Despite being a subject that comes up more and more frequently, the concept of artificial intelligence is actually not that well understood by the general public. It is far from being the scary, science fiction scenario that many people imagine. Artificial intelligence or a segment called Machine Learning, simply refers to the use of machines to replicate human intelligence, especially in areas such as learning and problem solving.
AI is fast changing the world as we know it, especially in the areas of business and marketing. Numerous industries have actually been disrupted already by its emergence.
One of the most visible examples of this is Tesla’s current development of self-driving cars, lawtech innovations disrupting law firms, and Bookmark.com disrupting the web design industry with AiDA, it’s Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant that builds a website for you in a matter of minutes.
What does this mean for small business owners and marketers like us? How will the emergence of this new technology change the way we do business and interact with our customers?
How Artificial Intelligence Can Influence the Marketing Landscape
According to Demandbase, 80% of Marketing Executives predict Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize marketing by 2020. The reasons for this are readily apparent. We should all take a look at what’s next for AI in 2018.
AI is capable of processing massive amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take a person. It eliminates the possibility of human error, and it also excels in areas such as scheduling, automating, and providing customer service. We can already see examples of this today, such as Netflix’s ability to suggest what we watch next, and Amazon’s ready suggestions of what products to purchase.
We are indeed living in a very technology-driven world. The ability of humans to plan, analyze data, and make decisions is becoming less and less important, since there are AI tools that can already do those things.
In many ways, this is the perfect time for AI to enter the marketing landscape. AI can perform many of the important skills that make or break a business at a much more efficient rate than humans.
Will this completely overshadow the human element when it comes to making business decisions? Only time will tell.
Let’s look at some examples of how AI will change our world in the near future.
AI Will Automate Decision Making
Every marketer understands the importance of automation, and this is one area where artificial intelligence truly excels. It’s partially what makes it such a game changer.
Whereas most of the automating systems we use now simply collect and process data, AI is able to understand and learn from it. It is then able to use that data to make decisions on its own. This effectively frees us from boring, repetitive tasks and gives us more time to think about our overall business strategy. It also means we no longer have to be concerned about faulty decision making.
AI Will Change Advertising from Art to Science
AI also has the ability to greatly improve our advertising campaigns. Its ability to collect data and learn from it removes all the guesswork involved in creating ads. It will also make them more effective in general.
For instance, AI will have the ability to predict which ads will convert website visitors into paying customers. This means no more tedious A/B testing and no more constantly tweaking ads in an effort to find what works. AI will already know.
Furthermore, AI will greatly reduce the need to plan and schedule every aspect of our ad campaigns. It will be able to perform these duties for us, leaving us to work on more important tasks. Just imagine how much more time will be available during our busy day once we get those repetitive tasks out of the way. The possibilities are endless.
AI Will Optimize Social Calendars and Schedules
The use of artificial intelligence also creates exciting new possibilities when it comes to scheduling our day-to-day lives.
Rather than creating complex timetables and planning every detail of our campaign, we can have an AI program perform these tasks for us. On top of all this, it will also be able to optimize our schedule according to our marketing needs. This eliminates the risk of human error involved in having an intern perform the same tasks.
AI Will Personalize Customer Experience
AI’s potential to customize the experience of our customers is especially exciting. Artificial intelligence has the ability to learn from a customer’s behavior and shopping habits. This means we’ll no longer have to worry about ad placement, as AI will automatically suggest to the customer what else they might want to buy next.
In a large part, this serves to personalize every customer’s shopping experience. It will be able to give them the exact product they are looking for when they want it, and even suggest products they didn’t know they needed.
The implication this has on a business’s ability to find its target audience is truly astounding, and of course, because the customer is kept on the page longer than they intended, sales are also expected to increase.
AI Will Enhance Customer Service
AI’s potential in this area is something we are already familiar with. We have already seen the effect that iPhone’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have had on the world around us. That is only a small sample of what’s in store.
More and more companies are utilizing chatbots to handle the simple, predictable problems that customers are likely to encounter on a regular basis. This effectively removes human customer service professionals from basic, monotonous work and allows them to focus on more complex issues that customers might experience.
Artificial Intelligence is the Future
Artificial intelligence isn’t just going to change the way we do business. It is eventually going to change the world as we know it.
For marketers and small business owners like us, it creates new possibilities that simply didn’t exist before. With this new technology, we will be able to cut down on the boring, repetitive tasks that consume so much of our time and focus on giving our customers what they really want.
AI will help us make better decisions, and it will make shopping easier and more fun for our customers, too. Soon, business leaders are going to be scrambling to make use of this technology, turning the business landscape into a veritable battlefield. For a marketer that wants to remain on the cutting edge, the time to embrace artificial intelligence is indeed now.