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Artificial Intelligence: 4 ways AI is changing the marketing game

Artificial intelligence is the marketer’s new best friend.

For many, the term AI still conjures up images of robot butlers and malicious computer programs. In truth, however, artificial intelligence is already being used all around us, although its potential may not be fully understood by all marketers just yet.  

What exactly is AI?

It’s a fair question (and no it’s not exactly like HAL 9,000). Read this, then pop back over here.

Done? Good.

Now we can get back to looking at how artificial intelligence is changing marketing.

We’re just beginning to realise the possibilities artificial intelligence offers to marketers. But we do already know that there’s almost infinite potential to what AI can bring to the table. AI programs are more efficient, consistent, and far better at tracking data and results than humans. This, in turn, saves companies time and money while also allowing advertisers to be more targeted in their approach to chasing the elusive conversion.

This sounds like a clear win-win-win approach for companies, but AI will also help improve the consumer experience as well.

Here’s how.  

Artificial Intelligence: 4 ways AI is changing the marketing game

 

1) Creating content

via GIPHY

While there have been some entertaining AI language generation fails over the past couple years, there’s no doubt that artificial intelligence will play an increasingly important role in writing and content creation. This is especially true when it comes to content based on data and analytical info. In fact, way back in 2015, Gartner predicted that 20% of business content will be produced by machines by 2018. That’s seven months away… the future is here!

It’s only natural for companies to automate and improve efficiency, and there’s no question machines can do just that while also saving money(robots don’t require regular paychecks).

However, using AI doesn’t just help save time and money it also has the potential to become much better and more efficient at writing than its human counterparts. The email subject lines generated by Phrasee’s AI, for instance, consistently outperform those written by real humans. This has been accomplished through using an AI algorithm that takes hundreds of different aspects into account to predict how audiences are likely to respond.

A real person simply doesn’t have the capacity to look at language, data and potential outcomes in the same way AI can, not to mention pump out content at the speed of light.  

2) Reinventing retail 

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

via GIPHY

More widespread use of AI in retail, especially in online shopping, will increasingly come to benefit both consumers and retailers. In fact, it is already happening. Streamlining retail processes and allowing online experiences to resemble human interactions is helping digital retail make big strides. AI bots can now analyse, respond to and even predict customers’ questions or behaviours. There’s also the potential for streamlining the way consumers discover and interact with products.

We’re already experiencing AI in marketing and sales being driven by machine learning or online learning. Machine learning programs are learning more about consumers and their behaviour by the day. Analysing past customer purchase/behaviour data has allowed some online retail brands to gain a distinct advantage. Amazon’s “recommended purchases” functionality, for example, has been widely credited for as much as a full third of the online retail giant’s sales.

3) Diving deep into data

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“Big data” is now a ubiquitous presence in the marketing business. But, sadly, because of the sheer volume of data that companies can collect, big data isn’t always being put to big use, or at least isn’t being used to its full marketing potential.  

AI has a better capacity to extract customer information and analyse customers’ needs, habits, preference and behaviours and identify key trends. This information can then be used by companies to improve their products, service and delivery both in the future and in real time.

4) Enhancing the consumer experience

via GIPHY

AI can help a company make decisions about future marketing moves, much like a human can. It can also affect a consumer’s experience in real time, which is something a human marketer cannot do.

An obvious example of this is through AI-backed product selectors or recommendations.

We’ve already mentioned how Amazon is cashing in on its AI-powered product recommendations, but a number of other companies, such as 1800-Flowers.com, are also already using artificial intelligence to help online consumers find products or pick out the perfect gift. 1800-Flowers.com’s “gift concierge” can interpret customer questions or requests, ask a series of follow-up questions and then tailor suggestions for the customer’s particular needs based on their answers. At the same time, it also identifies large scale buying trends within the trove of purchase data it collects over time and uses this info to enhance its approach.

This helps provide the customer with immediate, efficient service, generating increased revenue and keeping staff hours to a minimum.

 

Think all this AI automation is still only within reach to some the world’s largest companies?

It’s not.

Last year, Amazon unveiled DSSTNE, its open source AI framework that the company developed for its product recommendation system. Pronounced “destiny”, the framework is available for anyone to use and build upon.

Like we said, the future of marketing is here.

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