When the majority of people hear “AI”, they automatically think of Sophia the eerily human-like robot. She propelled to social media stardom in 2017 when she was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship. She has the power to emote 62 different human facial expressions, has jokingly plotted “world domination” on TV with Jimmy Fallon, and has been invited to speak at UN conferences. All of this is just the beginning of her influence. Sophia is an impressive, and almost creepy, technolological feat. Her advanced machine learning capabilities have allowed her to process human behavior and emotion (even the complex subtleties of sarcasm in many cases), and react in a near-perfect human fashion. Despite these abilities, Sophia still only provides part of the picture when it comes to the ability and future of artificial intelligence.
The acronym AI has been buzzing around the business world for the past year now, especially in the city of Montreal. Marketing team leaders, don’t expect the topic to die down anytime soon. This technological trend has, and definitely will continue to, drastically change the ways in how brands understand, target, and interact with their audiences in the coming year.
So, what is AI really? For a quick recap, Artificial Intelligence is technology’s use of deep data analysis and machine learning to perform human tasks, as well as understand human problems and find solutions to them.
How are brands drowning out all of the “buzz”, and actually taking steps to harness AI’s potential in their marketing strategies? More and more brands are beginning to use AI algorithms to track lead and consumer behavior on their social media channels. According to Forbes, 53 percent of brand marketers are planning to adopt this strategy in the coming two years. They use the technology to collect and log data on what individual consumers search for online, the type of content they actively engage with, and the sites on which they spend most of their time. Each layer of this data is closely analyzed and then used to formulate the most effective and personal marketing campaign to peak the individual’s interest.
Time is precious in the marketing world. That’s why marketing teams are also harnessing the power of AI to automate repetitive tasks on social media with the use of marketing automation software. The software completes tedious but crucial tasks such as responding to comments and emails, liking content and following accounts similar to the brand in question, and publishing content on a consistent schedule. The different types of software are still far from perfect in their execution, but they allow team members to invest more of their time and energy on other, more interpersonal tasks.
Another way brands are using AI to buddy up to their consumers and learn from them is through the use of chatbots on their websites. Chatbots are the friendly little chat boxes that pop up at the bottom of your screen when you land on a brand’s website. They provide instant, real-time customer service for the buyer. More customer questions are answered using chatbot integration, leading to an increased knowledge of customer needs, an overall higher customer satisfaction rate and increased user experience.
It cannot be denied that AI’s increasingly accelerated strides in the marketing industry are as scary as they are exciting. The human touch to any consumer experience or marketing team’s strategy cannot fully be replaced by technology, but AI is undoubtedly creating incredible opportunities to learn about consumers on a deeper level than ever before.