Artificial Intelligence is nowadays one of the most talked about and exciting technologies in the business world. Businesses are using AI in order to drive more informed decisions, success, and better productivity. 37% of businesses employ AI for different purposes. AI is expected to create employment for 97 million new candidates by 2025. Isn’t it great?
Let us first understand what AI is. AI is a wide field of computer science that is capable of doing activities just like humans do. We can say that it is the simulation of human intelligence processed by machines. AI lets machines do all the work and solve problems. In this article, let’s get an introduction to Digital Marketing and how AI is changing its outlook.
Digital marketing is the process of promoting a brand or product using digital channels to reach and engage customers. Digital marketing covers a variety of activities, including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, and more.
AI is playing a much more critical role in our lives these days. People are accepting AI as it has become a part of our daily lives. But here, the question is, how is AI changing the outlook of digital marketing? The answer is straightforward. Due to technological inclination, AI has made its way into Digital Marketing, which has played a major part in it. Let’s understand how:
Improved User Experience
AI is capable of changing the way marketers and users feel about brands. Companies can use AI to have a positive impact on their user experience.
User experience is basically the overall experience of a user/customer while using a website, application, product, or service. It’s all about how easy and pleasing it is for customers to use and whether it can bring the user back.
But how does AI make its impact on User Experience?
Marketers use AI in the form of chatbots, recommendations, and assistants that are capable enough to interpret the behavior of humans and analyze the user’s interactions. With this predictive analysis, AI and UX together create a positive user experience and more business for the organization.
For example, Nestle, a global food and beverage company, uses Natural language processing technology to create personalized content and communication for its audience. The company has also achieved autonomous decision-making through AI to enhance its marketing and sales. It also uses virtual assistants to maintain one on one relationships with its customers. Data Analytics and customer insights help Nestle focus more on its customers’ preferences and create better user experiences.
AI can make its impact on user experience in the following ways:
- Personalization: AI uses algorithms to determine an audience’s preferences, browse data, websites visited, and how long they stayed on a website. This helps with personalization. This data helps create personalized emails, digital ads, and messages to interact with the target customers. The personalized email or message is likely to attract more of the target audience.
For example, Netflix, a streaming service company, uses AI to collect users’ interests and then give personalized recommendations based on what they have watched earlier. Similarly, another video streaming app, Disney Hotstar, is also following the same concept for personalization. Look at the image below:
Source: Disney Hotstar Mobile Application
The image clearly shows that it is recommended to watch all these movies because the user has watched “Spider Man: Homecoming”.
- Automation: Automation is possible due to artificial intelligence, and it does not only save effort but time and money too.
- Better Content: AI helps create smarter content that makes more sense in a given scenario. It develops content by understanding the needs and behavior of the users, making it more relevant for the customers and saving the company’s time and resources.
- Customer Support: AI applications like chatbots and virtual assistants have taken AI to the next level in digital marketing. These applications help address customers’ queries in less time and reduce the burden on customer care executives, resulting in more customer satisfaction.
Personalization in Digital Marketing
Personalisation is one interesting aspect that is fueled by AI in digital marketing. These days, personalisation has become very important because customers want to feel that the company values them. Using AI makes companies capable of developing personalized content, approaches, and products/services for their customers.
We all know that a brand becomes successful when it understands what the audience wants. When a company adapts to personalisation, it opens up a lot of possibilities and opportunities. According to the Boston Consulting Group, by 2022, $800 billion of revenue will be generated by companies that prefer personalization.
AI is helping markets to understand customer journeys that enhance repeat purchases and customer loyalty to the brand. Here are the ways AI can make marketing more personalized:
- By using Push Notifications: Every company available on mobile applications or the internet uses push notifications to communicate with customers. Using personalized content in the push notifications, makes customers feel like they are being valued by the company. The more personalisation, the more likely customers will come to you. For example, whenever you search for a resort or a hotel on Make My Trip, it sends you a notification reminding you of your search to take the desired action. Similarly, whenever you order something from an ecommerce website like Myntra, you will get a notification including your name saying that your order has been placed.
- Personalized videos: Companies use personalized videos, which harness AI data, which are highly interactive and personalized, to encourage users to watch them or share them online with their networks. These videos boost customer engagement as they are more effective than generic videos. For example, Instagram launched a feature at the end of 2021 that lets users review their most viewed stories as a recap of the year. The users were excited to see such personalisation and shared their stories across Instagram, tagging their friends and family.
- Chatbots: The AI chatbots are Automated programs that allow visitors and users to access useful information, ask queries or process their orders to give users a personalised experience. As per Gartner, 52% of telephone companies employ chatbots. Also, 68.9% of the chats from start to finish are handled by chatbots themselves, reducing the burden on the consumer service staff. For example, on a Travel Triangle website, you are asked about your preferences and interests, and then it assists you in finding the best holiday packages meeting your interests.
Personalization is in the game right now, but be sure to ace it first and then apply it to your products or services.
In the above image, you can see that the chatbot is trying to engage customers by asking a few questions regarding their needs and interests. This gives the user a personalized feel that generates an attachment to the brand.
The biggest reason why chatbots are so popular is their rapid response, and chatbots have higher response times as compared to customer care calls.
Increased ROI and Reduced Costs.
AI is really helpful in saving tons of time and money for companies. Based on the instructions given, it has the potential to automate operations and increase productivity. This results in delivering the right content to the right audience, which gives a higher ROI to the digital marketing teams of companies.
AI-powered technologies are capable of deciding which strategy works best for the company without any human intervention. This frees up the time of employees, which could be used for other important tasks. This also saves a lot of money for the companies because they don’t have to pay employees for the work that AI technologies are handling well.
AI also speeds up the process of marketing campaigns, resulting in reduced costs and increased efficiency. According to Accenture, AI has increased corporate efficiency by 40%, which is huge, and this increases the ROI for companies.
When any organization sets ROI goals, they consider factors like industry, demand in the market, cost structures, etc. Companies use automation tools for better ROI. Businesses also focus on Generating User Centric Content while improving ROI. This can be easily done with the help of AI. For example, through query analytics, brands can conduct surveys and questionnaires to get a better understanding of their customer’s preferences, needs, and demands. This would ultimately help the company cater to consumers well.
AI has many qualities and uses in marketing. One such major use of AI in marketing is Marketing Automation.
Marketing automation is nothing but software that is designed to handle daily marketing tasks on its own without any human intervention. This can include sending emails, posting on social media, ad campaigns, and much more. It not only increases the efficiency of the marketing team but also improves the user experience through personalization.
What can Marketing Automation do for your business? Well, it’s not a single task that marketing automation does. It simplifies the life of a digital marketer and is ideal for any digital marketing company to use. Here are some of the tasks that can be handled by marketing automation tools powered by AI:
- It can streamline the processes: The processes are simplified with the help of marketing automation, and it helps prioritize tasks whenever needed. It helps nurture leads and creates customer relationship management for storing information and data.
- Help in data collection and analytics: Marketing analytics is one key function of the marketing department that takes a lot of time and effort. By automating it and discovering new insights for communication with the consumer, AI makes it simple.
- Better customer experiences: with marketing automation, the customer’s actions are recorded and help businesses understand their needs. The business is then able to deliver the right thing at the right time. It helps in creating a set of loyal and repeat customers.
- It improves the ROI of business: Marketing automation is capable of generating a lot of economic income for marketing teams, resulting in more ROI.
Marketing automation has become smarter with AI. By using both together, a business can achieve wonders. For example, a jewelry business can use AI to know the most visited web pages on its website, and then it can use Chatbots on these web pages to manage customers well. Businesses can use chatbots to ask relevant questions like “What type of product are you searching for?”, “Are you searching for jewelry for a friend, husband, wife, kids, or others?” or “Do you want to look out for gold jewelry, silver jewelry, diamond jewelry, Semi-precious jewelry?”
This can speed up the process of selling jewelry when a customer is available on a website. It will help in making the interactions better and more engaging.
Isn’t it quite engaging and interesting? Well, this is the magic of AI in digital marketing.
Develop Widespread Media Plans
AI helps marketers choose digital marketing tactics that are based on real-time data and insights. The campaigns are not based on gut feelings and assumptions, which reduces the chances of digital marketing campaigns’ failure. AI is basically solving the complexities of media planning. What’s a media plan?
A media plan is a strategic document that outlines how a company or organization will use media to achieve its marketing and communications objectives. The plan should take into account the company’s business objectives, target audience, and budget. The media plan will identify the most effective media channels to reach the target audience and define the messaging and call to action for each channel.
This is what a media plan template looks like:
Consumers are open to several media options, which makes it difficult for marketers to reach mass audiences. They are pressured to use multiple media options tailored to the divided audiences, which results in increased media investments. Media planners are using AI these days to design an optimized media plan to cater to fragmented audiences.
AI powers Artificial Neural Networks that can create a real-life media planner within seconds to test several media plan combinations and look out for their impact on the output. Basically, these are the simulations to test media plan models for each customer and look out for their effect on the audience groups.
AI suggests the best media plan model and saves significant time for media planners.
Applications of AI in Digital Marketing
As each day passes, the applications of AI in digital marketing are increasing. A few years back, there was a lot of hesitance among marketers to use AI in marketing operations, but now, the scenario has totally changed. Around nine out of ten leading businesses have invested in AI technologies, and the number of organizations using AI in their businesses grew by 270% between 2015 and 2019 (Source: Gartner). That’s why employment opportunities for AI professionals and digital marketing professionals are rising.
AI is making the lives of digital marketers easier. Nowadays, AI is used everywhere, right from the healthcare industry to the education industry, from online food delivery apps to manufacturing industries. There are different applications of AI that make it a top trending technology. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular applications of AI in digital marketing:
These are one of the most used applications of AI. Every business with a digital presence nowadays uses chatbots.
What are chatbots?
A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation. It uses artificial intelligence to understand and respond to questions in natural language. Chatbots are used in a variety of settings, including online customer service, sales, and marketing.
They offer a convenient, 24/7 option for customer service and can help to boost sales and conversions. Chatbots can also help to build brand awareness and loyalty. Also, businesses do not need huge budgets to create chatbots. There are some chatbot tools that businesses can use to interact with their customers.
2. Voice Search Optimization
Voice searches are becoming popular at a rapid rate. As per Statista, there will be 8 billion voice assistants in use by 2023. Artificial Intelligence has introduced voice assistants that improve voice recognition and accuracy of voice search. For example, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are chatbots using voice recognition. These devices take voice commands and convert them into text to execute the voice command. Voice recognition is used in popular apps like Google Maps, Youtube, Wikipedia and many more.
3. Targeted Advertising
Things we do online leave cookies, which are then used by AI and ML technologies to monitor the online behaviors of customers. It helps them design the advertising campaigns and target a more receptive audience.
Targeted advertising is a form of online advertising that allows businesses to target potential customers based on specific criteria, such as location, age, gender, interests, and online activity. By targeting ads to specific groups of people, businesses can more effectively use their marketing resources and reach potential customers who are more likely to be interested in their products or services.
Cookies are the small files that contain user information and behaviors on the website while the customer visits the site. This is how cookies work:
For example: Whenever you visit any webpage or a social media site, you will see the same ad which you were shown on the previous webpage you visited.
Another example can be taken from Amazon. Whenever you visit Amazon, it shows you the ads for the products based on your purchasing habits or browsing history. Look at the image below:
Here, the user might have searched for stools, which is why Amazon is showing targeted ads to the user to motivate the user to complete the purchase.
4. AI-generated content
There are many websites nowadays that can write for you. There is no guarantee of creativity, but these tools can be very helpful to you in times of need. These AI content-generating tools also help content creators improve their efficiency and automate tasks like writing email content, writing personalized messages, and more.
5. Image Recognition Technology
Image recognition technology deals with the identification and classification of images. It is a subset of artificial intelligence that involves the use of algorithms to process and interpret images. These algorithms can be used to identify objects, faces, or even emotions. Image recognition is often used in security applications, such as facial recognition systems, to identify individuals.
Another example of image recognition technology is used in social media apps like Facebook in the form of Tagging friends/ people.
6. Web Designing
There are many applications nowadays that use AI and design a website based on the client’s provided information, like images, calls to action, etc. Some of these applications are Shopify, Wix, Zyro, and more.
7. Email Marketing Campaigns
Emails are one of the best ways to reach out to existing and new customers. AI has proved to be extremely helpful in creating personalized emails for them. For example, whenever you place an order from Myntra, you get a personalised email with your name telling you that your order has been placed. This is another way of engaging with the customers.
AI creates the right subject line that is capable of grabbing the reader’s attention, which increases the chances of interaction with the customer.
Wise digital marketers like to remain on top of the trends. The companies are hiring digital marketers who are well trained and knowledgable. That is why young professionals are nowadays investing in Digital Marketing courses to have an edge in the industry.
Digital marketers are nowadays using AI to create more value for their customers. We have already seen how AI has transformed digital marketing and what its different applications are, but do you think AI can replace marketers? Not completely. Ultimately, the final decisions are made by human beings, and AI can make it easier for them to make the best decisions for their digital marketing campaigns.
AI is shaping digital marketing, and it is the future. It’s better to understand and learn AI if you are looking forward to building a career in the field. Run a successful online business in the future by using AI and its applications.
Akriti Galav is a Content Strategist with Great Learning and has over 7 years of experience in content marketing. She has a deep understanding of digital marketing, management, and other topics that create a lasting impact on the audience. She is an avid researcher and has a knack for finding the latest studies, reports, original research, and up-to-date information to include in her content.