Digital marketing with artificial intelligence (AI) is rising, with the global AI market expected to quadruple over the next five years.
While some companies were early adopters and have already started using AI for their digital marketing, many are still reluctant to dive into this technology.
Like any other marketing strategy, a strong understanding of how digital marketing in AI works and where it can be the most effective for your company is the best place to start.
However, before you can even decide what sort of digital marketing with AI might be suitable for your company, you need to get up to speed on the basics.
What is AI, exactly?
Before we dive into the finer points of digital marketing with AI, we should explore the terminology.
At its most basic level, AI uses machines to simulate human intelligence, which is then leveraged to solve specific problems. In digital marketing with AI, that intelligence is used in various ways to improve the customer journey.
There are two key types of AI that we see in the marketing space:
Task automation requires low-level intelligence from the machine to perform repeatable, structured tasks. A predetermined set of rules or sequences are provided, then the AI works within those parameters. An example of this would be a website chatbot which is designed to answer frequently asked questions from customers.
Machine learning is a more evolved version of AI, where the machine is trained to make decisions and predictions based on what it has learned from large swaths of data. This can be incredibly effective when it comes to activities related to customer relationship management, as it can be leveraged for everything from customer segmentation to personalization.
Each of these two types of AI can function by standing alone or integrating within applications.
Standalone applications operate independently of all your other applications, whereas integrated applications are designed to be embedded in existing systems.
Integrated applications tend to be favored for digital marketing with AI. When they are combined with the intelligence of task automation or machine learning, they can make decisions and recommendations at the moment — like when Netflix decides which movies or tv shows you might like based on your history.
Pros and Cons of AI in Marketing
Like any other kind of technology, digital marketing with AI has both benefits and drawbacks.
On the “pro” side of the column, there’s no question that automation can save your company time and money. It lowers the time it takes to complete a task, which in turn frees up your resources for other things. It can also operate around the clock without taking a break, maximizing opportunities for output.
For task completion, there’s also the opportunity to reduce errors. Humans are, well, human, and that means mistakes are made. While a machine isn’t perfect, the level of accuracy will be high while also picking up on errors that may not be caught by a person.
One of the biggest draws for leveraging digital marketing with AI is the ability to personalize. According to a 2020 study by Salesforce, 66% of customers expect a company to understand their wants and needs.
AI gets to know your customers — what they buy, where they click on your website, and more. Then, it takes that knowledge to make specific recommendations for them. This level of personalization can go a long way towards building your customer’s loyalty as it shows them you are paying attention.
On the “con” side of the list, there’s no question that AI lacks the human touch. While it can be a great supplement it’s not a substitute for people.
Think about the content created for your company — web pages, blogs, social media, etc. While digital marketing with AI could absolutely help you with idea generation and creating drafts, relying solely on a machine to get the right tone and nuance isn’t likely going to produce the quality of content you want to deliver.
Additionally, while chatbots are an excellent resource for many businesses, sometimes a machine can’t solve a complex problem or answer a highly specific question. You still need people to do that!
There’s also the challenge of configuring workflows. If you want to automate tasks, there will need to be a significant time investment to build out those workflows, so they are accurate and effective. The machine needs to be fed intelligence, and somebody needs to have the know-how to do it.
Digital marketing with AI also means dealing with third-party platforms, which means you’re reliant on someone else for everything to run properly. Since we’re so dependent on tech already, this isn’t always a big deal, but it’s something to consider if you’re in the market for AI apps. You’ll want to carefully consider what kind of support and response you will receive from your provider.
Last but not least, the issue of privacy and security of your customer’s data (which should always be a top priority) can be a concern with AI. Machine learning is all about mining data to get information, so it raises questions about how much digging into people’s personal information is appropriate.
Leveraging Digital Marketing with AI
There are many ways to incorporate digital marketing with AI into your overall strategy, and the technology is still evolving rapidly. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the more common uses we currently see in the marketing space.
Great content marketing starts with a robust strategy, and AI can help you map that out. Automated content generation is gaining popularity, helping writers generate topics and create first drafts.
In late 2022, ChatGPT entered the market, and the tool has gotten immense traction quickly. Created by AI research company OpenAI, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that allows users to have human-like conversations with a chatbot.
Currently, ChatGPT is dominating the market conversation regarding AI content creation, and while it can be helpful, it isn’t a replacement for human-generated content.
It can also be leveraged to capitalize on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) opportunities, helping your content rank higher on Google search and generating more organic traffic to your website.
As mentioned earlier, segmentation and personalization are big pluses for digital marketing with AI. The intelligence that AI generates can tell you how to optimize your marketing ads, ensuring you’re putting the right ads in front of the right people in the right places. By having your ads more effectively targeted, you’re increasing your opportunities for a better return on investment.
By leveraging the data collected by AI technology, certain AI systems can create the ads for your business. This functionality already exists in certain platforms used for social media ads. Based on what you’re currently promoting and the traffic generated, AI technology can then make assumptions about which ads should be generated based on the platform.
Predictive Analytics and Behavior Analysis
The field of data science has exploded over the past decade, and with good reason — data offers a wealth of knowledge if you know what to look for. Leveraging AI allows you to get deep insight into your customers, which not only allows you to create a more personalized experience, but also to predict what they might do next.
One of the most visible places you can see these analytics at work is on streaming apps. Over time, the algorithm captures the type of things you like to watch and will start making suggestions for similar content.
Another place you’ve probably seen this in action is on product websites. As you browse their site and shop, it’s gathering data on you to make recommendations for the next time you visit.
Being a few steps ahead of what your customers want now and, in the future, provides greater opportunities to meet their needs and build your brand loyalty in the process.
Chatbots have been around for years now, but with the way technology has evolved, they’re now more than just customer service reps. They can engage visitors the minute they get on your website, creating new ways to generate leads and increase sales.
Plus, chatbots can improve your customer’s experience by offering real-time support and engaging in conversational marketing. These conversations can gather additional insights into your customers, which can be leveraged when creating future marketing strategies.
For an example of how chatbots are being leveraged, you can visit almost any website these days and expect a pop-up from a chatbot asking if they can help, or if you have questions.
As a business leveraging this technology, using chatbots can help reduce labor costs by lowering the number of customer calls. It can also build customer confidence and encourage additional purchases because they can get questions answered in real time.
Is Digital Marketing with AI Right for Your Company?
Now that you have a better understanding of digital marketing with AI, you may be wondering whether there are some opportunities for you to incorporate AI into your own marketing.
To help you prioritize what your needs are, ask these questions:
- Where’s the greatest opportunity for impact on your business?
- What goals — like increasing revenue or reducing costs — are you looking to accomplish, and how can AI help?
- Which resources (team members) do you need to free up to work on more strategic tasks? What repetitive tasks are they currently doing?
At this point, it’s clear digital marketing with AI is here to stay and there are enough benefits that make it worth considering if you have an opportunity to leverage it within your company.
Wondering which digital marketing for AI strategies your company should adopt for 2023? Marketing2Connect would love to help.
Please contact us to get started.