The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Updated: April 26, 2023
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

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Working with Digital Marketing is a never-ending effort to better understand an audience and get closer to it. 

In this search, marketers are always finding new technologies and insights on how to use them so they can keep up with ever-changing expectations.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing is one of the most prominent examples of that right now. With strategies focused on data, brands can use the power of machine learning to attract more leads and find the right arguments to convert them.

Want to know how can you introduce it in your work? Let’s talk more about AI in Marketing in the following topics:

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How AI went from sci-fi to Marketing

Artificial Intelligence is a concept that has been in our imaginations even before computers could do anything more than some math — and it took a whole room to do it.

As technology advanced and processing power became cheaper, fiction finally started becoming a reality in recent decades. But it is very different from what we were expecting.

Instead of humanoid robots doing house chores, we have brilliant personal assistants, convenient voice-activated managers, and data analyzers.

And those were not by chance. We are molding AI to become unlike humans, but something more that can help us expand our cognitive capabilities.

What does it have to do with Marketing? The answer is one word only: data. 

Along with processing power, cloud computing, and other storage technologies allowed businesses to gather and structure huge amounts of information, the fuel AI needs to get stronger.

Big Data is a term related to a vast volume of information that no human can fully absorb and analyze. 

Think about all the numbers, indicators, and profiles a Marketing campaign gathers from its prospects’ engagement. 

Imagine the value of seeing the biggest of pictures, while at the same time individually understanding each person in an audience. This is the kind of power only AI can give to an agency, studio, or company.

Machine Learning

A technology capable of balancing personalization and automation that can be used in various parts of a Digital Marketing plan — this is what Artificial Intelligence entails.

And another huge part of it is in a concept called Machine Learning: the ability the software has to use data to learn based on reinforcing patterns

AI got to a point where the code itself can use the information it analyzes to improve its own performance, suggesting new, innovative ways of dealing with resulting insights.

We will see more about what that does in action, but take time to think about what this means in terms of the future of Marketing.

An Intelligence that has exponential knowledge about large groups of people as well as each one of them as individuals. One that can be used to elaborate plans as well as reach each potential lead directly.

The human creativity and feeling for compelling campaigns will not be replaced, but AI gives those professionals a new eye, one that can see way more than our minds can comprehend and digest into practical, innovative ideas.

Why use Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

So let’s get from the field of ideas to a more practical conversation about AI. 

After all, there must be a reason why technology is becoming more prevalent in Marketing businesses around the world, right?

It is not just one of them, but many. The benefits of introducing Artificial Intelligence to managing and executing campaigns are transforming the way we do Marketing. 

Let’s see the main examples!

Dealing with data

This is the most obvious advantage an AI can give to a business in every area, not only Marketing. 

It is part of what is known as Business Intelligence (BI). But let’s talk about our specific scenario trying to get more people to know a brand.

When we look at traditional ways of gathering and analyzing data, the scope is always a little superficial compared with what is possible today. Age, income, some cultural preferences, and basic habits. What if we could go way deeper into that knowledge?

Modern AIs are learning to cross-reference and segment data in a way that brings insights never previously thought possible. 

You have more consistent, richer KPIs that help you make proactive decisions and to create even more relevant buyer personas.

That way, the audience becomes more predictable, as the paths you need to choose to reach them

Think about each little decision you have to make when elaborating a Marketing plan and how you could make this process easier if you had more insights into them and a projection of what happens when choosing each scenario.

AI is a business management tool today. It works for financial decisions and production-related decisions, especially when deciding about more volatile variables such as consumers’ expectations. 

Combining automation and humanization

The balance between reaching a larger audience and still being personalized enough, so each of them feels special, is a tricky one for marketers.

It is a hard task. With each new content you create, you need to think about the appropriate language, the most attractive CTA, what the lead will do after clicking it, how to boost its visibility of it, and all those important decisions that need to be predictable and projected.

A great part of what it means to be a digital marketer right now is not to produce the content itself, but to plan its automation to find the prospect at the perfect time and in the perfect way.

AI can be the solution to that. With machine learning, complex patterns can be analyzed to find new ways of personalizing the delivery of content — keeping it efficient and, at the same time, human.

Communicating easily

Chatbots are the best examples of how Artificial Intelligence is being used in communications, as it is easy to see in action and understand.

The technology enables software to interpret interactions with humans, predict their expectations, and respond accordingly. 

It is used today for basic requests and more direct conversations, but the future of AI-powered communication will soon be commonplace for Marketing.

This will open the doors for virtual influencers and personalized brands that have the autonomy to talk with their customers and create meaningful bonds — all of that based on the decisions made by CMOs who won’t need to manually map these conversations.

Finding trends

If Artificial Intelligence is here to help marketers communicate with their audience, it is also the perfect tool to use the data gathered by these interactions.

As we said, Big Data gives a company the kind of vision that was impossible decades ago. Not only about what is happening with your indicators right now but what they say about the future.

And let’s be honest, it is getting harder every day to predict what the new trends for Marketing are if we just use traditional methods. Expectations change so fast; you can’t wait for them to emerge before getting on board. It might already be too late.

As AI can perceive patterns too complex for our brains, its insights can show you a future before it happens. A niche, a new popular media channel, a new way of communication, or a consuming habit from an upcoming generation. It is pretty much a superpower.

With this knowledge, you can start planning an approach to execute as soon as it is possible. Innovation always comes with a leap, but now you have data as well as faith to count on.

Surprising the audience

This is an interesting complement to the previous topic. If you can project and anticipate trends, you can be a trailblazer and give the audience what they want before they even realize it.

Habits, customs, and desires, all start shy and show themselves in small demonstrations. Then they catch fire. 

Doing Marketing based on data visualization feels exactly like that. It is exciting and obviously rewarding. 

Analyzing your success

Why is a campaign working? Why is it not? Usually, these assessments are part of a marketer’s routine. Your job is to constantly learn from what happened and apply it to the next plan.

In that sense, AI can give you richer information about those indicators and paint a better picture of your success

Things such as which CTA worked better and why, or how a particular message impacted leads’ behavior. Then you can use that knowledge that was invisible in the past to tweak specific details in your next campaign.

What are some examples of AI in Marketing

Now that you are more familiar with the role of AI in Marketing, let’s take a look at what companies are doing with this innovative technology. 

Here are some interesting examples to inspire you!

Nike Makers’ Experience

Nike Makers' Experience

Nike’s example is a great way to show how Artificial Intelligence can be used as a great customer experience and, at the same time, help brands find trends emerging from data.

Nike Makers’ Experience uses the company’s DNA of working closely with athletes to create new models, but now putting the audience in the mix.

The concept studio allows anyone to create personalized Nikes based on dynamic object tracking and projections. Patterns are created using an AI to convert inputs like birth date and interests into visual concepts, customized for each person.

The result is a unique design based on the customers’ history and personality, something that moves purchasing decisions nowadays.

But that is not all. Using machine learning, the company can use the data collected directly from their leads to predict emerging trends. It is a huge win for both sides.

Dell + Persado partnership

Dell + Persado partnership

When we talk about balancing automation and customization to communicate and do Marketing, we are talking exactly about cases such as Persado’s campaign for Dell.

The plan was to use their data-driven AI to create personalized headlines, ads, and newsletters. 

Obviously, all of that is supervised by marketers to tweak and verify the messages being sent out, but without all the hustle of manually writing everything.

After all, Dell is a big company and, more importantly, has too many market segments inside itself. The Intelligence was able to gather all that information on audiences, and goals and tailor them to fit each expectation from their leads and customers. 

The result? A general increase in CTR, including doubling conversions from Facebook Ads.

Starbucks’ personalization

Starbucks' personalization

Starbucks has been a constant example of how to retain customers and invest in loyalty. They do that in many ways, but we want to highlight here the usage of AI in their service experience. 

Since 2016 the company is investing in personalization with AI-based data analysis.

The Starbucks app is the focus. Based on order history, preferences, and habits, the system can automatically send out customized notifications and individual recommendations, and suggest new products that a specific person might like.

That way, they can strengthen the bond between the brand and its audience’s lives and use machine learning to identify emerging patterns

The data can then become insights for products, pricing, and even new marketing plans.

And this is the center of the discussion when we talk about Artificial Intelligence in Marketing. Technology isn’t here to replace marketers or create a whole new way of doing their job. It is a tool that takes creativity to the next level.

Having more data and more insights about it, you can see farther into the future, create innovative ways of communicating, and better understand what makes a campaign work. 

When you combine innovation with knowledge, you are always closer to the audience.

So how about going even deeper and understanding the core of what AI can do for your strategies? Then hear from a specialist! Check out our recorded Webinar Jam Session “Understanding the role of AI in marketing” with Paul Roetzer!


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