AI’s Promise and Challenges for Martech
Our world is on the cusp of an exciting new time. In the coming years, we will witness artificial intelligence as it continues to adapt to different facets of life. This technology will help workflows become more efficient, analyze patterns at an astounding pace, make it easier to communicate, and of course, disrupt many industries.
It’s clear that artificial intelligence will expand at a rate that will affect nearly every person and their workplace at some point, but the change doesn’t have to be a scary one.
In fact, there has never been a better time to embrace artificial intelligence in marketing, as it is still a relatively new technology. As such, using it may give you an edge over your competitors. Although artificial intelligence is powerful and game-changing, it will likely never replace the required oversight and emotional intelligence of a good marketing team.
In this article, we will discuss the ways artificial intelligence is changing marketing and why this marks a positive change. This article will also discuss how metadata can be more revealing than event data itself when collected and analyzed in aggregate, and why making all this data functional is the main strength of AI technology.
How Does AI Optimize Data Analysis?
In 2020, nearly everyone has a digital life, and almost anything can be done or ordered online. All this web surfing that we are engaged in has created a data-saturated environment, with each individual generating an estimated 1.7 MB of data each per day.
Every click we make or words we type paint a broader picture that shows where we are in life and where we are headed. Of course, there are actions we can take to reduce the level of exposure our data has online and to protect our online privacy, but this is not the majority of internet users (yet).
Therefore, the issue with data in marketing is usually not in quality or quantity, but in how quickly and accurately teams can analyze data and create highly targeted marketing campaigns with high ROI.
This is where artificial intelligence comes in. AI technology can quickly sort through large amounts of data and metadata — the data about the data — and highlight patterns and make connections in a way that would take much more time and effort if done by a human team. AI can adjust campaign strategies, re-categorize digital assets, and deliver highly personalized content in real time, giving potential consumers the exact information they need exactly when and where they are looking for it.
Understanding the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing is one of the main reasons companies like Amazon are so successful. With their popular Alexa home assistant serving a dual role as a spy in your household, she is dutifully collecting data to present to Amazon for continual review.
When it comes to business, many companies have successfully made AI a part of their internet infrastructure. One way businesses have done this is by upgrading their phones and emails to simplify business communication and transfer data from those kinds of communication into record systems in order to update or create customer files.
Using an AI solution for your marketing campaigns is like having an employee that works 24/7 and is able to accurately analyze your customer segments and direct them to compelling content every time without skipping a beat. The treasure trove of data and metadata that exists is useless without a dedicated method of powering through the numbers and making real connections between your customer segments and their online data.
With an estimated $235 billion investment in artificial intelligence technology by 2025, marketers can’t afford to ignore this development that is taking the world by storm.
What Can AI Do For The Marketing Industry?
One benefit of using AI in marketing is that it can be very efficient in organizing your digital assets. In many cases, AI can assign appropriate texts and relevant tags to images and blog posts, recognize and provide accurate text descriptions for images and videos, and provide translations for all your content.
Advanced AI is capable of adjusting marketing campaigns to increase ROI if the data being generated indicates that the ads just aren’t receiving the attention they should. For example, let’s say your company has a social media ad campaign and one of your ads is not receiving an adequate click-through rate.
Triggered by the low click-through rate, AI can replace the images on this ad with ones that might be more compelling to the audience and achieve a better result. The AI takes note of this higher-performing image and ranks it higher for use in future campaigns. Most importantly, AI and its ability to provide in-depth analysis of data will enhance the workflow of any marketing team.
Aside from saving time for your team by handling data analysis, AI can pinpoint ways in which your team can augment performance and become more productive. For example, let’s say AI determines that on average it takes your team four weeks to get a brand new social media campaign launched. The cost of compensating your team and the cost of the new campaign are ideally offset by the ROI of the new ads.
AI can then pinpoint areas or strategies that are consistently not contributing to the overall ROI or suggest better ways to organize workflow to maximize ROI. Imagine a world where all the mundane data-crunching is done by robots, freeing up your talented marketing team to focus on the human element of making a connection with the consumer.
Why the Human Element Is Still Needed
Although AI is powerful and will be the make-or-break element in marketing campaigns for the future, it will never be able to fully function without the oversight of humans.
For instance, stories of AI technologies going rogue and creating a PR nightmare by showing sexist or racist tendencies or manipulating users politically make it clear that this technology can only exist hand in hand with the beings that created it. Also, artificial intelligence is unfortunately not immune to hackers.
Despite many internet users taking action to protect their online privacy, it’s clear that the internet will remain a gold mine of user data that is up for grabs. It’s all the more incumbent upon companies deploying the force of AI to make cybersecurity and ethical data practices a part of their routines.
AI is here to stay. As a result, marketers are faced with two choices: dip their toes cautiously in the stream of AI-powered and proven marketing strategies while observing from afar the latest developments, or dive head first into adopting and embracing this game-changing technology.
It’s obvious that AI can bring positive developments for any industry, but only when guided and driven by a professional team. Don’t be afraid of the coming changes in the tech world, but embrace them while being smart about potential drawbacks, challenges, and the need for human oversight.
Gary Stevens is a front-end developer and copywriter who specializes in writing about cybersecurity, blockchain, and tech trends.