What Role Will AI Play in Digital Marketing?
The growth of artificial intelligence has been important, but it is not always understood. Still, it makes sense to consider how it might affect marketing.
The concept of artificial intelligence that makes important decisions has been the ancient development of ‘marmites’.
For some, the idea is a good one, based on the idea that machine learning uses data levels that no human mind can import. It will be able to explore the news and establish facts at this unexpected level. The result, it is said, would be the production of information that would lead to more accurate and informed decisions.
A different view has been that AI can ultimately have a negative impact on a person:
• Robots will know a lot about us, which can be confusing.
• Machines can become hateful (a concept that has been extensively studied in books and sci-fi, such as Terminator films).
• Machines can take over people’s jobs and leave millions without work.
The latter view has been taken seriously by key technology figures such as Bill Gates, who called for robots to be taxed to help provide income for all those who will lose their jobs.
Debates on the impact of automation on the wider economy will extend beyond the realm of marketing, but it is clearly absurd to use technology to hurt people. With the exception of direct job creation – if there were no computers and no one would work in IT – the most common practice would be machines to help people do more.
What Has AI Already Done in Marketing?
When looking at how AI’s role in marketing is likely to grow in the coming years, it is important to start by acknowledging that such technology has been used in the industry. Examples of this include:
• Voice-based customer service, for example Amazon’s Alexa
• Airbnb helps pair couples with accommodation
• The use of Amazon and Tesco voice commands to put items in a real shopping basket
• Personalized health and fitness advice provided by a smartphone, used by Armor
Cases like these have become so commonplace to us that most people do not even consider them as AI, but that is what they are.
Take the example of voice-compression similar to Alexa: The ability to learn to recognize human sounds has given us a place that was once the realm of science fiction.
Speakers like those that work with voice will continue to proliferate everywhere in the early years of this decade, so by 2030 they could be the norm for families like Smartphones and microwaves today.
This will have your own impact on digital marketing, as all types of tools used – be it content, social media or PPC – will incorporate some form of voice protocol.
For example, it could be content that includes a clickable link to a voice-enabled device that can place an order, subscribe to an email list or request a call.
What Can Have Big Data?
The use of expanded data in the case of the Airbnb model is one of the ways AI can use machine learning to help better plan what people want. By recording and analyzing past experiences and actions of individuals, it may be helpful to identify them with products and services that may be appropriate for them.
Already some supermarket apps do this on the basis of previous purchases; for example a person who buys a lot of herbal teas can be guided by marketing messages when a new product enters the stock.
This can have many implications for the consumer:
• Initially, the use of AI to record consumer behavior can help produce more accurate consumer personas. By taking the emerging trends in customer trends quickly it can be the case with common market research strategies.
• Consumer personas may be well organized to almost individual level, where marketing is rearranged accordingly to specific groups in certain circumstances. An example of this might be people who liken someone to a life experience, such as leaving home, changing jobs, or becoming a parent.
The situation can be better adjusted to take into account the season, such as how much money a person can spend on Christmas or summer holidays.
Can There Be More Restrictions on Data Use?
The use of big data and machine learning may bring marketers closer to understanding and responding to what consumers want, but this also raises certain issues as to how many vendors should be allowed to know.
Indeed, the issue of how data is handled has become the subject of various laws, be it domestic as the Data Protection Act, or the GDPR rules introduced by the EU. With the exception of Brexit, there is no sign of any action to end the use of GDPR in the UK, so it should be considered that it is here to stay.
This puts the most anonymous. How much money can be spent on AI in marketing using data before lawmakers decide it is too disruptive and do the right thing? While the adoption of growing technology – and perhaps even the use of new emerging technologies – may increase the use of AI, enforcement of the law to enforce its use could be a steep climb.
As a result, the possibility of further restrictions on the use of the data may cause retailers to become more aware of how they use the data, lest these legislators impose more on what they are allowed to know.