Changing technology has radically altered advertising best practices over the past few decades. From the emergence and dominance of digital media to shifting consumer tastes and styles, the rapid change has necessitated an evolution in how businesses approach their marketing strategies. More information is available now than ever before, and the constantly improving computer technology sector has opened the floodgates for the implementation of new marketing methods.
One of the most radical changes in marketing strategies is the implementation of artificial intelligence or AI. AI is intelligence displayed by machines and technologies measured against natural intelligence. Revolutionary AI technology, such as Siri and Alexa, has been surpassed by even wider reaching options that are no longer simply customer-facing. AI digital assistant tech is now present in almost every facet of a user’s digital life.
While AI seems like a science fiction concept, it’s a reality that can help create a personalized experience for your customers. It also drives sales and provides vital information about your customer pool. It isn’t just for media giants such as Facebook and Google, both of which are widely recognized for their use of AI. Discover three ways you can use AI in your marketing model to help keep you abreast of technology trends while improving the efficacy of your marketing strategies.
Daniel Faggella of Tech Emergence has said recommendation engines are rare but precious in the world of digital marketing despite the fact that customers love them. They are one of the most powerful tools and are also one of the most directly available and transparent to consumers. Recommendation engines are often only implemented on the business’ website, which is removed from the often-bemoaned social media advertisement strategy. But they can improve the consumer’s overall experience on your site.
Recommendation engines are based on previous searches, purchases, and other online interaction with the company. The AI matches this information with products or services offered by your business. For example, if your company sells stationery and someone previously purchased a large bundle of flowery postcards, next time she visits your site, the first results displayed will probably be floral based.
This not only gives customers more direct access to products that they may like, but it can also help drive sales because the first items they see are likely to match up with their interests. “As machines are better able to understand consumer behavior and preferences, as well as brand price points and margins, marketers are better able to target optimized offers at the right time, to the right person, regardless of where they are in a complex buying cycle,” says Natalia Dykyj, vice president of Cision, according to survey results reported by Tech Emergence. Recommendation engines are a common way to bring those goals directly to the customer.
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The more information you can gather from your consumers, the easier your marketing strategies will be to create. Such data can help you develop specific buyer profiles, better understand the wants and needs of your consumers, and see what type of advertisements work best. This information often comes in the form of demographics or purchase histories. Almost all AI marketing functions are based on the quality of your information gathering, which can be used to tailor your content, from stunning visuals to clever content.
However, businesses should tread carefully during their information gathering and be sure to use an ethical, effective AI company. “Simply put, consumers should be aware of the techniques being used to market to them, and have the option of participating in those campaigns,” writes Jason Jercinovic of “Ad Age.” “In order to make an informed choice, consumers need a clear explanation of the value exchange in any given campaign.” Transparency in your data gathering and offering the choice can improve customer relations and can also end up providing more valuable information because non-repeat customers are less likely to provide data. Plus, following such guidelines can help you avoid committing potentially illegal errors in your data gathering.
Once you have a valuable set of information, AI can be incredibly useful for creating personalized experiences for your customers. This can be created using a number of different AI-related tools in conjunction for a more well-rounded approach. Most of the different approaches are interconnected, specifically when creating personalization for clients.
Personalization, when it comes to AI, can involve tons of different facets within the online experience. It can range from catered ads that specifically point to products or services that are related to previous purchases to customized landing pages that give information about relevant promotions or services. Using buyer profiles, companies can create broader personalization campaigns that address projected needs and wants of the specific groups as indicated by gathered data.
According to a study conducted by OneSpot and Marketing Insider Group and reported by PR Newswire, 78 percent of online responders reported that “personally-relevant content increases their purchase intent for a brand’s products and services” and 50 percent stated that they “would pay more for products and services from brands who do a good job of providing personally relevant content.” Personalization is now a premium service and one that is becoming more and more reliant on AI technology.
Personalization is especially important for small businesses, where consumers are expecting a personal level of service and interaction. While AI is useful in many ways, a human touch is still imperative. It’s easy to spot AI in digital environments, and it can lead to a definite sense of distance and impersonal advertisement. As more and more ad campaigns move online, this could prove the downfall of strategies.
AI isn’t without its controversy. Over the past few years, scandals have cropped up surrounding misused, leaked, or sold data that has soured many consumers on this tool. Therefore, combining AI with a thoughtful, human-driven campaign can allow business owners to not only take advantage of the many benefits of utilizing AI but also establish trust with current and future consumers.
Whether you’d like to implement just a few AI tools or buy into a full AI technology system, this rapidly-evolving technology is shifting the way that marketing strategies are implemented and perceived. It can benefit small and large businesses, as long as it is used thoughtfully and carefully, with regard given to the consumer base.