When we think of AI, we think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator running around with bazookas in his hands and half his face ripped off. Revealing his exposed metal skull and wires like veins leaking sparks, as if fresh blood. We think of robot men from movies programmed to serve mankind, but instead learning emotions and human feelings. We think of software outsmarting humans in a bid to take over the world. But we are not in the land of make-believe or a Hollywood movie set, we are very much heading into the future. And the future of Marketing is Artificial Intelligence (AI), perhaps just not in the way highlighted above.
AI and machine learning is transforming the landscape with self-driving cars, smarter prosthetics and digital assistance (think of Alexa). The stuff which was now reserved for Sci-Fi movies is now our reality. AI is different because unlike a human, there is less margin for error, it can work continuously without the need for a break or rest and it is always learning! But what exactly does this mean for Marketing? It means your brand is ready 24/7.
To understand where we are going, first, we must understand where we have been. Artificial Intelligence is a way of programming machines to learn and be capable of solving problems as a human would. In the not too distant past, programmers would manually code software systems to provide an output when given a specific input.
A good example is to think of Facebook, remember in 2008 when you got your first account? You would have to manually tag all your friends who attended your birthday party into that group photo. Now, in 2018 with the introduction of AI, Facebook recognises faces and suggest you tag your friends.
You see, AI is already blending the lines between human interaction and technology in ways you may not even realise.
AI is beyond just data analysis and generation. Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionise how customers interact with brands on a day to day basis.
AI and machine learning will push the boundaries of what is possible. The divide of what is marketing, art, design, music will blend together making for a truly creative experience for the audience.
An example of consumer engagement with brands, leveraged through the use of AI is Chatbots. A chatbot sits on your website and acts as an interactive messaging system with visitors of your site. The chatbot will crawl your site and pick up keywords and phrases to help converse with your customer, without the need for human interaction! Your chatbot can take the conversation to a minimum of 60% before anyone even needs to step in. Chatbots can also learn the language of your brand to interact with your consumers in your tone of voice.
AI and machine learning are going to completely revolutionise how your customers can experience your brand. New forms of creativity will provide new ways for your brand to tell its story.
Something that you will be seeing plenty of in the marketplace is brands reinventing their products and enhancing their functionality with AI. Products and services that may have been a little ahead of their time will once again see the spotlight with the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence. As customers in the modern digital landscape demand more and more personalised experiences from their brands, AI will stand up and create this technology to meet this demand.
Marketing campaigns and customer interactions will become a core focus for brands—from planning to creative messaging to media targeting to the retail experience. Integrating machine learning and AI into the buyer’s journey means proper representation and the opportunity for your brand to be present 24/7.
To approach this from a different angle, consumer expectations of their brands will increase. This will pose a difficult challenge for some brands as they choose to compete in the marketplace. Businesses who are proactive rather than reactive will retain their customers and ignite a journey which has never been seen in this landscape before.
So what does this all mean for marketers? The further integration of technology into the physical world creates new consumer interactions that are even more simple and instantaneous. Businesses who were once operating with limited resources can now use the helping hands of AI to operate in places where they previously had no expertise. AI will start a chained reaction of both higher expectations and the opportunity for more personalized marketing.
There is no question that there will be marketing and advertising solutions and resolutions that have not even been thought of yet. And this is the most exciting prospect of the digital landscape.