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Get Ahead of the Curve: Why AI is Trending in Digital Marketing

AI, or artificial intelligence, has been making headlines lately—and not just in science fiction novels. Companies like Google and Amazon are bringing AI to the forefront of consumers’ minds with their products that use machine learning and other AI technology to make our lives easier. It’s also affecting the world of digital marketing—in particular, how customers interact with your company and its products. Here’s why you should get ahead of the curve when it comes to AI trends in digital marketing by reading this short article.


What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to computers that can complete tasks without human interaction. The term artificial intelligence covers a wide range of technology, including natural language processing, predictive analytics, and machine learning. It's all about getting computers to act more like humans do; that includes everything from facial recognition technology to computerized personal assistants (like Amazon's Alexa). These technologies are currently being used primarily by companies in retail and e-commerce fields. For example, Walmart uses machine learning to understand how customers shop its stores; a company called Evolv analyzes shopping habits on big data platforms and offers advice on how brands can market their products online to compete with Amazon. Netflix has even used neural networks for movie recommendation systems! However, some experts say we're still decades away from truly intelligent machines. While most people use AI in their daily lives without realizing it—Google search algorithms rely on it—it's still relatively new to marketing and business. As such, there isn't much information out there yet about best practices or case studies showing how other companies have successfully implemented these strategies. That makes it difficult for marketers who want to get ahead of trends before they become mainstream ideas. If you're looking to bring these techniques into your own business strategy, here are three things you should know


How Artificial Intelligence Works

Artificial intelligence has been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that major advancements have been made. The first machine capable of passing a Turing test was developed in 1966 and named Eliza. In 2019, artificial intelligence will become even more refined thanks to enhanced processing power and increased data collection. For example, computer vision capabilities are being advanced through better cameras as well as collections like Google Street View, which include massive databases filled with raw visual information. Overall, artificial intelligence systems can handle far more complicated processes than they could 20 years ago—and it’s only going to get better from here on out.


Examples of Artificial Intelligence Applying to Marketing

How WeChat uses chatbots to improve customer service, how Facebook Messenger uses artificial intelligence, or how Pinterest has improved their discoverability using machine learning are good examples of how marketing is using Artificial Intelligence. And don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with some of these terms; from web applications to your iPhone camera, you interact with artificial intelligence every day! It’s becoming more and more important for digital marketers to understand and integrate artificial intelligence into their strategies. What do Google, SnapChat, Uber, Amazon and Netflix have in common? They use data science & analytical techniques everyday – often under-the-radar - to drive business decisions for their products and services.


How Marketers Can Adopt AI

Analytics and data collection will be integral to companies who want to succeed in today’s highly-competitive landscape. And with big data, marketers are able to better make decisions based on their customers’ preferences. But what if there was a way to predict customer behavior? By implementing an artificial intelligence algorithm into your strategy, you can discover which campaigns bring you more success while also discovering what doesn’t work. AI allows you to apply advanced machine learning algorithms (i.e., Deep Learning) that can automate processes, optimize marketing channels and prevent churn before it happens—something no human marketer could ever do! Big data and analytics alone won’t guarantee success; but with advances made in machine learning over recent years, they have never been so powerful together.


What Marketers Need to Know Before Adopting AI

Despite an explosive amount of hype, implementing artificial intelligence into your digital marketing strategies might not be as big a priority as you think. Depending on your organization’s goals and resources, it could be premature to make AI part of your marketing mix. When considering adopting artificial intelligence into your digital marketing strategy, there are many factors that marketers need to consider before they implement any type of program. There are many benefits associated with utilizing technology – but implementing it at scale isn’t always simple or efficient, and can be quite expensive as well. It’s important for marketers to evaluate their company’s objectives and current tech landscape before making a long-term investment in an initiative that may have little payoff or even hurt their existing efforts. What Works Now? Before deciding whether or not artificial intelligence will work for your business, it’s important to understand what types of technologies already work today. While certain forms of AI such as machine learning and deep learning can provide value to businesses by helping automate some processes and improve efficiency, these technologies aren’t right for every situation. Marketers should first determine which areas of their business would benefit from automation, then take advantage of those tools that are already available. For example, if your business has a large volume of customer data stored in multiple places (like CRM systems), you could use natural language processing (NLP) software to help pull relevant information together in one place so that analysts don't have to spend time looking through multiple sources manually. And while NLP doesn’t necessarily represent true AI, it does offer real value without having to invest heavily in additional staff or infrastructure. The Bottom Line Artificial intelligence offers tremendous potential for brands looking to enhance their digital marketing efforts, but its implementation requires careful planning and consideration of all aspects related to both technology and human capital. Implementing new technologies always comes with risk, especially when dealing with relatively unproven innovations like AI. By taking a measured approach when evaluating opportunities for using artificial intelligence, marketers can avoid costly mistakes while ensuring that initiatives align with overall business goals.