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Artificial Intelligence - A Marketer's Friend or Foe?

DATE PUBLISHED: May 14, 2018

marketing automation circuit boardFor many people, artificial intelligence conjures images from sci-fi movies and post-apocalyptic stories about the dangers of technological advancements. But in reality, AI has been around in one form or another since the mid-1950s, and as of yet, there have been no machine uprisings to give credence to Terminator-style fears about smart tech. In fact, AI has proved itself a major benefit to humanity over the years, making:

  • Tasks simpler
  • ​D​ata easier to analyze
  • ​Decisions made more quickly
  • Security more robust
  • ​And much more

One area where people have shown particular concerns about AI is in the field of creative endeavors, because this is something that’s often seen as being uniquely human. And if a machine can learn to become creative, then what chance do humans have of keeping their jobs? The truth is that AI is a tool just like any other technology, and it can enhance—not replace—human capabilities including in fields like marketing. So let’s look at the pros of artificial intelligence and why it truly is a marketer’s friend and not a foe.

AI Makes Analysis of Big Data Possible

marketing automation server big dataMore data is produced than ever before. Just looking at web searches can give you a good idea of just how much data we create: there are 40,000 Google searches performed every second, which translates to over a trillion searches each year on one search engine alone. For businesses, data is crucial to remaining engaged and relevant in today’s world, because it’s the best way to understand and connect with consumers.

However, it's just not humanly possible to analyze the amount of data we generate, and that’s where AI can become a marketer’s best friend.

​Take machine learning for instance. Machine learning is a type of AI that can process and analyze massive quantities of data in a very short time. Many marketers are using it "to understand, anticipate, and act on the problems their sales prospects are trying to solve faster and with more clarity than any competitor." It helps you tailor content to your leads and where they are in the buyer's journey.

​It allows you to put together all elements to attract, sell to, and service customers. And it lets you and more accurately predict outcomes.

Bots and AI Can Create an Enhanced Customer Experience

Growth is one of the main goals that all businesses share. But sometimes achieving that goal can come at the price of spreading yourself too thin. Customer service is a great example of this. Many companies grow so quickly that they don't have a large enough customer service staff to personally manage the volume of queries, complaints, orders, site visitors, and other consumer-oriented needs coming in.

marketing automation robot aiAI in the form of chatbots -- or alternatives to customer service reps -- can be a huge plus in this instance. Bots can "​answer queries or guide consumers with their purchases." And, they're more personalized and interactive than, say, an FAQ page. And, you don't need to dedicate a large portion of your budget to human resources. Because bots can improve response times and personalize messages, they can enhance the customer experience, build brand trust and loyalty, and offer a novel experience that will spur engagement -- some of marketers’ major goals.

Offer a Better and More Personal Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is at the core of every marketer’s job. Awareness of it helps you understand your customers' behavior so you can better shape their experiences and move them through the sales funnel more quickly and effectively. There are many ways AI can help with this, including platforms that can help analyze customer and website visitor data to gain better insight into the buyer’s journey. This will allow you to:

  • Segment your audience
  • Personalize messages
  • Make unique product recommendations
  • Individualize content offerings
  • Send marketing messages at the right time
  • Choose the best medium for customer engagement

Use AI to Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategies Are on Point

Marketers can also use AI to go over both trending topics and audience data. It can help you "move beyond simple observation and find new patterns in user behavior." This helps you tune up your content strategy to make sure that you're creating and curating relevant content.

We all know that content is one of the key pieces of inbound marketing. But if yours isn't engaging, interesting, shareable, and relevant to your audience, then you're not getting the most from it. With the right AI, you can curate the appropriate content, send it to the right audience segments, test its performance, and make changes to optimize future campaigns.​

Tech Advances Lead to New Opportunities

marketing automation technological advances code dataYes, artificial intelligence will lead to some job losses. However, a report by OECD says there will be far fewer displaced workers than previously thought. That's because of the nature of job tasks. Sure, a machine operator could lose part of his job to automation, but technology, even AI, can't yet assume the other part of his job: managing junior workers.

And as use of AI advances, more jobs will be created. For instance, medical professionals may have more time in the future to provide more interactive patient care thanks AI that can diagnose some diseases. Similarly, although AI may better analyze data than any human, it doesn’t mean data scientists will become obsolete. After all, someone's got to figure out how to use all that data.

As for marketing, AI can be an assist to, not a replacement of, you. Yes, you can use it to help automate some of your day-to-day tasks like sending emails and analyzing your content. But someone still needs to fine tune those marketing strategies.