AI marketing seems to be the new buzzword in digital marketing. Statistics on the kind of impact this new technology will have in the future are certainly impressive. Among other things, they predict that as early as 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions will not be with a human.
Already today, you are making use of artificial intelligence in many ways, often without consciously noticing. Just think about how Google manages to interpret your search queries and present you with the most relevant results. Or how your Gmail account knows how to filter emails into different categories.
But what is AI marketing exactly? What does it mean for you and your business? And most importantly, how can you start taking advantage of this technology?
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at all of these questions and provide you with useful tools that can help you with your marketing. Plus, since the digital marketing landscape continues to grow at a rapid pace, we’ll also cover what possibly lies ahead in this area.
What is AI Marketing?
Before diving into how you can take advantage of AI marketing, it’s important to talk about what that term exactly means.
Let’s Start With Traditional Marketing
To be able to fully grasp the concept of marketing supported by artificial intelligence, it’s best to first understand what traditional marketers do.
Marketers have the firmest finger on the pulse of your consumer persona. They research and analyze your consumers all the time, conducting focus groups, sending out surveys, studying online shopping habits and asking one underlying question: ‘Where, when and how does our consumer want to communicate with our business?’
What Is Marketing? [FAQ], Caroline Forsey on HubSpot
In short, marketing is all about understanding your customer. Once you know and understand your audience, you’ll be able to determine how your business can effectively interact with them.
Enter Artificial Intelligence
Traditionally, getting to know your clients involves sifting through data from surveys, focus groups, and/or questionnaires. It can be a tedious job. AI makes it less so.
With AI marketing tools you can not only gather essential customer data automatically but also analyze it more deeply. This allows you to better anticipate client behavior and provide them with a more relevant customer journey.
How does this happen?
Two main concepts of AI marketing are machine learning and big data. Using artificial intelligence allows you to collect and sift through large amounts of information and identify specific patterns about your customers. This will provide you with important data about their behavior, likes, and dislikes.
Armed with this information, it becomes easier to create relevant offers, products, and services for your customers. This, in turn, helps increase customer engagement. It also shortens and improves the buyer’s journey.
Sounds helpful, doesn’t it? Then let’s take a look at how some companies are already taking advantaging of this.
Examples of AI Marketing
There’s no better way to understand the impact of AI in marketing than to look at how it is already in use today.
1. Search Suggestions
How can Google give you relevant search results that don’t contain your exact search query? How is it able to correct your grammar and spelling mistakes and provide you with a query you didn’t necessarily type in, but wanted to?
That kind of “magic” is possible, among other things, because of a machine-learning search engine algorithm called RankBrain. We’ve written about RankBrain before so be sure to check out the article.
In a nutshell, RankBrain allows Google to interpret your search queries by picking them apart.
Source: Perficient Digital
That way, it is able to provide you with the most relevant search results. It also constantly collects feedback on what it delivers and uses this information to further improve the search algorithm.
2. Speech Recognition
I don’t know about you but in recent times, I find myself dictating a lot more text and chat messages on my phone rather than writing. It’s more convenient and the technology has gotten very good at recognizing the words I am saying.
In addition to that kind of functionality, there is also a rise in virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant.
Being able to talk to your devices has become a major selling point as the success of voice-activated devices shows. Predictions say the use of voice assistants will grow to eight billion devices by 2023.
All of this is only possible because of artificial intelligence, which has gotten a lot better at understanding human speech.
By the way, this development has also led to an increase in spoken search queries. Check this guide to find out how to optimize your site for them.
Chatbots are another great example of how AI is used to enhance the customer experience. We have already mentioned how in the very near future almost 90 percent of customer inquiries will be taken care of by conversational AI.
Source: Taco Bell
It can be very convenient to hop onto a site and start a chat about a product you’re interested in. Bots are getting more and more sophisticated at serving basic customer needs. They are also available 24/7.
There are plenty of other examples of AI marketing. They all prove how AI is no longer a distant concept. It’s here. It has arrived and is moving into many aspects of our lives. So, how exactly can it help you personally?
AI Marketing and Your Business
Here are some ways in which AI marketing may enhance your marketing efforts.
1. Customer Analysis
As discussed earlier, without fully understanding the people you cater to, it becomes difficult to build effective marketing campaigns for them.
What does knowing your client base mean? For example:
- Being aware of their spending habits
- Knowing the motives behind their purchases
- Understanding which keywords or phrases they mostly connect with and why
- Being aware of how they like to consume their content
- Knowing how they feel about your business and products
AI marketing tools are able to gather this data from many different sources, analyze it and provide you with insights. As a consequence, you’re able to better understand how to connect to your market.
2. Marketing and Content Optimization
Knowing your clients’ habits and preferences allows you to better cater to their needs. That way, you can target your marketing campaigns more precisely at what they are looking for.
For example, if your audience is mostly on Facebook and hardly on other social media networks, it might make the most sense to focus your efforts on Facebook Ads than spreading your budget across other social media platforms.
Optimizing your content also involves knowing what type gets the most reaction from your readers. AI tools can help you understand which posts generate the most shares and likes, which landing pages convert best, etc. That way, you can produce more of what’s working and less of what is not.
Doing so creates a better experience for your clients and helps you build better relationships with them.
3. Continuous Improvement
Consumer expectations are constantly changing. Just a few years ago, a simple TV ad was enough to convince a prospect to buy a particular service or product. But that’s no longer the case.
Now, after seeing an ad on TV, a consumer is likely to hop onto Google first to research the company. They might also check out their competitors. Consumers also want social engagement. They want to build connections with brands. They read blogs and want solutions to their problems first, before thinking about spending their hard-earned money.
The buyer’s journey has changed drastically and continues to do so. With AI tools in place, you’ll be able to keep an eye on this development, helping you to better plan and prepare for the future.
Now, for you to fully take advantage of it, what follows are some tools to let you implement AI marketing already today.
Useful AI Marketing Tools
Use the tools below to infuse your marketing with artificial intelligence.
The longer a lead is on your site, the more they get to learn about your products or services and the better the chances to convert them. Sure, website traffic is important, but having those leads stick around is even more important (find tips on how to do so here).
When you install this plugin, it will analyze your posts and pages and recommend related content to readers who reach the end of your posts. The plugin will also further study the response of your users to these recommendations and use this data to improve what it will show in the future.
Whenever you create content, you want it to have the best possible impact on your readers. WordLift is a service with a WordPress plugin that helps you achieve this.
The plugin analyzes every component of your content and helps you optimize it to get the best results. It does so by providing you with recommendations for facts, links, media, content, and more than your audience will love. It also assists optimizing your posts for search engines.
WatsonFinds is all about the emotion behind your content. Since your customers are human (for now) and emotions drive the majority of human decisions, appealing to the right sentiment is paramount.
WatsonFinds dissects your content and then analyzes the emotional impact it will likely have on your audience. Using these insights, you can improve your offerings and create marketing material that will have the biggest oomph.
What Does the Future Hold?
It can be difficult to provide a forecast for something like AI marketing. Technology is constantly changing and with each new development, provides improved insights.
But, judging by the developments we’ve discussed, here are a few things we can likely expect in the future.
1. More Personalized Content
The problem with traditional marketing on a large scale is that it’s difficult to understand and provide each customer with a personalized experience. Simply adding the name of your consumer at the beginning of an email is a nice touch but not quite enough. With AI, marketers will be able to get greater insights on each customer or prospect and customize the content they send to them.
2. Reaching the Right Audience
What’s the point of creating online ads that may give you traffic, but not necessarily conversions? Traditional marketing may involve casting the net wide in hopes of reaching as many people as possible. But with AI, you’ll be able to laser focus on segments of your market that actually wants your product or service, giving you much higher ROI.
3. The Customer is at the Center of it All
As previously highlighted, customer needs drive marketing decisions. With AI tools, you’ll be able to further connect and engage with your audience in a more meaningful way. Website chatbots are just at the beginning. With the improvement and integration of natural language processing, these chatbots will be able to engage with your customers in a more personalized and meaningful manner.
AI Marketing is Here to Stay
AI marketing has arrived and is helping to make the lives of marketers a little easier. Thanks to the ability of artificial intelligence to collect and analyze large amounts of information, it helps marketers get to know their client base more closely.
Examples of the use of AI marketing are already visible today, such as in the areas of search, speech recognition, and chatbots. There are also tools WordPress users and website owners can use to infuse their marketing efforts with machine learning support, especially for content improvements.
In the future, we will like see more of this development in the form of increased personalization, more targeted marketing campaigns, and more interaction of customers with machines. Time will tell what else we can expect.
Have you tried your hand at any AI marketing tools? Anything to add to the above? Let us know in the comments section below!
Nick Schäferhoff is an entrepreneur, online marketer, and professional blogger from Germany. He found WordPress when he needed a website for his first business and instantly fell in love. When not building websites, creating content or helping his clients improve their online business, he can most often be found at the gym, the dojo or traveling the world with his wife. If you want to get in touch with him, you can do so via Twitter or through his website.