It seems like suddenly everyone is talking about artificial intelligence (AI). It’s all over the news now, and there is much discussion about both its benefits and risks. It may seem like it’s all new, but AI is not a toggle switch that was suddenly turned on one day this year. AI is everywhere and has been around far longer than most of us have been aware. In this post, we’re going to look at how AI is used in marketing.
Ever think about how Instagram shows you reels based on your past views? YouTube does the same. Amazon makes recommendations based on your browsing and purchase history. How about that annoying auto-correct on your phone that changes what you type when you’re not paying attention? By the newest standard, that is old hat AI, but nonetheless it is AI. Lately, significant advances have been made that increased the power of these learning algorithms exponentially. The new tools Chat GPT, BARD and Well-said are examples widely covered in the media.
Why are businesses so interested?
There are a wide variety of uses for AI in the business space, from project management to customer service. It might be helpful to take a quick survey of places where AI is being deployed, but before looking at examples, let’s discuss why use AI in any area at all?
Given technology, any organization has the capacity to collect an enormous amount of data on almost any subject. This data can be used to do many things, but there is so much of it! We have a limited capacity to see patterns and synthesize, but AI has the capacity to do that well. Three examples follow.
Demand forecasting in retail
Who doesn’t want the magic formula to decide how much to stock for each season? Just observing how much sold this month last year isn’t a sufficient predictor. What about the weather? Bad economic news? Construction on a nearby road that is now finished this year? The endless factors that may influence buying decisions can be used to forecast demand more accurately.
Disease screening in healthcare
AI has the capacity to analyze volumes of data to identify markers of certain conditions and aid health professionals in quicker diagnosis and more effective treatment. Like much else, there are ethical issues that can make AI a complex tool, but there is much potential.
Like other areas, you probably collect more information about your customers than you can put to good use. So, why did they leave? You may have the answer, but it might be a calculus of many factors. AI can help identify all of the issues that may have led a customer to leave. Without AI, you may incorrectly attribute it to one single factor.
Why are marketers so interested?
AI has potential applications in the marketing end of any business, large or small. Marketers, in particular, may find AI useful in these three general categories:
Collecting Data about prospective customers
Even small businesses can collect a significant amount of data. AI can allow you to analyze that data. No matter how much data you collect, it is useless unless you can synthesize it, see patterns and make use of that information. The human capacity to make sense of the massive amount of data we collect is limited.
Using data to market more effectively
Even the most novice marketer knows that the more you know about each prospect the easier it will be to customize content to them. The more you know their needs, the more you can demonstrate how your product or service meets those needs. AI allows you to do more with the data you collect; making sense of it so you can use it.
Generating the right message
AI may be also able, to a certain degree, assist you in creating the messaging to reach your prospect. However, it is important to recognize that AI is not all knowing or without faults. Always review and verify any content.
In short, AI may offer you some new tools to more effectively market without expanding your present marketing resources.