Over the last few years, AI has played an increasingly important role in our daily lives. From voice-activated assistants who juggle our calendars to self-driving cars delivering pizzas, AI is transforming our world. And that’s easy to see when considering the role of AI in marketing. As Forbes contributor Bernard Marr notes, “If you’re a marketer and you’re not using AI, you’re missing out on the benefits of what is possibly the most transformational technology.”
But what, specifically, has changed? And how can you leverage AI to get more mileage from your marketing efforts? In this article, we’ll be breaking down emerging AI marketing tools, trends, and tips that are rewriting the rules of marketing.
Defining AI and Examples of AI In Marketing
Whether it’s adorable helpers like R2D2 and Wall-E or hostile overlords like the bots running The Matrix, AI has long been in science fiction’s domain. But at its core, AI, or artificial intelligence, is a lot more boring than most people know. Officially, it’s any system that can perform tasks that used to require human intelligence. And these days, it’s doing a substantial behind-the-list lift when it comes to automating routine tasks.
Just consider the implications of AI in marketing in this scenario:
- You go to Google and search for “best fried egg sandwich.” Google uses a complex web of AI-powered algorithms to give you the most relevant results, including a mix of nearby restaurants and recipes you can make at home.
- At the top of the search engine results page is an ad for a fried egg sandwich delivery service, which targeted you using AI analysis of rich data.
- You click on the ad because it’s almost like somebody was reading your mind! You don’t know it, but a bot wrote the website content you’re reading. It’s informative, conversational, and convincing. So you decide to give these guys a shot!
- Fifteen minutes later, the sandwich arrives on your doorstep. Unfortunately, they forgot the hot sauce you paid extra for. You hop back onto the website, and within just a few minutes, a helpful AI-driven chatbot has apologized for the mix-up and refunded your money. Plus, because they care, they’ve added a $5 voucher to your account for your next order.
If you’re the customer in this scenario, you’ve just had a seamless service experience thanks to AI. As the delivery provider, you now have a satisfied customer and a brand strategy that conveniently rolls advertising, marketing, and customer service into one neat, AI-driven package.
How AI In Marketing Has Changed Over The Last Three Years
Realistically, it’s almost impossible to market your company in 2022 without relying on AI technology. The most popular social media platforms, search engines, and email providers rely on AI to improve functionality and support user experience (UX). More often than not, we use AI without even thinking about it. But the most exciting developments are straight out of the sci-fi playbook.
Advanced Natural Language Processors
Back in 2019, I wrote that rather than replacing humans, AI had the potential to make us more humane. Since then, we’ve seen incredible development in Natural Language Processors (NLPs). These more advanced NLPs allow search engines, chatbots, and other applications to understand better and replicate how humans write and speak. As a result, it’s getting harder to know if you’re chatting with a support bot or an employee.
Not only do NLPs help machines sound more human, but they also improve language comprehension. As a result, we’re seeing a sharp shift away from keyword-stuffed, formulaic writing and a bigger focus on creating informative, conversational content that provides value to the reader. In fact, this year’s Helpful Content Update deprioritizes over-optimized SEO content to penalize marketers trying to game the system.
AI Analytics & Data-Rich Storytelling
Marketers no longer need to comb through customer data with a fine-toothed comb hoping to find a common thread that will increase sales. Instead, data analysis can be automated. Today’s marketers use AI to pore through incredible amounts of data and extract insights, patterns, and relationships that might be invisible to the human eye.
AI analytics offers an advantage in terms of scalability or the ability to take a granular look at more data faster. But it also empowers businesses to be more proactive. For example, while many analytics teams will solve business challenges after they arise, AI can proactively scan for anomalies and alert teams in real time.
AI also allows marketers to engage in powerful, data-rich storytelling. The key to successful data storytelling is to create an exciting and informative narrative. By working in tandem with AI, analysts can contextualize data and create an emotional tie between the stats and marketing audiences.
Content curation and content generation
Increasingly, AI tools are generating headlines, writing website copy, and putting together design elements. And all of this is helping to create better customer experiences. For example, consider the growing importance of personalization in marketing. Personalized marketing uses data to make customers feel like your brand’s message was made just for them.
Traditionally, content creation teams have relied on Buyer Personas to deliver more personalized marketing. But, unfortunately, even with detailed buyer personas, there’s enough variability that your messaging could fall flat. And most marketing teams don’t have enough content creators to craft messaging for hundreds or thousands of customer segments.
Enter AI content generation. Today’s AI content curation tools allow content creators to set guidelines for content creation, and then the bot fills in the blanks. For example, AI can generate data-specific content for social media posts, brief reports, and press updates. It can also handle the heavy lifting when it comes to topic generation and keyword research, freeing writers up to do what they do best: write.
We’ve come a long way since 2019 when this Denver-based AI bot named kittens Mr. Sinister and Whiskeridoo. But it still can’t quite do it all. For now, content writers can breathe a sigh of relief since most AI writers still require human input to create high-quality content. As with data storytelling, the human perspective adds context and complexity to AI-generated material. This is especially true for long-form content.
Clearly, AI In Marketing Wears A Lot of Hats
From day-to-day business operations to content creation, cybersecurity, and customer service, AI and automation play a huge role in how today’s “business as usual” looks. According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index in 2022, 35% of companies reported using AI in their business, and an additional 42% reported they are exploring AI.
A few applications for AI include:
- Improving the customer journey and providing better customer service
- Boosting the ROI of your marketing campaigns
- Reducing business expenses/improving operational efficiency by automating tasks that would otherwise require an employee’s time and energy
At Savy, we’re proud to leverage emerging tech and AI trends to provide more value to our clients. Whether it’s improving ad targeting or keeping our content team inspired to produce top-notch articles, AI helps streamline our work processes and improve productivity. But there are still plenty of things it can’t do, and that’s where our team comes into play.
Ready to see how a marketing agency like Savy can leverage AI to improve your business results? Get in touch for a free consultation!