From Siri and Alexa to intelligent vehicles and Barbie dolls, that converse with children, Artifical Intelligence is everywhere.
It has revolutionized industries like manufacturing and retail operations and tremendously improved their output and productivity.
And now it’s making an impact on the digital marketing world.
If you’re not sure what AI is, let me describe it to you in layman terms.
It’s an intelligent computer system that collects data about user habits, preferences and keeps evolving its algorithms to improve its efficiency and output.
As a digital marketer, you should be excited and scared of the inevitable AI revolution.
You should be excited because it promises to offer numerous new opportunities to help you understand your audience and create more precise messaging that results in higher conversion rates.
A study found that 85% of marketers think AI will have a huge impact on their roles in the next 5 years.
But the same study found that nearly 54% of marketers think they don’t understand AI. Clearly, if you don’t evolve with the coming changes, your skillset can go obsolete very quickly leaving you with very few career options.
Here are a few ways Artificial Intelligence is changing the digital marketing landscape.
1. Automated and Intelligent Content Creation
Content creation is among the primary responsibilities of most digital marketers.
But did you know that news sites like The New York Times, Bloomberg, and BBC have been publishing AI-powered content, completely written by automated bots, for a few years now?
AI content has literally replaced hundreds of reporters and journalists throughout the world and it’s only just the beginning. It’s safe to assume that most of the online content in the near future will be generated by intelligent algorithms.
These systems, however, are still not intelligent enough to create fresh opinion pieces or report incidents from a human angle. They learn from past trends to predict the future, so they can’t push new ideas or provide thought leadership. Which is why creative writers and journalists will always stay in demand (at least for the foreseeable future).
But the cost-benefit of such systems over a real writer is so high that businesses throughout the world will struggle to fight the temptation to replace their staff with an automated content creator even with all its limitations.
2. Advanced User Targeting With Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is an amazing example of how artificial intelligence is helping digital marketers create more efficient campaigns.
It’s a form of advertising that uses machine learning to find the best target audience for your product based on their interests and behavior at the most optimized cost.
Unlike manual bidding on advertisements, programmatic advertising uses real-time bidding and adjusts the rate based on your preferences. This keeps you in control of your campaign costs and direction.
Even large publications are taking advantage of this advanced advertising methodology.
For example, The Economist generated 650K leads from a targeted campaign that engaged more than 3.6 million people and gave them an ROI of 10:1 for a campaign budget of 1.2 million Euros.
All thanks to programmatic advertising that identified their most “intellectually-curious” readers and automatically showed them the articles that matched their interests.
In short, this fast-growing AI based advertising method might soon make the conventional “Ad Buyer” completely irrelevant.
3. Laser-Focused Email Marketing Customized for Every User
Email marketing is among the most crucial digital marketing activities and a necessary skill for every modern marketer. According to Litmus, email marketing has a staggering ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.
But AI-powered email marketing is making this already profitable marketing technique even better.
Using machine learning, modern email marketing tools can analyze the behaviors of individual subscribers on your list and personalize everything from your email’s content and delivery time to subject lines and sending frequency.
They can automatically create audience segments and A/B test the different aspects of your campaign to identify the most optimized content and workflow.
According to a survey, 62.27% of North American consumers agreed that they’re likely to respond favorably to personalized emails by retailers
With so much noise and direct advertising on the internet, personalized campaigns can dramatically increase an organization’s marketing efficiency and help it create a stronger bond with its subscriber base.
4. Superior Customer Service With AI Chatbots
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or haven’t used Facebook (which basically means the same thing) you must’ve interacted with an automated messenger chatbot even without realizing it.
And it’s not just Facebook either.
Thousands of e-commerce portals, retailers and service companies are now actively using AI-powered chatbots on their websites for customer service, initial customer engagement, and even for advanced issue resolution.
And trust me, it can be hard to differentiate between a normal human and a modern-day chatbot because of its conversational tone and witty responses.
Perhaps this is why a study by Oracle shows that more than 80% of businesses would want to invest in chatbots by 2020.
With time, as these bots gather more data about individual users and their preferences, their performance and conversations become even better.
How To Upgrade Your Digital Marketing Skillset in the AI Age
Change is the only constant in this world.
And there’s little doubt that things in the digital marketing world are changing fast thanks mainly to artificial intelligence and machine learning.
If you’re prepared to embrace this change, it offers amazing new opportunities for you as an individual marketer and the companies you work for.
For this, you need to constantly upgrade your skillset to stay in sync with the latest AI developments in the digital marketing world.
You’re a marketer so you don’t necessarily need to learn the technical aspects of AI like building algorithms or developing new tools.
But you must be able to interpret the data they gather and how it can be applied to your strategy. You need to learn Data Science, a field closely associated with AI, to understand how user data can be used to create more informed campaigns that align with user interests and have a higher chance of succeeding.
If you’re interested in learning, there are lots of free and premium online resources that’ll tell you everything about marketing and AI.
For example, Google Ads Academy is a great place to start since it takes you from the very basics of online marketing to the very advanced targeted advertising programs. Google also recently published a mammoth guide on how marketers can use machine learning to their advantage.
Facebook Blueprint is another premium learning platform where you can study the latest advertising practices being applied at Facebook and understand how you can craft more effective advertising campaigns.
Then there are platforms like Coursera and edX where you can learn the latest Data Science, AI and Digital Marketing courses offered by some of the best universities in the world. Globally renowned institutes like Maryville University even offer complete Master’s Degree Programs in Data Science that you can pursue from anywhere in the world. If you’re looking for informal ways to learn Data Science and AI as a digital marketer, you can also follow the blogs of the top AI companies and marketers with just a few searches on Google.
Are You Ready for the Age of AI in Digital Marketing?
It’s already here.
The question is whether you’re prepared to embrace it, evolve with it, and grow your skillset to become a more useful marketer.
With all the free resources available on the internet and the amount of content being published on the various aspects of the relationship between AI and digital marketing, there’s no shortage of guidance and practical knowledge.
All you need is the hunger to learn and grow.