When it comes to the future of digital marketing, it is important to look at the technology behind it. The internet has changed the way we live, and it has changed the way we do business. With the global adoption of the internet, the era of artificial intelligence (AI) has set in. Machines can complement humans. AI is everywhere and it’s not something that we should be afraid of, at least some will argue.
What is AI?
AI is the science of making a machine that can do things that normally need human intelligence to do them. In addition, with AI, we can automate the process of learning and decision making to generate insights that will improve performance. Below are some of the ways in which AI is being applied in digital marketing for businesses.
The use of AI has led to the improvement of many companies’ return on investment (ROI) on marketing. Since the dawn of social media, digital marketing has been one of the principal components in companies’ budgets that want to remain relevant in the current market.
Tech giants such as Facebook and Google have built robust AI tools that can target predetermined segments of audience depending on the business needs. These tools have removed the guesswork in many marketing campaigns. The AI can target a specific audience, set specific objectives and improve on its performance depending on the objective.
AI-driven content marketing
Content-based marketing has proven to be the best way to market a brand. This is evident as more and more companies find more value in it.
With the help of AI, companies can identify what content will be idle for a particular segment of potential customers. AI has also helped figure out the best distribution channels for a particular market segment.
There exist algorithms that help content creators fine-tune their content for maximum reach. For example, headline generation algorithms can optimize your topic for better search engine optimization (SEO) metrics and even open rates for email, the case of Mailchimp.
Many social media platforms use powerful algorithms to curate content for various user profiles. For example, TikTok’s content generation process is so good that it is impossible to get two accounts with matching homepage content. Content curation algorithms sometimes will make you feel that they know better than you know yourself.
Many online shoppers are well-acquainted with personalized product recommendations. The AI can make recommendations based on personal preferences, habits and buying behaviour using predictive analytics.
AI in Customer Relations Management
Using AI, companies can generate, nurture and convert lead using tools such as Hubspot. These tools can point out where the customer is on their journey and then provide insights on how to manage them.
Companies have incorporated chatbot technology to complete their customer relations workforce. Safaricom’s Zuri provides customer assistance on platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Even though they may not be 100% accurate in service delivery right now, these chatbots get better with time.
Starbucks’ Barista bot for Facebook Messenger enables customers to order their favourite drinks just by chatting with the bot. Alexa and Siri (voice assistants) have now made it possible to order items online just by using voice commands.
Enhanced Shopping Experience with Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality is a simulation of a real-world environment where the experience is computer-generated. Using AR, one can build a virtual environment upon a real world environment whilst creating real-time interactions with registered 3D objects of both worlds.
Stores are pushing convenience further for customers by implementing AR in their businesses. For example, TopShop lets its shoppers ‘try’ on products by using AR. Shoppers can see how a particular piece will fit them even without putting on a particular piece of clothing. AR has eliminated the need for a fitting room in these stores.
IKEA, a furniture company, lets its app users try out furniture in their homes without buying the pieces. It is a simple mapping of the room, a click on the piece, and then you can see how it fits!
AI vs Marketers
Will AI replace marketers? Not quite yet. A symbiotic relationship between AI and marketers is the future. AI is only limited to tasks that can be automated for now. Marketers are eventually going to be responsible for the creative part of marketing while AI takes control of all the tasks thereafter. This symbiotic relationship shall exist until AI learns to be creative.
With the rise of machine learning and stronger computing power, the future of AI is limitless, especially in digital marketing. It is more important than ever before to stay on top of the latest technology trends to stay competitive.
Author: Dickson Ndoro