The term 'artificial intelligence' means many things to many people and can conjure fear among consumers that the rise of such technology will do everything from replacing jobs to replacing humans, writes Tara DeZao, director, content marketing, Oracle Data Cloud, exclusively for ExchangeWire.
While it may sound ominous and complicated, AI simply describes any technology that simulates human intelligence. For the most common application of AI in our daily lives, look no further than your iPhone: it’s Siri. Voice-enabled technologies have permeated both professional and personal environments in the form of virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, to help simplify the life of the average technologically adept consumer.
When it comes to AI, the use case for the digital marketer is the same, offering simplicity in a sea of complication.
Do more with less
As marketers, our chief complaints are usually lack of scale and lack of proof. We’re constantly being asked to do more with less. Our budgets are the first to be slashed in tough times. We’re required to be on the cutting edge, but rarely are given the tools to be able to stay there. Enter AI.
Think about getting a results read-out from a digital ad campaign. You see that ad placements in the upper right are vastly outperforming all others. You’re limited in that moment to putting your learnings in to practice on the next campaign. AI can process that decision-making loop in real time.
Artificial-intelligence-powered technologies learn like humans and become smarter and more efficient the more data they collect. And collecting and processing vast amounts of data is what AI technologies are designed to do. This includes information highly relevant to digital marketers, like ad placement performance, content optimisation insights, and personalisation. Strategic, data-backed adjustments on the fly translate to a budget savings for marketers by reducing wasted impressions and maximising engagements.
Effectively, AI will kill two birds with one stone. Provide and process a vast amount of data and make decisions for the marketer based on that data.
Deliver better, more consistent consumer experiences
Consumers are inundated with an ever-growing body of digital channels, applications, and devices to engage with. For the marketer, this brings the risk of brand and messaging fragmentation.
The best brands deliver a consistent story about who they are and what value they bring to the consumer. It’s a mammoth, ongoing, and essential task that artificial intelligence will improve. AI technologies give marketers insights about how, where, and when their message is shown.
This means marketers can connect messaging across multiple devices, reinforcing their narrative, delivering it at the time of day that consumers are most likely to interact with it, positioning other products they may be interested in – the list goes on. It also gives marketers more control over the environment where their message is surfaced.
Some of the world’s biggest brands have diverted, or paused, brand messaging on certain platforms due to concerns about their brand being juxtaposed with inappropriate content on page. In the age of social media and screen captures, unintentionally correlating your brand with content not aligned with your brand’s values can lead to a PR nightmare.
For example, if your brand vehemently avoids politics, positioning a brand advertisement on the same page where video content is endorsing a political candidate could damage consumers’ view of your company.
Filter out noise and bad actors
Speaking of risk: Juniper Research estimates that in 2018 advertisers will lose an estimated USD$17bn (£12.9bn) of their marketing budgets to ad fraud – an all time high. A sophisticated network of bad actors is ever presently working to steal your money through digital activities like bot fraud, click farms, spam traps, and fake social media profiles, to name just a few.
While AI can’t help with human-generated malfeasance, like fake social media profiles, it can derail activities related to bots by analysing website traffic, IP addresses, geolocation data, conversion rates, mouse patterns, and ad serving.
All roads lead to AI optimising marketing budgets through scale and safety measures. It’s not just a highly cited trend of 2018. Many marketers have already made AI investments, given that data-driven marketing is now standard for successful marketing teams. Because artificial intelligence enables marketers to boost productivity and improve consumer experiences, marketing organisations that don’t embrace it will swiftly be left behind.