AI’s Growing Impact on the Marketing Industry
Artificial intelligence (AI) is having an increasingly significant impact on the marketing industry and its professionals. Here’s a closer look at some of its uses.
AI Can Make Text and Sentiment Analysis More Efficient
Marketers can immediately recognize the value of letting AI scan text to pick up on trends. For example, this approach could come in handy for examining how people feel about new marketing campaigns. Did the effort leave them feeling inspired and uplifted or confused and bored? Well-built AI algorithms can quickly analyze massive quantities of text, revealing those essential takeaways.
The possibilities for using this technology are virtually endless. Imagine the convenience of relying on AI to see which questions typically arise when customers contact the email support team. The marketing team could use those insights to improve website content, including help documentation or product videos.
Using AI for sentiment analysis can also help marketers determine when users’ comments are serious versus sarcastic. University of Central Florida researchers developed an AI model that could detect cues most likely to indicate sarcasm.
The researchers pointed out how the online realm makes it much harder for people to pick out sarcastic communications. That’s because they lack the body language-related signals that help them gauge what’s said using contextual cues.
Marketers must feel confident they’ve understood a customer’s tone correctly. It’s then easier to respond correctly to comments on social media posts and other publicly accessible content.
AI Can Deliver Personalized Content
Apple forced the marketing industry to adapt by letting users opt into certain types of tracking. Marketing professionals historically relied on location and device-based cookies for ad targeting. However, with many users now opting out of such tracking, the marketing world must do things differently. AI plays a key role in this transition.
For example, marketers often use dynamic creative ads with interchangeable content that adjusts to each user. Advancements in AI mean there’s no need to gather device or cookie data to give people relevant content.
The move away from third-party cookies has also made marketers prioritize getting zero-party data. It’s information consumers voluntarily give about themselves. Once a company’s marketing department has enough zero-party data, it can use AI to make the most of opportunities.
For example, a customer might agree to register with an e-commerce site in exchange for a one-time discount. Then, a company would have a record of everything that person buys. The marketing department could then feed that information into AI algorithms that make product suggestions.
Some companies also sell AI-powered drip marketing platforms for personalized emails. Marketers can set parameters so that people get certain communications after taking specific actions. Those could include signing up for a newsletter, placing an item in a shopping cart without finishing the transaction or purchasing a product. Drip campaign messages can also go out on schedules. The idea is that they help companies or products stay in a top-of-mind position without bombarding consumers.
AI Can Relieve Marketers of Time-Consuming Tasks
Modern marketers typically have busy schedules, so they welcome anything that could help them save time. That often means being open to using AI. Some AI-driven social media posting platforms choose the best time of day to show users new content. You then don’t need to spend time posting materials to all the outlets your company utilizes.
Artificial intelligence can also complement existing marketing automation platforms. A February 2022 study showed that 38% of respondents felt marketing automation improved how workers used their time. It’s easy to imagine how that percentage could grow if marketers invest in AI, too.
Many data analytics platforms used by marketers have AI features. Users can then generate reports more efficiently and extract meaningful insights faster than they otherwise could.
Another valuable application of AI relates to email sorting. Many tools can automatically categorize incoming messages or remind people if they take too long to send replies. Users can then avoid wasting time by trying to stay on top of email management. AI isn’t perfect, but it often cuts down many of the most cumbersome manual duties.
AI Can Support Content Marketing
Content is the backbone of many marketing efforts. It’s what can attract people to a website and keep them coming back for more, plus establish brands as worthy of someone’s trust, money and attention.
Many people wonder if AI could eventually replace human copywriters. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon, though, and it might never occur on a large scale. Google’s John Mueller, highly regarded as a search engine optimization expert, weighed in on the topic on various social media platforms.
His primary takeaway was that people don’t need any more help creating low-quality content. That’s what today’s AI copywriting products can do best. Instead, people must focus on creating high-quality material that engages the audience. Mueller also pointed out that solutions with some degree of automation, such as content spinners, are nothing new. Human copywriters remain relevant, though.
That’s not to say there’s no place for AI in content marketing, however. Some AI tools help by checking content for grammar and spelling errors. Even the most conscientious people sometimes miss mistakes while self-editing. Using AI tools for proofreading can ensure content doesn’t go live while still containing flaws.
The technology can also help people come up with titles and topics once they feel like they’ve hit creative blocks. Such tools usually work by requiring people to input a few bits of information, like the primary subject and the audience’s expertise level. They provide tailored suggestions based on a user’s input.
AI Can Safeguard Marketers From Risks
Minimizing risk is a huge part of operating a successful business. A 2022 study indicated that AI was instrumental in reducing business risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research involved small and medium-sized companies based in London.
More specifically, companies experienced a 2% reduction in risks to profits by utilizing personalized shopping recommendations. There was also a 1.2% decrease in threats to the business when people used AI for audience targeting. The researchers confirmed that artificial intelligence paid off for companies regardless of factors such as turnover and years since establishment.
However, there was a significant gap in the percentage of small businesses versus medium-sized ones opting to use AI. While 70.4% of medium-sized companies did, only 26% of small enterprises invested in artificial intelligence. That could be because leaders at smaller companies feel more reluctant to devote funds to new technologies without getting confirmation that they’ll help the bottom line.
The good news is it’s becoming easier for marketers at companies of all sizes to find AI solutions that fit their needs and budgets. One of the reasons is that artificial intelligence is more accessible than it once was, which lowers the associated costs. People also have lots of opportunities to gradually start using AI in marketing and scale up when it makes sense for their budgets.
How Will You Start Using AI in Marketing?
These examples show how AI-enabled marketing applications are gaining momentum in the industry. Now is a great time to start considering the most appropriate ways for your company or marketing team to consider using the technology in the near-to-mid future.
Get feedback from all involved parties and see which tasks they say take the most time or are the most prone to errors. Those could be good starting points for deploying AI.
The main thing to remember is that AI is not a replacement for marketing professionals. However, it can supplement what they do and improve their workflows.
Eleanor is editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.