Artificial Intelligence Relevant For Marketing And Advertising
by Jack Loechner, Thursday, April 14, 2016 6:15 AM
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:
- Human-style intelligence: this is the desire
for people to create human-like consciousness in a machine, enabling it to apply common sense, work out varied problems and even have emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as
‘general’ or ‘strong’ AI, and
- Task-orientated intelligence, is the ability to do a limited range of tasks very well, such as the ability to drive a car, answer
questions or to make health diagnoses, referred to as ‘narrow’ or ‘weak’ 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
- Although AI still has limitations, forward-thinking brands are starting to harness its power to enhance the customer experience.
They can do this by creating their own virtual assistants to help customers navigate through their product range or get acquainted with new functionality.
- There is a wide range of industries
launching new products with AI embedded in them, from smart fridges to robo-investing products of the advisory markets. From a marketer’s point of view, AI can help in the process of any new
- With vast quantities of data being generated from all areas of business, there has never been a better time to generate insight to improve performance. Although the sheer
complexity of this data is beyond human capability, this is very much suited to technology such as AI.
- With sufficient data it is possible to identify patterns of behavior. To deliver this,
the right volume and variety of data need to be gathered and processed in such a way that its veracity, or its level of reliability, can be understood. Big data analysis beyond human capability is an
ideal job for AI.
- AI is especially valuable in the use of programmatic advertising, the automation of planning, buying and optimizing media to target specific audiences and
- Since AI can be used in the process of automatically generating and optimizing ads, it should be no surprise, says the report, that AI is capable of generating the content to
populate ads as well as other platforms for sharing content.
- Consider the ability of AI to assess a vast number of factors that influence cultural movement. AI could provide a prediction of
cultural shifts and so enable creative assets that are part of the zeitgeist.
- Website design is increasingly becoming a commodity, with many free and low-cost platforms to create websites on
offer. But there is no guarantee of quality with these websites and it is not always easy to modify the layout or elements on the site to increase conversion rates. AI can develop websites that design
themselves by algorithmically generating website designs and improving them based on user behavior.
- The use of AI will assist in a global marketplace by enabling international marketing to
scale to global markets quickly and efficiently.
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.