When we see artificial intelligence (AI) in modern media, it is always depicted by robots with human emotions, cars that fly and talk to you, and even machines that can predict who is most likely to commit crimes just by scanning faces. Not only are these scenarios possible, but some are well on their way to becoming a reality.
Simply put, AI or Artificial Intelligence is the capacity of machines to learn and become smarter. There are no limits to what AI can do, although not all of its applications are flashy and grandiose. Some work subtly but have a huge impact on our work today.
Take for example the ways AI has changed the marketing business. Navigating the laws of supply and demand, customer satisfaction, brand name retention, and consumer targeting has been a hit or miss before machine learning marketing. Marketing has always been a “human” endeavor because as humans, we should know what other humans want and know how to appeal to it.
But thanks to artificial intelligence marketing, the industry is becoming more and more scientific. Although marketing remains focused on appealing to the human emotion using human creativity, AI has found ways to quantify human wants, desires, and preferences to turn the marketing world upside down.
No matter how fancy big businesses can get, people can’t deny the charm of the mom and pop store. The kind of store that remembers each customer’s first name and ask them about their kids and their pets. If your company is new and small, it is possible to give this kind of personalized service to your customers. However, as your business is growing it might be more difficult to pull off.
Nowadays, customers are known by their customers or Case ID. It’s a shame since consumers today want to experience emotional connections with businesses. But what they get are businesses who are distant and cold. Companies often release features or products that have zero benefits to consumers or come up with advertisements that are tone-deaf. And with some companies, this gap is unintentional - it is difficult to keep tabs on all your customers 24/7.
This is where AI marketing comes in. AI collects data from consumers in an effort to personalize what kind of service it delivers to them. Take, for example, a service like Netflix. Once you sign up for Netflix, it asks you to pick your favorite movie or series from a list. By doing so, it gets an idea of what kind of movies you like. If you’re a new Netflix subscriber, your recommendations may look random at first. However, once you’ve watched a few movies that you like, your recommendations will start to look a bit different.
It may feel as if someone out there is paying attention to what you like and customizing your dashboard according to your tastes. And you’re not wrong - except it’s not someone, but something called artificial intelligence.
Before, marketers had their work cut out for them - agencies required a lot of manpower to launch a new marketing campaign. Companies would conduct surveys and studies to get a feel for the current market and to know their target demographics. They spent hours - even days -looking for relevant data to see which ads worked in the past and which ones did not.
Even after all that research, it’s still a matter of trial and error. Once all the data is gathered, teams would have to brainstorm over the actual creative content. The process usually takes a lot of time, so businesses can’t just launch campaigns on the fly or else their ideas might flop.
AI marketing simplifies the data collection and research process. Because it is continuously learning, it keeps on absorbing relevant data so numbers and statistics are always on hand and updated. Need competitor data? It’s always just a few clicks away. Need a consumer profile of people who regularly visit your website? It’s easy-peasy for AI.
So where does that leave marketers? It gives them more leeway, so they can do what they do best - create. With less time needed for numbers crunching, marketers can focus on brainstorming creative ideas and cool taglines for their next campaign. Because no matter what, this is where humans have an advantage over AI. This is a boon for marketers since it lets them shine in an area where AI can never compete with them - human creativity.
AI also helps cut down the brainstorming process by giving you an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Advertising has always been about going with your gut feeling, and as humans, it’s easier for us to come up with something that other humans can relate to. However, it doesn’t hurt to get help from artificial intelligence.
Coming up with creatives that work isn’t an exact science, but AI can help steer you towards success. Let’s say you’re trying to sell detergent powder. In the dark ages before AI marketing, you had a vague idea of who to sell it to. Maybe you know that it’ll sell particularly well to housewives so you go with a campaign targeting that.
Artificial intelligence marketing can give you so much more. Instead of vague demographics, it can give you the exact pulse of the people. Maybe the data shows that your product is more popular with college teens who live far away from home. Heck, maybe it's popular with single career women aged 25 to 40. The data may say that people like your product because it doesn’t have an overpowering scent or maybe because it comes in a variety of sizes. With AI, your creative juices won’t go to waste because you don’t have to do a lot of guesswork. AI tells you what works so you can create content and design that’s geared towards that particular demographic.
Weirdly enough, a lot of marketing agencies are scared of AI. They think that soon, they won’t be needed because this new technology will do the work for them. At first glance, their concerns may seem legit because AI can automate a lot of tasks and collect data more efficiently than humans can. Does this mean more and more marketers will be out of the job?
Not really, because marketing is an industry that cannot survive without human input. Why? As we’ve pointed out in the previous paragraphs, humans cannot be outdone by AI in terms of creativity. However, AI does make a lot of jobs obsolete or at least require fewer people to get the job done. Instead of devoting an entire thing into tasks like these, you may only need one or two.
But this doesn’t mean fewer jobs for marketers - at least, marketers who know how to keep up with the times. Agencies that refuse to embrace AI and choose manual data gathering and organization, and employ old age tactics to launch marketing campaigns will ultimately be left in the dust. After all, if a client were to choose between a company that can give them their marketing numbers in a few minutes or hours compared to one that needs days to collect the data, I’m sure everyone will choose the former.
AI only shifts the demand from jobs involving manual and low-value tasks, to analytical and creative ones. What do we mean by low-value tasks? These are tasks that take up quite a bit of a person’s workload with little to no value gained. This means manual data collection and organization, field tests and the like.
However, this is good news for marketers, because it makes their job more important. Instead of doing routine, manual work, marketers have a new role - to analyze the data given by AI and turn it into campaigns that will bring success to the company. Low-value tasks don’t require a lot of skill and training but take up a lot of valuable time. Since analyzing AI data and coming up with strategies that are in line with said data require more brainpower and experience, marketers spend a lot less time doing grunt work but get paid more.
In the old days, you come up with creative copy and hope for the best. When companies shoot a commercial, it takes days for them to gather data to see whether or not the concept will be a hit. After the commercial is launched, you wait several days to see if the public likes it. Did sales go up? Are there more consumer inquiries? If yes, then the ad is a success. If the ad is a success, then cool. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board plus wasted money and effort.
Thanks to AI, marketers don’t have to go in blind with every marketing strategy that they do. Before you start working on the script, you already have an idea of what worked before, and what didn’t. AI tells you how your previous campaigns were received, how it impacted your company, and what particular demographic received it the best.
AI has something called predictive technology. No, it can’t see into the future, but it can predict how future campaigns will fare based on previous ones. The machine is constantly learning, so it knows where you made mistakes and what you can do better next time. With AI, you can look at where your competitors’ got it wrong, and what made them successful. As John Maxwell once said,
“It's said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others' mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others' successes.”
Sure, these are just predictions that are dependent on probabilities, but it’s definitely better than going in blind. AB Testing and trial and error are vital parts of marketing, but every marketer knows that each mistake you make means wasted funds, manpower and time.
Are you a startup in an industry dense with competition? Before, a new business butting heads with industry giants is equivalent to corporate suicide. After all, how do you compete with their marketing campaigns when they have all the funding in the world and a team of a dozen or more professionals who are always looking for the best angle on their next ad. Thankfully, it’s different nowadays and entering the market with a new product or service is not as daunting, thanks to AI.
Before, you needed lots of capital, experienced and capable employees and a lot of time to grow your name, reputation and user base. This held back a lot of companies who were small and relatively new because they did not have the funds to embark on huge marketing campaigns and hire experts in the field. Marketing used to be about who had the deepest pockets, but now it’s all about who can best interpret the data that AI provides.
AI doesn’t care if you’re an industry giant or a day-old mom and pop shop. AI is unbiased - its data is accessible to anybody, and you can take full advantage of it. One person can be more successful at marketing compared to an entire agency as long as they know how to interpret AI data and come up with successful marketing campaigns that help grow their consumer base and rake in profits.
Want to start developing your company’s marketing but don’t have the capital for it? No problem! Because we see the true potential of AI marketing, we can use data science to deliver effective marketing strategies that can fit comfortably with your company’s current financial situation.