The notion that you could construct a device that exhibits rational behavior is as old as history. Over the centuries, scientists, philosophers, and other learned men have tried to turn this idea into reality, albeit with very limited success. The closest we got was making lifelike automatons in our own image (one famous example was the Mechanical Turk, later revealed to be a hoax) but their behavior was completely determined by the ingenuity of their creators.
Fast forward a couple of centuries, and the situation changes drastically. With the invention of the digital computer, it became possible to construct machines capable of solving problems previously reserved for the human intellect alone. These machines displayed what we call today artificial intelligence (AI). Their main feature was the ability to reason about the world in a manner similar to what humans are capable of.
Today, artificial intelligence is no longer just a theoretical concept. It is an integral part of modern business operations. An AI can perform a wide variety of tasks, often faster and with more precision than any human reasonably could. As a result, AI has been adopted across multiple industries, including digital marketing. And even within this field, savvy marketers are discovering new uses for AI on a regular basis.
If you want to know more about AI in the context of digital marketing, you’ve come to the right place. In the remainder of this article, we will examine some of the most prominent examples of AI and digital marketing working hand in hand to produce positive business outcomes.
1. Content Generation
Natural language processing (NLP) is a part of AI research that is concerned with the way machines understand human language. One of the areas NLP researchers have been working on lately is natural language generation, the process by which an AI can generate content that reads similar to human written text. And since digital marketing is ultimately based on content, this field of AI research is highly relevant for it. AI-based platforms such as Wordsmith and Quill can already generate reports, data summaries, and other forms of content without direct human intervention. We’ve only started to scratch the surface of what’s possible with NLP tech, and the results are already promising.
2. Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is another way companies have been using AI to improve their bottom line. At its core, predictive analytics is about using machine learning techniques to make predictions about the future based on existing data. In the context of digital marketing, predictive analytics can be used to deduce the likelihood of a given person becoming a customer. Other factors can be predicted as well, such as the price point that is likely to initiate a conversion or the probability that a customer would make additional purchases. Predictive analytics is enabling digital marketers to adopt a more proactive stance when creating marketing campaigns.
3. Intelligent Chatbots
Chatbots are programs designed for communicating with users online. There are many kinds of chatbots, from simple bots that respond in predefined ways to specific user input, to dynamic conversation systems that adjust their output on the fly. And this latter kind often relies on AI to perform its tasks. AI-powered chatbots are virtually indistinguishable from human interlocutors in specific contexts. One example would be customer service chatbots. A customer service chatbot with an AI in the backend can parse customer questions and provide highly accurate answers. Due to the consistency of their output, some customers even prefer chatbots to live customer service representatives.
4. Email Marketing
The effectiveness of modern-day email marketing is based on timely, targeted, and personalized emails. Anything short of this is not likely to produce results. These criteria are not easy to fulfill, unless you throw AI into the mix. AI-powered email automation software relies on machine learning algorithms to score and segment leads according to their probability of conversion. Once they’ve been divided into segments, each group will get further analyzed to determine optimum sending time, and their content preferences. Finally, each lead will receive a personalized template email, courtesy of AI. Email marketing is already one of the most efficient forms of digital marketing, and with the support of AI, it is bound to become even better.
5. Website UX
User experience is the name of the game when it comes to modern web design. Your website will have a hard time converting inbound leads unless it can provide a seamless UX. This is easier said than done. There are a lot of factors that decide whether a given user is going to walk away satisfied. However, with the help of AI, determining what these factors are, and how they should be calibrated, is easier than ever. By analyzing all available data for each visitor, an AI can determine what kind of content they would be interested in, what their design preferences are, and what was the intent behind the search that led them to the site. This makes it much easier to design a UX-focused website.
Towards a Synthesis of Digital Marketing and AI
Digital marketing is one of the earliest adopters of AI technology, and it is easy to see why. The algorithmic, data-driven nature of AI has a lot in common with digital marketing procedures, which also rely on data and automation to produce results. Combining the two is a logical choice, and one that is going to become increasingly common as both fields develop.