5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Boosts Marketing
Among the many MarTech tools available to marketers today, artificial intelligence is one of the most prominent. AI is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks typically done by humans — such as creating content, recognizing speech, analyzing data and making decisions based on that data. Computerizing these tasks and many others means companies can more quickly and efficiently identify and interact with customers, saving them time and money on labor-intensive projects.
Companies across industries have used AI in new, innovative ways. Here are five examples of how marketers across industries can use this burgeoning technology.
- A/B campaign testing
For years, A/B testing has been the go-to method of optimizing marketing campaigns. However, the process can be laborious. Designing multiple versions of campaigns, analyzing the results of each and designing new campaigns based on those results takes immense time. AI makes the process significantly faster. Various AI tools can write content, test different versions of that content, analyze data and write new content based on the results.
Example: Virgin Airlines used the AI tool Phrasee to write and test countless subject lines for email campaigns. The tool tested each subject line to continually define what worked best, ultimately increasing open rates by 2 percent and earning the company millions of dollars in revenue. By assigning subject line writing and testing to an AI tool, Virgin was able to invest the time saved into new marketing projects.
- Real-time conversations
Chatbots are becoming increasingly common on company websites. If you’ve entered a website and had a message pop up greeting you and asking if you needed help finding anything, it was likely a bot. These bots often have names and are programmed to sound like humans, but they use thousands of data points to tailor the conversation to each customer. At first, bots were primarily used to help customers find answers to their questions, such as “What is the return policy?” However, bots are getting more advanced and now using creative tactics to generate sales.
Example: Sephora uses the message app Kik to quiz customers about their makeup preferences. If a user is looking for lipstick, the bot asks what qualities of the lipstick are most important, whether it be “Has color pigment like whoa,” “Will. Not. Smudge. Ever.” or “Doesn’t leave lips thirsty.” The bot then uses customers’ responses to direct them to the lipstick that fits their needs.
- Product and content recommendations
Anyone who has shopped online or read news articles digitally has experienced product and content recommendations. If you viewed or purchased a jacket, a website might tell you what other people who bought that jacket also purchased. If you read an article about Jimmy Fallon’s most recent show, a website might suggest you read articles about other late-night shows.
Product and content recommendations increase the amount of time and engagement on websites. Now, AI tools can analyze a user’s data and viewing history to tailor recommendations even more effectively.
Example: Spotify recently announced that it will make personalized playlists even more tailored to individual users with AI tools. Previously, users received playlists made for them based on their interests, but playlists were the same for users who liked certain genres. New AI algorithms will allow for more individualized playlists specific to each user’s music preferences.
- Visual search
A still-developing use of AI is visual search, which allows computer programs to find results that are visually similar to others just as they would with text-based material. Visual search has many uses. It can further improve product recommendations, and it can allow users to upload images of products they like in order to find similar products on a specific company’s website.
Example: ASOS created StyleMatch, which allows users to upload images of products they have or like and search the brand’s catalog for similar items.
- Social listening and analysis
A key aspect of marketing is being ahead of the social conversation. It’s always preferable to understand customers’ wants and needs earlier rather than later and to solve a problem while it’s small rather than fending off a huge PR crisis. AI enables marketers to get ahead of social conversation by performing social listening and analysis. AI programs can monitor social conversation around a product — for example, by analyzing Tweets that mention a company or product — and inform marketers on what campaigns to develop or issues to address.
Example: Samsung’s AI tool detected negative Twitter conversation about a new phone’s red-tinted display. Samsung quickly alerted customers to the issue and notified them it would be solved, preventing the problem from hurting the company’s image or sales.
There are countless other ways AI can enhance marketing efforts. With new discoveries being made about the technology each week, the opportunities to use it in marketing will only continue to grow — meaning the opportunities to improve your company’s marketing tactics are limitless.