Artificial Intelligence (AI) in digital marketing is now a thing. Yes, it’s happening. And it’s going down (pretty) fast.
There’s no denying that AI is currently reshaping businesses all the way around. And Digital Marketing it’s AI’s main “victim”. In other words, AI is now transforming the way marketing operates as we know it (in its most traditional approach).
Speaking about AI in digital marketing is more than a mere assumption, it is currently a reality. AI is now a tool that can help businesses to optimize processes and speed up several tasks while improving customer experiences and – furthermore – compelling conversions.
Here’s what you must know when considering AI in digital marketing.
AI: the new face of digital marketing
We’re in 2021 and the world has come a long way when concerning technology and digital trends.
AI is one of those subjects that started as (almost!) a sci-fi thing. Something existing only in the realm of fantasy, but nowadays it couldn’t be further apart from that.
AI can be explained (simply) as a system of complex algorithms able to execute specific tasks that usually require human intelligence, namely problem-solving or diagnosis, for instance. In other words, Artificial Intelligence refers to machines/systems with the capacity to mimic human behaviour or human cognitive functions.
When applied to businesses, through its complex algorithms and predictive analytics, AI systems are now able to take on information about consumer behaviour and convert it into valuable business data.
Moreover, when looking at the global economy both in 2020 and 2021, even if it was mostly weak, it also embodied considerable growth for digital marketing businesses. We can even say that the pandemic represented an opportunity for companies and businesses, mainly for those who could rethink their strategy, their position in the market, and even their business concept.
The pandemic proved that those who were able to shift their focus to the digital environment are quite safe at the present.
So, there’s no denying that AI is now reshaping digital marketing. It’s not only helping (or allowing in some cases) companies to develop more robust digital strategies, but also improving their campaign optimization and boosting ROI (return on investment) on digital campaigns.
Through AI, businesses are now using big data analytics, machine learning, and several other processes to obtain new and more complete insights on their target audience, to create more effective connections with their customers.
Plus, when applying AI in digital marketing strategies, businesses (whether they are bigger or smaller) are now profiting from multiple benefits, given that AI is a powerful software that can streamline several marketing tasks, whilst optimizing campaigns and improving tailored customer experiences, by understanding their needs and preferences.
As result, businesses are more and more empowered to attract and retain customers, and at the same time to deliver additional value to their customer base.
AI in digital marketing: what to expect?
Looking back, even if the economy was far from good in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, digital marketing displayed quite impressive growth rates.
Easy-peasy. Thanks to AI, businesses operating in the digital field kind of gained the ability to predict the future. Or – in other words – AI provided businesses with relevant data about their customers and their online behaviour.
Even easier. Here’s how:
- By helping businesses quoting the most likely price to end up on a purchase;
- By providing online users with a set of search results gathering their preferences which easily can represent a conversion;
- Or even by selecting and displaying the best ad for a specific user given his/her likings which might have the higher chances for clicks.
And these are just a few simple examples of how AI can work its magic on digital marketing.
AI and the impact on Digital Marketing
Even if the human hand is still needed, truth to be told, there is much that AI can do. Here are some of the main innovations where AI can positively affect the marketing industry.
1. Helpful for content curation and generation
There is to say: AI in digital marketing can be used to improve content creation with user insights.
By using AI, marketers now have access to detailed information on their audience, which can be quite helpful to improve the quality of the content published on their website.
By using AI, marketing teams can now map out an end-to-end content strategy. As a result, companies can use the technology used in AI systems to determine what kind of content resonates the most with their targeted audience.
For instance, a study published on Serp Watch shows that 40% of millennials engage with video content the most. Translation: this means that (most probably) the target audience is dominated by millennials, so video content should be the primary focus for companies targeting this age group.
The same study reveals that blogs are still the most prevalent form of content marketing, therefore this should be in the spotlight for companies as well.
So far, AI can curate and generate content and, subsequently, place it in the right place for the right people.
In addition to this, companies must consider that, if for now, AI is programming content generation on a basic level, eventually it could also produce viable topics for writers and even develop preliminary drafts of content built on specific parameters.
These are everywhere out there. They appear in all shapes and sizes.
Chatbots use natural language processing (NLP), which is a subset of machine learning that can understand, analyze, gather and generate human speech.
Chatbots are, basically, automated tools capable of interacting with clients and customers. In this case, AI is used to create chatbot algorithms and detect conversations by mimicking human conversation.
Some are displayed as a more basic customer service used to answer simple questions and to complete orders and drive sales conversions, for instance.
These are becoming a standard tool for most industries, given that customers are more and more used to interacting comfortably with them on all kinds of platforms (whether it is websites or social media).
But these configure a wide range of benefits, namely:
- The fact business can now deliver customer support across different time zones at any time, in real-time, 24/7;
- The ability to provide support outside normal business hours helps to improve the customer experience;
- Customers can interact with chatbots in theirs preferred language which positively impacts customer service.
3. AI analysis in Digital Advertising
AI will keep having a deep impact on businesses and it will, specifically, change the way businesses advertise.
Businesses can now optimize their ROI by placing their ads in front of relevant viewers. This can be achieved by using AI-supported and data-based algorithms which will be able to optimize advertising campaigns and even test multiple deviations and possible interactions.
AI tools can learn which ads should be displayed and where are they more effective and/or relevant. In addition, advertising campaigns (such as email marketing campaigns) can be fully controlled, valued, and optimized by using AI tools.
4. AI as a tool for behavior and predictive analysis
As stated before, AI currently takes a major role in providing businesses with highly valuable and deeper insights on their customers (such as shopping habits, needs, motivations…).
With AI technology, marketers will be able to identify patterns and trends and to hyper-personalise interactions, as well as to predict possible/future customer’s actions, based on the collected data.
In other words, with AI, businesses now can create data-driven customer profiles in real-time, and at the same time, they’re able to find out new audience segments and pivot their marketing strategy to target those customers.
5. Dynamic pricing
Who doesn’t love some good old discounts or sales?!
The truth is that, while some customers are bargain hunters, others will buy even if there is no discount at all.
Why are we talking about this?! Well, because AI can also be used to set dynamic prices for products, given their demand, availability, customer profiles, and other factors to maximize both sales and profits.
6. Automated Marketing and AI: two faces of the same coin
It is as simple as saying Marketing automation is the key. In fact, in this current digital era, marketers have no escape from mastering data, analytics, and automation to succeed.
Let’s take it from the top. Firstly, let’s understand the concept of marketing automation (or MA). It concerns software that – simply put – automates (obviously) marketing tasks and workflows.
In other words, this software enables companies to personalize customer relationships and experiences at scale, to make it more efficient and effective.
This means that by automating marketing campaigns, companies now can generate better results (namely: generate more leads, close additional deals and measure results).
This automation goes hand-in-hand with our (so-beloved) AI, given that MA uses AI and machine learning tools to tackle the whole customer lifecycle and enhance the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) at each stage.
Marketing automation uses these tools for segmentation, scoring, and opportunities detection to ensure and improve marketing campaigns effectiveness, to achieve operational efficiency and to reach faster revenue growth.
One of the biggest examples of this marketing automation is Google Ads automated bidding.
This is a Google Ads strategy designed to optimize and maximize the campaigns’ results.
The automated bidding analyses a wide amount of data (such as the user’s device, his/her demographics, location, the operating system he’s using or even the time of day they are searching, to name just a few examples).
Through this tool, Google automatically sets bid sums considering the chances of a specific ad turning into a click and/or conversion.
With this automated bidding, advertisers now can have automatically set bids for each auction.
Plus, marketers and advertisers can use several strategies for automated bidding, with different purposes, namely:
- Maximize clicks (to increase the number of visitors to the website)
- Aim search page location (to increase the page visibility)
- Target outranking share (to overcome another advertisers’/competitor website)
- Cost-per-acquisition – CPA (used to get more conversions with CPA. This allows to keep a deeper control over a campaign, automated bidding)
- Boosted cost-per-click – ECPC (or in other words, to increase conversions and still keep your keyword bids under control)
- Target Return on ad spend – ROAS (it stands for the average value an advertiser gets in turn for every penny spent on ads, by targeting ROAS it means that it’s automatically set the bids to ensure a campaign receives as much conversion value as possible
- And last but not least, maximize conversions (which means that it’s automatically set bids to make sure a campaign receives the most conversions within the established budget).
While this presents a fantastic opportunity to save time, this also means that it has some drawbacks. For instance, automated bidding doesn’t give advertisers as much control as traditional manual bidding, and it requires a previous data track record.
AI in digital marketing?! Stay put… there’s more to come
AI has come to stay. But it has a long way to go still.
It will keep changing the way businesses engage with their customers and position themselves on the market. No sector/industry will be left untouched by this AI revolution that is on the move.