As we all know, digital marketing is a constantly evolving field with new strategies and approaches being adopted each day. One of those emerging strategies is AI marketing.
AI marketing, or artificial intelligence marketing, utilizes intelligence programs and new technologies to make marketing easier.
In this article, we’ll discuss what AI marketing is and give you some examples of what it looks like.
We’ll also help you understand how it works, what tools you can use, what challenges AI faces as it becomes adopted by more and more companies, and what the future of AI marketing holds.
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What is AI Marketing?
Artificial intelligence marketing, often shortened to AI marketing, is a marketing technique that uses artificial intelligence systems to make automated decisions based on collected data and advanced data analysis.
The technology behind artificial intelligence allows users to improve their communication and marketing strategies toward customers with the help of digital tools and personalization.
AI marketing also helps digital marketers do their jobs easily and with more accuracy.
It allows them to focus on tasks that require more human input by taking over certain automation and analyses that can be difficult for humans to accomplish manually.
It helps teams work faster and provide better results for clients.
How to Use AI in Marketing
As we’ve seen, AI is a multi-faceted tool that can help your business achieve goals much faster and more effectively than would be possible through sheer willpower alone. We’ve covered different AI tools and systems that can supercharge your marketing strategy, but how do you go about incorporating AI into your next campaign? Here are some tips:
- Know Your Goals – Many businesses assume that they can just tell an AI program what to do, and it will deliver successful results. However, AI is a tool like anything else – only it can run automatically with minimal oversight. So, instead of just investing in AI programs and seeing what they can do, it’s better to have specific goals in mind and then determine where AI software can have the greatest impact.
- Automate Responsibly – It’s tempting to just hand over the keys to an AI program when it comes to menial tasks and responsibilities. However, without human oversight, AI can easily run amok and start acting inappropriately. So, when utilizing this software, it’s imperative to have a moderator paying attention to the details and reigning in the program when it starts to go beyond its initial objective. Basically, don’t forget to incorporate a system of checks and balances.
- Use Big Data Analysis to Your Advantage – There’s too much information to process manually anymore, but AI can do it in a fraction of the time. Analytical tools can help you adjust your marketing campaign on the fly, so it maintains momentum and doesn’t lose traction. Basically, let AI tell you what your customers and leads are doing and then have your marketing team respond accordingly.
Is It Time to Invest in AI in Marketing?
The short answer is yes, it’s time to invest in AI marketing. Since big businesses are already putting a lot of money into technology, you need to use it to stay competitive. That said, throwing cash at AI programs blindly won’t help your brand get ahead. Instead, you have to recognize where it’s most useful and where traditional tactics are still better.
Over time, as more companies use AI for marketing and other purposes, it will become clearer how the technology can be deployed in different facets of an individual campaign. For now, it’s best to keep a short leash on AI programs and increase your reliance on them incrementally.
How is AI Used in Marketing?
There are numerous ways that AI can be deployed in marketing, such as:
- Lead Generation – AI can tell you where your target customers are, help you find new markets to tap into, and capture leads with automated content and ads.
- SEO – AI can help with keyword research, as well as analyzing your web pages to make sure they’re as optimized as possible based on user history.
- Content Creation – AI works well for ad copy or basic web page copy. You can also use AI to find high-quality writers to generate high-value pieces that will convert more leads. WriterAccess uses the latest AI programs to pair businesses with writers across all industries (and you can get a free two-week trial).
- Analytics – AI is excellent at digesting mountains of information and providing actionable insights. Plus, since these programs are adaptable, they only get smarter and more personalized as users interact with them.
Examples of AI Marketing
AI marketing works in various different ways.
Here are a few examples of what AI marketing looks like and how it functions.
These different examples can help you understand how AI applications in your business can improve your digital marketing program.
Machine learning is the core of AI marketing. Using advanced computer algorithms and digital processing systems, AI tools can analyze incredible amounts of information and provide context to that data.
These tools can also give you guidance on what marketing decisions to make while helping organize and maximize your campaigns to get better returns on investments.
Big Data Analytics
As a marketer, you understand the importance of data in digital marketing.
However, beyond the daily stats and useful information you collect for reporting, there is a large amount of big data collected during every interaction with a customer online.
This data helps us understand our customers’ behaviors and actions, but with so much information being collected, most of it goes unnoticed and unused in a modern marketing setting.
AI marketing helps businesses look through that big data in seconds to provide answers to even the most complicated questions about data analysis.
AI Marketing Ecosystems
Artificial intelligence can be used simply, such as a chatbot application on your website.
However, it can also be used to create a massive digital ecosystem and a central platform that controls all areas of your digital marketing program.
An AI-driven platform will help you gain more marketing insights, make better decisions, and drive better results for your business.
And as AI marketing continues to evolve, the capabilities of these platforms only increase.
Does AI Marketing Actually Work?
The short answer? Yes. AI marketing provides incredible results that were previously unattainable in more classic digital marketing strategies.
AI helps you understand your customers to an extent that manual marketing and analytics can’t reach.
This allows marketers to focus their attention on tasks that require human intervention such as high-level strategy.
Is AI Marketing Legal?
Some people might question the legitimacy of AI marketing, especially when it comes to things like big data and security.
AI marketing is completely legal, provided that the data you collect is collected legally.
That means making sure that you provide opt-out options in your marketing communications, follow all data privacy regulations, and secure the information you collect from hackers or other malicious parties.
If you can do these things, there is no reason why you can’t explore AI marketing.
AI Marketing and SEO
Now that companies like Microsoft are leveraging the power of AI to make search queries more interactive and personalized, it begs the question – how will AI help companies boost their SEO marketing tactics? Here are some ways the technology can make SEO marketing even easier:
- Content Creation Strategy – While there’s a lot of talk about how AI can create content like blog posts and ads, it doesn’t seem to be overtaking the work done by real-life humans. Instead, AI can help companies understand what kind of content users search for the most based on keyword data and search histories. This way, brands can focus their attention only on content that will drive traffic to their landing pages, not just creating pieces and hoping for the best. Alternatively, AI can work well for populating new pages with SEO-friendly text, which can then be punched up by a copywriter.
- SEO Audits and Technical Work – Monitoring and updating SEO elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text is time-consuming and easy to overlook. Fortunately, AI can go in and make the necessary changes to ensure that each page is fully optimized for its target keyword. This way, marketers can spend more time on user engagement and content promotion.
- Keyword Analysis – The key to successful SEO marketing is strong keyword research. AI can look at real-time data, including that from your own website, to ensure that you’re targeting the best keywords for your brand. Plus, these systems can make recommendations on alternative keywords that may be easier to rank for or more lucrative to pursue.
- Workflow Automation – Knowing which keywords to rank for and developing high-ranking content are two objectives separated by tons of menial tasks. AI can automate most of these tasks to streamline the workflow and make it easier for businesses to get more done in less time with fewer people.
AI Marketing Strategy
Developing an AI marketing strategy is a lot simpler than you might think, but it’s also more complex than just telling a program to market your brand on X and Y channels. First, you have to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and then figure out where AI can fit in and streamline various tasks or processes.
There are two primary types of AI programs that can be leveraged for marketing purposes: stand-alone and integrated systems. Both options have pros and cons, and you can use both types of systems within your strategy. Here’s a quick overview of each one and how it works:
- Standalone AI Programs – These are like IBM’s Watson, where the program is untethered to any one brand. However, companies can use the system to create a product by utilizing the AI’s machine learning algorithm. One example of this would be the color discovery app created by Behr paint company. Users enter the mood they’re trying to capture for a room, and the AI-powered app generates results based on those inputs. Not only does the app help users make a decision, but it puts Behr front and center for those users’ paint-related needs.
- Integrated AI Programs – Instead of using a standalone program, you can incorporate AI into your existing web system as a means of adapting to customer tastes and preferences. One example of this would be Netflix’s algorithm, which makes recommendations on what to watch based on a user’s previous watch history. Integrated AI can work well to curate customized content or sales pitches that will resonate with new and existing customers and facilitate stronger brand loyalty.
Overall, you can think of standalone AI as a tool to use for lead generation and acquisition, while integrated AI focuses on conversions and long-term sales.
AI and Advertising
Many big companies are already using AI programs to supercharge their advertising goals, and those that don’t embrace the technology will invariably get left behind. Some of the most powerful ways that AI and advertising can work together include:
- Maximizing Ad Spend – AI can help your business create ads that resonate with your audience better, ensuring that you get the best ROI possible.
- Adjusting Ads Based on User Activity – Do you know when your target customer is going to see your ad? What if you could make sure the ad popped up at the exact moment someone needed your product or service? AI can use big data analysis to ensure your ads get to the right people at the right time with the right message.
- Ad Automation – While you still need a human touch for content marketing, AI can write ad copy pretty well. It doesn’t take much to come up with a catchy slogan or bite-sized message, and AI can streamline this process immensely.
AI Marketing Tools to Use
As AI marketing continues to develop and become more advanced, there are more tools being unlocked and opened up to marketing teams.
Here are a few of the more common tools you might find in AI marketing platforms and how they can help your business grow.
- Data Analysis: One of the best benefits that AI provides is the ability to quickly go through large data sets and analyze it into useful and actionable information for marketing teams. Trying to go through large amounts of data manually makes it hard to come to quick decisions.
- Media Buying: AI can help marketing companies learn the best platforms, times, and placements for advertising, helping you get the most out of your advertising budget and improving your targeting strategies.
- Content Generation: AI can create a wide array of content both small and large. That includes things like blogs, articles, web copy, captions on videos, email subject lines, and social media posts.
- Personalization: AI can help you personalize messages to audiences and ensure that every one of your leads and customers feels appreciated. The personal touch makes a big difference when it comes to marketing success.
- Natural Language Processing: AI uses natural language processes, or NLP, to create conversations similar to human language. This can be used for tools like chatbots and customer service responses to take over repetitive tasks.
- Decision-Making: AI can use its data analysis capabilities to come to conclusions and decisions that are helpful to marketing companies. This can save time and help you learn the best ways to grow your business.
Which Companies Use AI Marketing?
Let’s take a look at some major brands that currently use AI marketing to improve their strategies and help increase the growth of their business.
Here are a few examples:
Amazon uses AI technology to personalize the shopping experience for the massive customer base that uses the platform.
The advanced algorithms used by Amazon AI marketing look at the behavior and purchases of each individual customer and recommend new products or related items based on historical data and customer behavior.
The sports brand Nike has used AI in marketing to help improve its product offering and make customers have better experiences when shopping for the brand.
Nike uses AI to help customers design custom sports equipment like shoes and collects data from those customers to make personalized recommendations for future equipment needs.
The automotive industry has embraced AI for years, most recently in self-driving car technology.
BMW is a leader in this space that uses AI marketing to help engineer better processes and improve customer support in self-driving cars.
In the future, that could lead to things like personalized interior settings for each driver and better car systems.
The beverage giant Starbucks has used AI marketing to improve its customer rewards program and create more personalized customer experiences.
By adding AI marketing tools to the mobile app, Starbucks is able to send customized messages to customers when they are near a store and encourages them to increase their spending with drink recommendations.
The Future of AI in Marketing
AI marketing becomes more and more integrated into digital marketing each year.
In fact, some businesses already use it without realizing it in tools like chatbots or data analysis platforms. AI is continuing to evolve and grow, so investing in AI marketing now allows you to establish practices and understand the platforms as you integrate them into more areas of your business.
The future looks bright for AI marketing, so don’t be afraid to embrace it!
Recently, Microsoft made waves by announcing it would be partnering its search engine Bing with ChatGPT, an AI chatbot created by OpenAI.
Because ChatGPT can answer long-form questions and engage with users by understanding their intent, it made perfect sense to partner with the two technologies for a more user-friendly experience. In fact, to facilitate a smoother integration, Microsoft even created a brand-new program – Prometheus.
While ChatGPT has certainly enhanced Bing’s capabilities, the function is not available everywhere yet. Since the launch, it’s only available when someone uses Bing on Microsoft Edge, in the ultimate display of corporate synergy in action.
While it’s unclear whether programs like ChatGPT will transform the way we search for things on the web, its launch shows just how marketable AI technology is at this point.
What are the Biggest Challenges to AI Marketing Success?
No marketing strategy is without its challenges, and AI marketing is no different.
There are some common issues that pop up with AI marketing that you should be aware of before you implement any type of strategy.
Here are a few of those challenges:
Privacy & Security
Customers want to ensure that their data is protected and secure.
At the same time, more and more government institutions are strengthening laws surrounding big data to protect customers.
As you adopt new AI tools, it is incredibly important to ensure that you are taking the privacy and security of your customers’ information seriously.
There are serious penalties and damages that can occur if you don’t take proper precautions and use AI wisely.
Training and Set-Up
AI tools aren’t out-of-the-box platforms. In order for them to learn, they need to be set up correctly and learn how to accomplish your marketing goals.
This takes time and training, just as it would with a new human employee.
AI tools need to parse through goals, customer profiles, audience behaviors, historical trends, and much more in order to be successful.
Getting buy-in from higher ups is a difficult part of any marketer’s job.
Sometimes it can be hard to explain the benefits of AI marketing and convince your executives that it is worth the investment.
Try to focus on the ROI possibilities with AI marketing and how it can improve the customer experience and, therefore, the brand loyalty of your audiences.
Keeping Up with Changes
Like with most technologies, there are always new changes to AI marketing.
AI can feel like a disruption to normal business practices.
It also represents a change in the workplace, with traditional analysis roles being replaced with machine learning.
That means that marketers might need to adapt their skill sets to other areas.
Implementation & Deployment
It’s important to remember that AI is a relatively new tool that can be used in digital marketing.
That means that new AI platforms and systems don’t have clear guidelines for implementation and deployment.
It also means it might take time for your teams to understand how to use the platform and how to use it in a business setting.
In order to be successful, digital marketing needs to adapt and evolve over time to remain relevant and bring customers the best experiences.
AI helps you understand your customers better and provide better marketing to your core demographics.
Once you understand that AI marketing is here to stay, you can explore the different ways it can improve your marketing strategies. Try WriterAccess, the freelancers marketplace that combines AI technology to connect businesses with the best talent.