It's hard to read anything these days that doesn't mention artificial intelligence (AI). AI is used for face recognition in our mobile, it's helping health care workers battle COVID-19 and it's even being used to write original movie scripts.
AI is also being used by marketers in increasing numbers. A recent survey shows that more marketing professionals are using AI in 2020 for a wide variety of tasks including optimisation and testing, personalisation and email marketing.
Yet, many marketers are still in the dark about AI. They are unsure what AI is, how to apply it to their marketing and what benefits they should expect from adopting it.
To help out, ClickInsights recently held a webinar with Oracle entitled, AI-Driven Marketing in 2020 which provided listeners with both an overview of AI as well as examples of how marketers are using the technology to improve results.
Below are 3 highlights from the webinar, but you can see the entire 1-hour recording here.
1) Artificial intelligence works by learning patterns and applying them at scale
In the webinar, I give a basic explanation of AI works by showing how image recognition systems are built.
First, an AI engine is trained with thousands of labelled photos, say of 'people' and 'cars'. The AI engine is then tested with new images and given positive reinforcement for correct labelling and negative reinforcement if it categorizes a photo incorrectly.
Over time, an AI system is able to discern a wide variety of patterns in its area of expertise and, as a result, is able to automate repetitive and labour-intensive tasks - and be applied in a wide variety of contexts.
For marketing, a system may be trained to recognize images and text and then 'auto-tag' and then organise marketing material so that they can be found easily by other marketers in an organisation.
2) AI can be used to attract, persuade and retain customers
Marketing applications for AI go far beyond organising creative resources though, explains Lisa Collins, Director of Strategy Oracle CX, APAC.
Marketers who are interested in understanding AI should instead look at everything marketing aims to achieve and it is quite likely that AI will be able to help.
For example, AI can help companies attract customers by watching consumer behaviour on websites and ensuring that they see content and offers which are personalised for them.
Additionally, AI can help persuade customers to by monitoring the customer journey and providing the information that the customer needs at each step, orchestrating their journey and smoothing the flow between touchpoints.
Finally, marketers can leverage AI to retain existing customers by recording their interaction history and identifying timely opportunities to engage with them either with promotions or a special offer.
3) The time may be right for an 'AI reset' in your organisation
As organisations struggle to onboard new technology quickly, it is possible that marketers at many companies are finding it difficult to adopt new technology like AI.
This, unfortunately, it not surprising. In the chart below designed by Scott Brinker, we see that technology change tends to happen at a rapid, exponential rate whereas organisations change at a slower, logarithmic rate.
But over time, this gap between where technology is and how well organisations are adapting to the technology widens. At some point, organisations have to make a strategic shift in their technology so they don't fall hopelessly behind.
Organisations, argues Collins, should consider AI as a strategic shift for marketing, not just another technology to add to the stack. In this way, companies can overcome their tendency to fall behind, technically, and potentially leapfrog the competition with a suite of AI-powered marketing tools.
To get started, though, marketers need to learn more about AI and its marketing applications. To find out more about this exciting new technology, watch the ClickInsights/Oracle webinar AI-Driven Marketing in 2020 here.