If there were a buzzword for 2017, it would be artificial intelligence, or AI. We’ve seen it spring up in smart home devices, chatbots, and mobile, and it’s only going to get better from here.
In fact, 80% of marketing executives believe that AI will completely change — for the better — how we connect with consumers in the next five years. Already, AI is showing benefits like providing better insights and analytics, identifying prospective customers, and expediting daily tasks.
Let’s look at a few of the ways AI will enhance what we as marketers do.
Consumers Will No Longer Have to Think Like Robots
We’ve all been guilty of it: we want to Google something, so we type a series of words that aren’t conversational into the bar: “steak san diego romantic.”
We know that what we want is to find the most romantic restaurant to eat steak at in San Diego, and yet we parse what we want to know into robotic fragments. But artificial intelligence is re-humanizing our digital experiences. We can talk to Siri or Alexa or Google the way we would a friend: “where’s the most romantic steakhouse in San Diego?”
As marketers, the use of conversational search — especially as it pertains to mobile — will impact SEO, so factor that into your search engine marketing.
Brands Realize Significant Opportunity with Digital Assistants
As marketers begin to see just the tip of the iceberg of potential with AI, they’re incorporating it across all channels, including skills and apps that integrate with smart home devices and digital assistants.
While Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri have opened the doors to the digital assistant, other brands stand to benefit now as they built integrated apps that are supported by these platforms. For example: Amazon Echo users can order a pizza from Pizza Hut with a simple voice command, as well as order products from Target via Google Assistant (with the help of Google Express).
Chatbots are Taking Customer Service + Sales by Storm
The disgruntled customer service rep may soon be replaced by a chatbot, who can do more than simply answer customers’ questions. Though they can do that as well. Chatbots leverage AI by taking into account customer behavior and past purchases to make recommendations about future purchases. They can even offer coupons.
Chatbots are successful for many reasons, one of which is that they are often overlaid on existing social messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which have millions of established users.
AI Makes Digital and Mobile Ads Smarter
While the advertising industry has struggled to continually remain relevant to consumers, AI may be the solution. Using sophisticated targeting and machine learning, AI-based ad platforms can deliver tailored ads to address individual consumers’ needs. Marketers can better understand user preferences and timing to deliver ads at the ideal moment, thus increasing ROI.
Mobile Wallet Offers Can Drive Sales
As the importance of personalization is realized for mobile marketers, they can benefit from AI to deliver a more customized experience in the mobile wallet. By monitoring which offers people are redeeming, marketers can offer similar offers to drive redemption.
And with loyalty programs, that predictive analytics component of AI can create customized loyalty rewards to spur repeat business.
We’re just at the start of the AI revolution, and while many marketers are still unsure of how to leverage it (only 10% are currently using AI), we can expect that while new strategies emerge and are replicated by competitors, we will see artificial intelligence as yet another tool for generating sales, boosting revenues, and increasing engagement with our customers.