Many industries have been revolutionised due to the rise of AI and the field of digital marketing is already in a rapidly evolving stage. AI is becoming more fundamental in the digital world and it has already been incorporated in technologies such as semantic search, voice recognition, face and image recognition and augmented reality - just to name a few.
With that being said, let’s investigate how AI is going to power digital marketing in the near future and become an integral part of it.
We’ll start by discussing big data since it has many challenges to date, and AI has had an enormous supplementary role in overcoming these challenges, whether its data collection, analysis, storage or transfer. Given that AI technologies become more capable, data collection will occur across a variety of platforms which means more complex data integration will take place. AI will therefore collect and analyse user profiles and behaviours closer than ever done before, giving us much greater insight and that is a huge deal!
Based on this, AI can create its very own personalised content and run ad campaigns targeting every individual specifically, rather than the not-so-impressive and relatively generic targeting marketers currently practice. This of course means targeting would become extremely effective and businesses would see higher ROIs. But it also means that automated systems will take over, software will be making greater marketing decisions and less human input is required for analysis, ad targeting, search optimisation and lead generation – just to name a few.
User Experience has always been a crucial factor in any buying decision, and it’s about to get better.
We already know about chatbots, they’re currently being utilised on many online businesses to communicate with customers, answer simple queries and even fulfil orders. Integrating them into websites is as easier as ever, however, there is still a lot to improve.
With semantic and voice search on the rise, any digital marketing specialist will need to understand how chatbots aid in marketing and what chatbots might turn into in the future. Perhaps more focus on voice-bots and less so on chatbots? Siri or Alexa-like assistants on every website?
Even Facebook has incorporated chatbots into its messenger app for customers to message businesses via its personal assistant M. However, Facebook’s personal assistant M is being shut down as it did not live up to expectations, but M will still offer suggestions to users, which is one aspect of the service. The BBC quoted that "there are still very extensive investments going into artificial intelligence at Facebook and further AI-powered services will emerge in future."
Augmented reality is another important aspect of AI and user experience and is currently a very recent development. Implementing a technology like this into businesses online means that customers will have the option to see and feel a product before purchase. This in hand, means that buying decisions will become easier and less product research will need to be made, therefore increasing the revenue for any business which adopts augmented reality.
One example is Ikea, which is one of first businesses to utilise augmented reality allowing their customers to view furniture in actual size, in their own homes before purchasing. This technology is still relatively primitive but digital marketers need to be on a look out for augmented reality as it will change the dynamics of marketing.
Social Media & Image Recognition
Social media has always favoured visual content over text and that’s because social media users prefer so. It is known that any form of posting on social media which includes visual content tends to receive more engagement than only text – no surprise here. In fact, the world population shares over 3 billion images a day according to this research.
Interestingly, Amazon’s latest innovative software is Amazon Rekognition which is an AI-enabled software that allows a detailed description of images, including human faces, animals, emotions, scenery and identify objects!
This technology can indeed be used in various sectors such as banking and security, but let’s stick to digital marketing. How will this technology impact digital marketing?
Well, social media provides a wealth of images, images provide a wealth of information about people – got it?
AI will able to better understand customers, their behaviours, patterns and needs in a way that has never be done before. AI software will be able to extract vital information not only on a personal level but on a generic level such as demographic and geographic information. This will allow AI to deduce important conclusions for businesses and aid in personalised targeting as we discussed earlier.
Take Starbucks as an example. If Starbucks features such technology, they’ll be able to find out what product is consumed where and by who, allowing them to align their marketing strategies for maximal ROI.
AI is the Future - Be Aware
Predicting how AI will exactly impact digital marketing, how quickly people will adopt AI technologies and all the implications that follow is only a matter of educated guesses, though many think they have a solid grasp of the matter in hand.
AI has caused much controversy with some viewing it as a further invasion to privacy whilst others think its simply the key for an easier life. The fact is, AI-enabled software will continue to be developed and improved making it harder for people and marketers to ignore. However, we expect AI to allow customers to understand more about products and services whilst businesses and marketers know more about the customers.
Hence, a keen understanding on AI and how it is shaping the digital marketplace is essential for anyone in the field of digital marketing, because you will need to shape your strategy accordingly.
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