Artificial Intelligence is changing the way in which organizations innovate and communicate their processes, products and services and drives change in how businesses and governments interact with customers and constituents. This technological has led to a radical revolution of how companies market to customers (both B2C and B2B), causing a disruption in marketing as a way of business.
The Power to Disrupt
Disruption is one of the newest aspects of artificial intelligence that marketers need to not only be aware of, but also find ways to harness. It has been evident in recent years that companies have not only modified their products and services, based on the evolution of their markets and industries, but have had their worlds turned upside down, changing their entire approach. Because of these technological advances, marketers have only two choices: either becoming the force causing the disruption or sit back and react to the disruptive force.
Law of Accelerating Returns
Ray Kurzweil’s theory of The Law of Accelerating Returns proposes that technology accelerates exponentially. This is very true when applied to Artificial Intelligence, as each technological advance in this arena continue to grow faster than the last, and each goal reached exhibits more profound changes than predicted.
How Disruption Affects Marketing
Already making waves in the business world thru big data, IoT and machine learning, Artificial Intelligence is still poised to unfold more power and options. Now that customers are beginning to understand what is on the horizon for Artificial Intelligence, expectations of their experience with it are rising. Here are some of the ways that disruption benefits marketing:
- Personalization. The idea that Artificial Intelligence technologies can be delivered as finished products without further human investment is a recipe for failure. However, why not let the machines do the learning to provide human content at a more personalized level? Using Artificial Intelligence for more targeted tasks such as:
- Aligning content marketing strategy,
- Creating data for tracking customer searches, interests & shopping behavior
- Creating customized campaigns for every lead with deeper segmentation
- Aiding customers throughout the journey, from research, to product selection, to service and support
- Create and fine-tune cross-channel marketing, combining email and social media channels
Instead of customizing individual campaigns, the entire buyer journey could be customized based on the extensive amount of data marketers will have, thanks to deep data and machine learning. In fact, in a study by GumGum, 58% of marketing and advertising executives planned to implement automated personalized content in 2018. Chatbots can interact with customers, and are being improved to increase the ability to sense human emotion and give the feeling of speaking to a human. Previous interactions with customers allow bots to “remember” what they have been told in the past, allowing them to provide personalized interactions. Additionally, having 24-hour customer service can be a deal changer for sales and marketing teams, as well as providing small companies the skills to offer the same service to customers as industry leaders Smaller marketing teams can be successful, with automated lead scoring and optimization already handled, freeing them up to provide personalized service exactly when the lead is ready.
- Predictive Marketing: Big data provides marketers with a growing assortment of details about users, allowing them to provide an equally valuable assortment of information. Gathering data from social media usage also adds to the information necessary to create targeted campaigns. It is a matter of a more complicated, “If A, then B, then C, then D….and so on”, all with minimal (if any) monitoring by humans. The predictive nature provides customers the research already packaged, allowing them to finalize a purchase easier. In fact, a Salesforce survey revealed that 61% of marketers felt that Artificial Intelligence will be successful in helping them deliver the right message, on the right channel, at just the right time.
- Total shift in SEO. The algorithms created by Artificial Intelligence can make SEO obsolete. For example, Google is using its own AI system, RankBrain, to better categorize websites, and this categorization will suit niche sites better, who are less likely to be misclassified then a site in a larger, more general site, like a health services site. This will force site owners to understand exactly what Google is promoting, as there are different mixes of algorithms to measure, from META tag to keywords. This means that the algorithms are customized within each search. TIP: One way to stay abreast of this situation is to keep control of your backlinks, and not allow spammy, somewhat related sites to be on your list.
You Must Have a Change in Thinking to Avoid Disruption
Instead of fearing artificial intelligence, embrace the disruption that it provides. One of the first approaches to master is trust; trust the software to make the decisions. Keep in mind the deep machine learning, the extensive data you will have at your disposal. With few downsides, artificial intelligence has so much to offer: better decision-making, optimized content, personalized customer experience, a more predictive nature, and automation to relieve marketers from the most mundane of marketing tasks.
Prepare for the Risks of Disruption
All this improvement doesn’t come without risks. You must:
- Understand the capabilities and limitations which exist now
- Determine how to evaluate and incorporate AI in your marketing strategy
- Identify how to plan for your future utilizing AI, including preparation for technological advancements
It is too easy to overestimate its abilities today and underestimate its capabilities for tomorrow. Ensure your processes are ready for artificial intelligence, and which tools you can implement today. Develop an interest within your company for the advances which artificial intelligence can provide. Lastly, be sure to experiment with tools, and understand that your focus needs to be on fostering a data-driven culture within your organization. Finally, ensure your team is capable and qualified to undergo a constant loop of training. This will require team members assigned specifically to monitor your networks, requiring new skills & thinking.
Artificial Intelligence can provide hyper-personalization in real time, provide a customized journey, seamlessly connect all aspects of the marketing funnel; instead of fearing the disruption which artificial intelligence brings, welcome it with open arms and a keen eye to be at the head of the game, instead of waiting for the 3rd quarter to jump in!
A strategy utilizing artificial intelligence can be overwhelming. The team at Digital Impact Agency can help your team meet the disruption head on, with a strategy to combine your team’s strengths and our expertise.