If there’s any topic that’s hot in tech right now, it’s artificial intelligence. You’re perhaps already a frequent use of AI tools thanks to Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant or Cortana being just a tap (or hotword) away.
While the AI revolution is often discussed in tech circles, businesses are surprisingly slow at adopting new technology for their marketing efforts. Oracle found that only 31% of companies polled are using marketing technology to manage their campaigns, and only 10% are using it to improve their customer experience.
With new possibilities opening for marketing thanks to artificial intelligence, it’s time for marketers to play some catch up. Machine learning and natural language processing will help businesses learn about their customers, focus on their needs and even build content and communities. To remain competitive, businesses will have to incorporate artificial intelligence tools into their workflow.
The Humble Beginnings of AI Marketing
To get a feel for what changes AI does offer, let’s consider its older sibling: the algorithm. It’s clear how algorithms control the information flow around us: search rankings, media recommendations, social network feeds—even stock market trading is ruled by them.
Artificial intelligence marketing takes things one step further than SEO practices and the like: with machine learning, AI can learn and change algorithms to work more efficiently. This means that as you use an AI-powered app, it becomes better at its job. And thanks to natural language processing, users can interact with artificial intelligence based tools just as they would with a human.
How Marketing with Artificial Intelligence Helps Consumers
Artificial intelligence is most useful for consumers by always being on and readily accessible. Most AI tools that help customers are available on multiple platforms, typically messaging apps. Other AI projects, like IBM’s Watson, power a variety of smart services (such as retail apps) through their APIs.
Perhaps the best use of AI for marketing is to learn customers’ needs and offer information based on it. Macy’s On Call is one such retail app powered by Watson that helps customers find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Users can ask it questions in English or Spanish about store stock and. The app provides one-to-one, personalized to each customer who uses it—and gets more accurate with every query.
In the customer service and travel industry, Hilton McLean enlisted a concierge bot that answers questions and suggests local attractions they might want to check out. It works alongside team members—which means it doesn’t replace existing ones! Like Macy’s app, the bot empowers customers to make decisions according to their wants and needs.
This is the key detail: these apps empower customers rather than feed them a sales pitch. Understanding this need to provide personalized value is essential for observing artificial intelligence’s effect on marketing.
How Marketing AI Tools Can Help You
One can imagine how such applications can connect customers to more relevant products and services. The difference between these services and the old marketing model is that it’s a two-way conversation: customers have a need, AI helps you meet those needs, and feedback is provided to make the service better.
The old model—even when informed by algorithms to target an audience—is one-way. You can work to design a compelling ad or piece of content for a demographic, but you won’t know precisely why it works—or doesn’t work—until making a retrospective analysis after the fact. AI tools for marketing can find the perfect product or service for a given situation, whereas the current model of marketing is akin to throwing a message in a bottle: you can try to aim for a certain audience, but you’re still subject to unpredictable tides.
Marketing with artificial intelligence empowers marketers to understand their customers on an intimate level. By assessing market trends, artificial intelligence can use predictive analysis to model future actions and behavior. This in turn helps you better target a demographic. Imagine a future technology that can give feedback in real time on what is and isn’t working in an ad campaign. That future may not be far off!
Artificial Intelligence Marketing Tools You Can Try
If you want to remain competitive, you’ll need to keep abreast with the latest technological developments. AI not only helps customers find what they need, but can help you create compelling content and communities to forge better relationships with them.
We’re no stranger to communities; Smart Moderation, our artificial intelligence tool, empowers community managers to keep their fans safe and increase engagement each day. With natural language processing, our AI comment moderation tool detects sentiment and erases abusive content that breaks community guidelines. This in turn frees up time for human agents to act upon engagement swiftly, allowing for a better business-fan relationship and an overall safer and happier community.
We’re a little biased, but we think it shows one of many solutions for how artificial intelligence can revolutionize how brands conduct themselves online. You can learn more about it here.
AI can help you research and produce content, too. GrowthBot is a Slack-enabled digital assistant that makes it easy to find information you need for content generation, sizing up competition and generating leads. It also integrates with Facebook Messenger and Twitter direct messages. There’s lots you can do with it:
- Ask for top articles on a given task
- Connect with Google Analytics or HubSpot
- Show top posts on a given website
- Seek out prospective customers
Simply ask it a question as you would a human.
The digital marketing team of the future will work in concert with a whole suite of artificial intelligences and bots to get their work done efficiently and quickly. Are you itching to discover more apps showing off artificial intelligence’s effect on marketing? Check out the AI category on Product Hunt for a frequently updated collection of the hottest AI tools, apps and bots.
Did We Miss Something?
We’re only human (hah!), so we can’t mention every awesome AI marketing tool. Is there one your team swears by? We want to hear it! Let us know your favorites in the comments below.