How AI and ML Are Changing Marketing

The world is changing. People are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in their personal and professional lives. Already, organizations are using these technologies to develop areas such as cyber defense, recruitment, healthcare, energy use, risk management, accounting, and a whole host of other applications and functions. Don’t think your digital marketing will remain untouched. You will need to develop your strategies in the AI/ML world to stay competitive.

Four Ways Your Marketing Strategies Will Be Transformed

Organizations are utilizing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to transform their businesses. They are using these two developments in the digital transformation of their businesses. Areas that AI and ML are helping to develop include cyber defense, recruitment, healthcare, energy use, risk management, accounting, and a whole host of other applications and functions. 

In this article, you’ll learn four ways in which AI and ML have the power to transform marketing.

Building a Partnership with Machines

Most humans consider machines to be a threat. Oh, we might be happy to use machines to make our work easier, but we also think that technological advance will destroy jobs. History tells us that this isn’t true. Tens of millions more jobs exist in the United States today than they did, say, 50 years ago, despite all the technology and machines today.

Advances in technology do not destroy jobs. They change the nature of work. More can be done with less effort and in less time. It can be done more intelligently. AI and ML enable companies to analyze big data at scale.

Machines can collect all the data produced, collate it, and churn out conclusions. But this is not enough. Human intelligence is needed to apply the discovered knowledge. For example, if you sell autos and your analysis showed that commercials that were set in the desert performed best with auto-buyers, would you only produce commercials set in the desert?

Machines Simplify Process

Machines also simplify processes. They make you more efficient. They allow you to put marketing strategies into practice faster. For example, you can take the results from thousands of online interactions and learn what pages receive the highest user engagement. You can set up conversion tracking on Google Analytics, and learn:

  • Where your visitors come from

  • What they did on your website

  • How long they did it for

It would take hours and days to analyze this data manually. AI and ML let you do this in real time. Armed with this data, you can shape your marketing strategies and tactics to improve your ROI.

Machines Learn How You Need to Market

Backed with AI, machines have the capacity to answer complex questions, such as “What is the best story to tell?” Machines can uncover customer connections – do they connect with uplifting stories, funny stories, or romance, for example? Machines can learn what structure provides the best conversion rates. They can identify trends as they develop.

What machines don’t do is create marketing from scratch. They help you to optimize your marketing. They help you identify and reach out to your target audience. They help your work more efficiently and deliver results faster. They are partners in your business, not the business itself.

Facebook Messenger and Chatbots

There is a new marketing strategy that is storming the charts – Facebook Messenger ads. Traditional Facebook ads encourage users to click on them (for which you are charged). This directs them to a landing page or other content. That content then attempts to persuade the reader to engage and answer your call to action. Average costs of Facebook ads are high, but conversion rates are low. Often, a single piece of content doesn’t answer what the reader wants to know – and so they disengage. (Read our article “How to Create Effective Content for Inbound Marketing”.)

Facebook Messenger ads work a little differently. Instead of being directed to a landing page, the user is directed to an instant messenger. You get a message from the user, and that allows you to send a message back. You don’t have to pay for more ads. And, Facebook Messenger ads are highly mobile-friendly.

As soon as the user clicks on your Facebook Messenger ad, they opt into your messenger list. You can message them at any time without paying another cent. Now you can drip market to the new contact. But it gets better.

You can ‘watch’ your leads to see what they are viewing online. By utilizing the power of AI and ML, you can create user personas, and then create the content needed that will engage your audience – and message them to help them find it. Add in a chatbot, and you provide a highly interactive experience that engages your target customers in the content they want to receive. The power of this approach is clear. Your conversion rates could explode, while the cost of customer acquisition falls.

Marketing in the Age of Digital Assistants

We are in the age of the digital assistant. Chatbots are commonplace, and voice assistants are entering more homes, offices and factories. Amazon Echo, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana are leading the way. Voice assistants integrate with smart homes, smartphones and smart workplaces.

In the battle for market penetration, organizations cannot ignore digital assistants. SEO strategies will need to evolve. People speak differently to how they write. Marketing strategists and content creators will need to consider key factors when developing their SEO content. Two such factors are:

1. Longtail keywords – these will become more important, as people seek to refine what they ask voice assistants. They will use complete sentences rather than isolated words or phrases as they do on a keyboard. Content that replicates the spoken word of target audiences more closely is likely to dominate.

  • 2. ‘Micro-moments’ – these are likely to increase engagement and conversion. Publishing content that answers these micro-moments will target potential customers with answers to ‘want-to-know’, ‘want-to-go’, ‘want-to-do’ and ‘want to buy’. These are users who are some way down their personal customer journey, and close to buying.

The conclusion is that SEO strategies will remain important to digital marketers, but they will change as the impact of AI and ML evolve the markets in which they operate.

AI/ML for Content Personalization

Could AI and ML replace manual content creation? The signs are that they might, but we are still some way off yet. Some are forecasting that machines will replace human content writers within a few years. Already, natural language generation (NLG) is being used to produce logical and readable text. But it is bland. It doesn’t include the human touch. It has less emotion – and emotion is what sells.

In a recent study, automated writing was found to be less coherent, less pleasant to read, and not as well-written as copy produced by journalists. It was found to be far more boring. Sure, automated content was found to be about as useable as journalists’ content, with about the same accuracy, and almost on a par for ‘interesting’. But do your target customers want to read less well-written, and way more boring content?

This is not to say that in the future content created by a machine will not be completely unrecognizable to content created by a human. But (and this is a big ‘but’) to replace human creativity, AI and machines must be able to think like a human. And that means thinking emotionally. They need to form opinions and express viewpoints, and to analyze data critically.

Machine-generated content informs. Creatively created content sells.

In Summary

AI and ML are reshaping how organizations market in the digital world. They will continue to do so. Digital marketers must be aware of these developments and remain flexible to encompass them in their marketing strategies.

That’s it from me. I’m going to ask my coffee machine to make me a standard flat white. I’ll provide the emotions – the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ that tell another just how good it is.

Do you need help to create your content marketing strategy? To find out more and discover how we help businesses grow, contact BlabberJax today.

In the meantime, tell us what you have found to be your biggest content creation challenges in the comments below. We’ll be happy to get in touch and help you find the solution.


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