An interesting paper from Clickz, by Martin Talks, a digital innovation and transformation expert, written for C-suite executives, marketers, and advertising teams, presents ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in marketing.
Talks says that when we think of artificial intelligence we often conjure up images of Terminator-like figures attempting to take control of our world. But it’s crucial that marketers do not dismiss AI as only for the movies, but rather embracing AI technologies to research markets, deliver ads and make creative assets.
Marketers need not fear that AI is purely for the big companies or research organizations. Through collaborative interfaces, AI is now relevant, applicable and achievable for organizations of all sizes.
According to the paper, this is a great time for marketers to get to grips with AI and investigate how it can be used in their organization to improve the quality, speed and effectiveness of what they do. AI will have an impact on the whole way marketing operates from planning to creative to delivery, and indeed, how it is even thought about. Algorithms will increasingly rule our worlds.
The term ‘artificial intelligence’ was originally coined in the 1950s by the computer scientist John McCarthy. who defined AI as ‘the science and engineering of making intelligent things,’ says the report.
Talks suggests that there are there are two broad types of AI:
However, both types of AI involve algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving problems. Different approaches can be taken to creating algorithms in the context of AI. For instance, those algorithms can try to replace the function of the human brain, using a ‘neural network’ approach, or be based more on logical processes, known as a ‘symbolic AI’. Often AI technology developers use algorithms that use a combination of the neural network and symbolic AI.
From a marketer’s point of view, says the report, AI’s narrow capabilities are more exciting, realistic and achievable than the broad AI hype, over-promising the really practical uses that AI can be put now and in the near future to help solve big problems that we all face whether as marketers or as humans.
Faster, cheaper, and more powerful computer processors are more available than ever, as is the increased availability of cloud computing and the outsourcing of data storage, allowing companies to develop and use AI applications. But, says the report, one of the big barriers to IoT’s success is that there are multiple technologies and platforms that currently do not speak to each other. Making sense of all this incompatible data and delivering a relevant experience would be a task ideally suited to AI.
It is important that AI is clearly set up to deliver a useful solution, says Talk, suggesting several possible applications for marketers to consider:
Future of marketing
Moving beyond influencing the consumer, to influencing the algorithm, will require a new skillset for most marketers. Marketing to the machine will increasingly be the future of marketing.
Brands will need to ensure they appear in virtual assistants’ algorithmic searches or they will not get be considered as a product or service choice. This attempt to influence the results of the virtual assistant could be compared to attempts to influence search engine results, says the report.
At the very least, marketers will need to ensure virtual assistants have open access to all pertinent facts about their products, which should be tagged appropriately so they can be in the consideration set. Factors such as sentiment towards a brand are likely to become an increasingly important recommendation factor. That sentiment might be picked up through reviews, but more likely through an assessment of other data including practical performance and emotional response.
There are dangers that consumers will get caught in an algorithmic bubble where the products being considered are only ever available from a closed set of options so that discovery of new products, services and experiences could become restricted, adding a new element of challenge to a marketer’s role, particularly for new products or services, concludes the report.
For more information from ClickZ, please visit here.