Future Of Marketing Is AI: Are You Embracing It?
A job interview for marketing was conducted in the 90s where a hopeful candidate was asked to sell their future employer a pen. Decades later, fresh graduates still face similar situations.
Let’s imagine that the young candidate walks nervously into the company of their dream. The interview begins. He is asked to introduce himself. Here the candidate pulls out his virtual reality (VR) device to show his CV instead of a printed version. Completely unheard of now.
Although this is a hypothetical scenario, the principle remains the same – the world is changing fast and if we as marketers are not adapting, we might end up like the likes of Blackberry and Blockbuster; in other words, non-existent.
We live in a digitised world. No longer are there flyers on the streets or personal selling at doors. Instead, there are now electronic newsletters sent to your email and mass selling through Instagram stories. Soon perhaps, our smartphones or VR devices will be the main way for us to see advertisements on our streets – like PokemonGo.
An Accepted Change
The Forbes Agency Council has predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) will take over most of our business activities. A lot of businesses are already accepting of this change. According to PwC, 72% of business leaders view AI as an advantage to the future of their business.
Reports have also shown us that AR has a track record to hold attention for more than 85 seconds which in turn improves consumer interaction by 20% and purchase rates by 33%.
This sounds very promising.
But what can AI bring to marketing?
Answering Current and Future Needs
AI in marketing delivers and exceeds what customers want. It is a more visual and interactive engagement. Coming from a paperless generation that relies more on their smartphones, customers today may not be engaged by traditional marketing. Studies have shown that 82% of consumers expect companies to focus on developing augmented reality (AR) experiences for smartphones and 62% of B2B professionals consider video as an “effective content marketing tactic”.
Before AI, email direct marketing (EDM) used to track consumers’ activities and data to customise campaigns for targeted audiences. However, a click-through to open an EDM does not necessarily mean a complete read-through of the information communicated.
AI guarantees that data tracked is comprehensive enough to benefit marketing efforts. If EDMs, which are run by humans, can track consumer preferences to such extent, imagine what marketers can achieve with the help of AI’s big data and machine learning combined.
Faster Decision Making
It can be dreadful to read around spreadsheets and campaign reports to try developing the most effective marketing campaign. The endless tedious tasks are perhaps why many marketers produce ineffective campaigns.
By integrating AI with analytics and reports, marketers can now produce unbiased recommendations more efficiently and effectively. Marketers can learn a real-time condition and insightful analysis, rather than evaluating weekly and monthly reports that are not always relevant and up to date.
Marketing can become more efficient with the help of AI for developing personalised and real-time advertisements. There is a reason why consumers are often not enticed to buy a product based on just a picture – they could not engage with the products. With AR, people can see the products in reality and on the spot.
AI also reduces inefficient labour. The time for analysing reports can be eliminated and used for more productive work purposes.
AI may be expensive. But, isn’t marketing always expensive? Not taking into account the internal cost, just the commercial placements on television, radio, billboard and internet by themselves are already very costly.
Surprisingly, launching an AI-based campaign can be more affordable than traditional advertising. The McKinsey’s study report predicted that AI will impact the global economy and its contribution will grow three times or more in 2030 than in the next five years.
Back in the 90s, no one would think that AI was real. Movies with AI are still classified as “science fiction”. Here we are today; we can design our house with preferred furniture in real size and space using our smartphones.
AI is still developing. In years and decades to come, we will most likely be surprised by what robots can deliver to us.
Ready for AI?
In 2014, Pepsi Max placed an AR advertisement on London’s bus shelter. The result was staggering, with 8.6 million views and 38k likes on YouTube alone.
This is just a glimpse of what AI brings to the marketing world. Like it or not, AI is closer than you think.