Automating marketing processes is not a new concept. Marketers continue to use technology to eliminate the need for manual effort in processes such as creating content, segmenting customers, pushing out emails or testing the performance of campaign ads. Even then, many marketing decisions are still not made on hard facts but rather on hypotheses, extrapolation and intuition.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers marketers the hope of accurately understanding their customers and in turn being able to really engage these customers, grow sales and realise solid returns on investment. In an age of big data, AI goes beyond collecting and analysing data; more importantly, this robust technology makes meaning of data therefore helping marketers to address crucial questions in increasingly competitive business landscapes.
Without a doubt, AI technology will have significant implications for digital marketing in more than one way.
BIG DATA, AI AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
For the longest time, marketers have depended on A/B tests to measure the impact of their marketing efforts. While tracking and monitoring conversions and clicks has had its place in digital marketing, fast – changing consumer behaviour demands better, faster and more accurate approaches to gathering and analysing consumer data. In many ways, artificial intelligence offers the hope that marketers will be able to collect more accurate consumer data through means as subtle as facial expressions to determine customers’ reaction towards a product or service.
A thorough understanding of customers’ needs means marketers will be able to deliver better experiences to their customers. AI will enable marketers to ask the right questions and to measure metrics that really matter in terms of alleviating consumers’ pain points.
Today, consumers are increasingly concerned not just with purchasing products but also with the experience and interactions they have with brands. Big data, a key element of AI is set to revolutionise the experiences smart brands create for their customers by making interaction seamless, meaningful and memorable for the end user.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND SEO
With the rise of natural language processing technology, there is no doubt that advances in artificial intelligence technology will continue to bring significant changes to SEO.
Google’s AI, RankBrain, is already having a significant impact on search rankings and this is true especially with natural language processing. Using its AI, Google will rank pages on a 1 to 10 scale so that pages with a score of 10 are considered the best. Such pages would typically have attractive and relevant headlines, consistently strong rates of conversion and high click through rates. All this is in an effort to serve users with the best and most relevant content to address their problems.
Additionally, Google is using its AI to understand both the consumer and marketer’s intent. RankBrain is set to process complex long tail keywords to determine what the user is searching. This way, Google is able to provide users with pages that offer accurate answers to their questions.
From the marketer’s end, RankBrain assesses the message you are intending to convey via your website’s content and evaluates its quality in terms of providing appropriate answers to users’ questions. What implications does this have? According to Gianluca Fiorelli of the Moz Blog, quality content created around a consideration for natural language and long tail keywords will always be a winner. Marketers who will benefit the most are those who will create content with the goal of helping consumers solve specific problems.
EMAIL MARKETING AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
In spite of the boom in social media and the personalised marketing opportunities these channels provide, email continues to be a tried, tested and proven platform for solid ROI for marketers. In fact, studies show that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
So, what does the rise of AI mean for the email marketer? Appropriate segmentation and accurate targeting are vital for any email marketing campaign. AI technology now makes it easier for marketers to segment target audiences more effectively and comprehensively based on where each consumer is on the sales funnel. Acute segmentation and email personalisation means lower bounce rates, high click through rates and equally high conversion rates.
Other than aiding in delivering impressive ROI on marketing efforts, AI technology will continue to help small businesses save on resources as AI will eliminate the need to spend a lot of time and energy on A/B testing email content, subject lines or landing pages.
From conversational commerce, customer segmentation, content creation to natural language processing, artificial intelligence will continue to touch and change numerous aspects of online marketing. Should marketers be worried about what the future holds? On the contrary, AI technology will likely enable businesses to better understand human behaviour and with such an understanding be able to aid consumers in meeting their most pressing needs – this is the essence of contemporary marketing after all.