There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence is changing the way we work and live. It’s allowing us to develop self-driving cars and food delivery robots. It’s helping doctors diagnose diseases. And it may be the answer in fueling our revived interest in space exploration. Why not also put it to work in marketing?
Just a few short years ago, the concepts of AI, automation, and voice search optimization were just vague concepts that bordered on the brink of fantasy, but as we enter 2020, digital marketers are eagerly learning how to apply the wealth of AI tech to their strategies.
No longer just “ideas,” artificial intelligence and marketing automation are noticeably shifting the way companies stay competitive and changing the priorities of CMOs. Here’s a closer look at some of the top AI trends to watch for and their impact on digital marketing:
AI in Content Creation
More than 50% of marketers believe that creating content is valuable to building brand awareness, yet they struggle to produce content that is engaging and consistent. The good news: AI may be the answer.
Ask any content creator and they’ll agree that content is both an art and a science. And while most of us have mastered the art side, we struggle with the science behind why some content succeeds while other content fails, what people are most attracted to, and what results we can expect. Humans are complicated beings, after all.
And even though we do our best to make sense of content data analytics, we often tend to use our gut feelings when it comes to choosing what to create next.
Tools like Concured and MarketMuse are providing potentially game-changing solutions to the content creation process. From revealing more about search intent, trending topics that drive engagement, and exactly what you need in a content strategy (according to science), marketers can gain a competitive edge and focus their efforts on creating high-value content instead of guessing at the next steps.
It’s hard to talk about content creation without also mentioning the personalized aspect. Studies have found that 42% of consumers get annoyed when their content isn’t personalized, but even more alarming is that impersonal or poorly designed content could prevent up to 66% consumers from purchasing.
In recent years, marketers struggle with delivering personalized experiences at scale, likening the idea to getting to know each and every customer on an individual basis. But AI algorithms can facilitate much of the research process at lightning speed and give audience personalization a much-appreciated boost. This includes understanding customer behaviors, preferences, feedback, and other details that are essential to a personalized experience.
Adobe’s AI personalization touts the core benefits of its solution as being able to scale personalization efforts, reduce marketing risks, improve content relevancy, and ultimately boost ROI and revenue. These benefits can largely be expected from any form of audience personalization, making it one of the biggest opportunities for digital marketers going into 2020.
Last year, Lexus released the first-ever ad scripted solely by AI. IBM Watson reviewed 15 years’ worth of car and luxury brand commercials and campaigns, then picked out the elements that would most likely resonate with viewers.
Though this was largely a PR stunt for AI, it sparked conversations and imaginations that are now curious to see what AI can really do in the world of advertising.
AI in digital advertising may be one of the most successful implementations of its usage. Brands are using AI to identify and segment target audiences, test ad variations, optimize spend, improve ad performance, and even develop the ad creative itself with many seeing positive ROI’s across the board.
The key here is that AI can analyze enormous sets of data better and faster than the human brain, plus it can do so at scale. And while AI may never be able to master the “art” side of creating an ad, it can certainly add value and impact to optimize it for your audience.
Customer experience continues to play an important role in digital marketing, which is often a byproduct of how a brand communicates with its buyers. The use of chatbots as customer service agents isn’t a new trend by any means, but will continue to grow in use and sophistication with AI technologies.
The benefit of an AI-powered bot is its ability to assist customers with roughly the same level of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without the need for a human worker. Though they may not be able to fully replace humans, depending on the nature of the service, they can provide a strong frontline resource to help companies lower their expenses and increase their attentiveness to customers.
So far, bots are being used to identify customer needs, provide troubleshooting tips, answer simple questions, and most notably, create a consistent experience with every user.
The term ‘voice search’ may mark one of the most significant changes to SEO as we know it. As more consumers are using voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, AI is being used to handle these more complex queries and conversations.
This is because people talk differently, both in terms of verbiage and accent. The goal is for our technology to be able to talk back to us and deliver those personalized experiences we crave. It’s conversation with context, and in the near future, some experts believe that we could chat with Siri just as easily as we’d speak with a coworker or friend.
As we transition into more complex technological advancements, it’s prudent to watch for new digital marketing trends as they emerge. If AI lives up to the potential that many marketers are anticipating (and some who are already seeing it in action), there’s no doubt that it will affect the way you do business. Even if you choose not to join the AI and automation ranks, your competitors will — and that will make it easier to see who really has the upper hand.