AI moves from sci-fi to must-have

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly becoming essential to successful marketing, and is giving rise to a new age of more effective omnichannel campaigns.

By enabling marketing departments to accurately measure and report their contribution to their business’s bottom line, AI’s such as IBM’s Watson* are equipping marketers to drive incremental growth.

eMarketer’s report, Artificial Intelligence for Marketers: The Future Is Already Here, revealed marketing executives’ bullishness on the future of AI, as well as how the technology is already being used.  30.4% of executive surveyed planned to use, or were already using, machine-learning techniques for campaign and sales program optimization. 26.8% were also using AI to dynamically optimize prices, and almost 25% said they planned to use AI for cross-channel analytics, ad targeting and selection, market and customer segmentation.

The competitive advantage of AI comes not only from superior analysis and decision-making.  AI’s also enable speed.

For example, by monitoring competitor prices, AI-driven dynamic pricing systems can detecting and respond to changes in the marketplace much more quickly and efficiently than humans.  They enables marketers to take advantage of short-term gaps in the market without lifting a finger … opportunities that would once have gone undetected and unexploited.

Chatbots are a key area of current AI advance. Virtual customer assistants that can interact in natural language are becoming so effective that humans can no longer reliably detect whether they are dealing with humans or machines.  

Gartner says that, by the end of 2018, customer digital assistants will also recognize customers by face and voice across channels and partners.  That raises the prospect for systems that will recognize us anywhere at any time, drawing upon an enormous database of our previous campaign participation and purchases to create uniquely individual offers.

Other areas that will improve through a shift to AI in the next two years will include:

  • Customer journey analytics
  • Omnichannel marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Lead generation
  • eCommerce and content personalization
  • Social listening
  • Social media marketing

* Disclosure: while the views expressed in The Brandthropologist™ are my own, I am presently employed by IBM Corporation.   




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