, likes, and dislikes, it’s easy to personalize the content that they experience from your brand.
How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Way We Buy and Sell Products?
Artificial intelligence in marketing gives customers personalized recommendations, and dynamic pricing on products. Besides with the help of chatbots, customers can enjoy suggestions for stuff they might like.