It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our everyday lives. No longer just the stuff of science fiction, a recent episode on CBS’s 60 Minutes was devoted to this topic. “The Oracle of AI,” Kai-Fu Lee, said that he believes, “…it’s going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.”
Own an iPhone X? Its facial recognition system is powered by AI. Ever been redirected by Google Maps or Waze because of an accident or construction ahead? Ever used Spotify’s voice interface to make your personalized music selections? You guessed it: AI. These are just a few small examples. Forbes tells us, “By one estimate, AI contributed a whopping $2 trillion to global GDP last year.” By 2030, it could be as much as $15.7 trillion, “making it the biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast changing economy” (more than the combined output of China and India), according to a recent report by PwC.
So, what the heck is AI, anyway?
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term for ‘smart’ technologies that are aware of and can learn from their environments, enabling them to subsequently take autonomous action… What separates AI from general-purpose software is that it enables machines to respond autonomously to signals from the external world—signals that programmers do not directly control and therefore cannot always anticipate,” says a PwC post.
In simple English, AI is a term for computer systems that can sense their environment, think, learn, and take action in response to what they’re sensing and what their objectives are. Artificial intelligence includes such things as digital assistants, chatbots and machine learning. It’s a thrilling new frontier, packed with promise and possibility…and it’s here to stay.
Savvy marketers know they need to get ahead of this technology (or at least stay up to date), but many are unsure as to where they should jump in or how it’s affecting their business today and in the future. As marketers see, understand, organize and use AI, they are able to deliver better, more informed, cost-effective marketing and advertising decisions. But the big question is, “How do you tap into the potential of AI?”
How is AI making marketers like us smarter?
Today, AI is manifesting in chatbot customer service integrations, social media analysis and myriad forms of data analysis, according to AdExchanger. And if you’re like me and millions of others, you’ve probably benefitted from AI marketing while online shopping, where AI takes the form of automatic recommendations based on what you’ve already purchased.
AI is a powerful technology that can play a major role in marketing, especially when you are able to take the resulting data and make it easier to understand and use through data visualization approaches. Marketing professionals must establish a strong understanding of AI’s data capabilities to solve complicated problems and analyze results.
Here are just a few examples of how you can tap into AI:
- AI can be used to generate insights based on data and analytics that may have been otherwise missed.
- AI has the potential to improve product development and reduce costs.
- AI can help better utilize limited resources.
- AI’s data-centric architecture allow you to aggregate, cleanse and organize data, and turned it into visual media (like charts and graphs) to support current and future AI projects.
- AI can help make sure your brand reflects your current message and/or goals.
Deep learning is the key.
Understanding what consumers want and need—ideally, before they even do—is essential for marketers. AI can make that job much easier, especially with AI’s deep learning.
Business 2 Community tells us that, “A subset of AI, deep learning has the potential to transform the future of marketing by helping businesses to predict consumer behavior… Deep learning provides a way to train AI to predict outputs, given a set of inputs…it can learn to predict human behavior pretty accurately.” That means it can help you uncover new customers and predict customer behavior in advance.
How AI is taking marketing automation into the future.
In an era when customers are demanding fast and hyper-personalized service, AI-based technologies are more critical than ever before. Your business can benefit on a multitude of fronts by embracing these game-changing marketing AI-based advancements:
In email marketing. AI-based technologies are helping marketers win the attention of potential email customers in numerous ways. For instance, they’re allowing small and medium-sized businesses to improve their email marketing automation strategies by knowing who to target, when and how frequently. Plus, adding a personalized touch (including personalized offers), with the help of AI, pays off. A Statista study shows that personalized emails had an open rate of 18.1 percent, compared to a 13.1 open rate for non-personalized emails.
In lead nurturing. “AI-based programs are capable of processing user data at lightning speed, and can be hyper-responsive to customer needs,” according a recent article in Betanews. AI helps capture information faster and can use that information to close sales with targeted responses in real time.
In cross-selling. AI can take response information and make predictions on the potential for additional sales. It can determine whether a customer is a good candidate for additional products or services and establish which products a customer might be in the market for next.
In retention. Every marketer knows that a happy customer is a loyal customer. AI can help you retain your existing customer base by providing you with a better understanding of client needs. Customers will appreciate the personalized service AI-based software offers, and are more likely to become repeat customers.
In bringing back past customers. Whatever the reason for losing a customer, it’s never too late to win them back, especially with some artificial assistance. AI can provide insight into how and why a customer left, and help determine the best way to reconnect.
How far can AI take us?
With the revolution driven by AI, marketers have unleashed a multitude of possibilities to know their customers better. Artificial Intelligence has delivered business tools to help with predictive selling, informed buying, enhanced sales-cycle, and data-driven decision making. It’s the main driving force in ensuring a great customer experience…the silver bullet for marketers to thrive in the coming years.
According to Colin Angle, one of the world’s leading authorities on mobile robots and chairman of the board, chief executive officer and co-founder of iRobot, “It’s going to be interesting to see how society deals with artificial intelligence, but it will definitely be cool.”