New Uses for AI in Marketing

The fear that machines will take over has existed since before the Luddites, and it’s still present in blockbuster movies and mainstream news today. A recent article in the New York Times discusses the dangers of AI. The article mentions that the spread of false information is just the beginning. The biggest fear is that we might lose control, leading to the potential destruction of humanity.

For marketing professionals, it’s better to say, “The machines are here to help you, not replace you.” Modern marketing management uses big data to track performance and predict trends before they happen. And that’s just the start of the possible applications for AI technology in marketing.

What is the Future of AI in Marketing?

AI in marketing has two main uses. The first is analyzing big data to find useful information. The second is generating human-like language from basic commands.

Marketing teams will use artificial intelligence to simplify numbers and turn short phrases into longer, easier-to-understand messages. They will also use AI to create follow-up tasks.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Before looking at its future in marketing, it’s important to have a solid sense of what AI is and where it’s heading. AI is an intelligent creation by humans that can do tasks without being told what to do. It can think and act rationally and humanly. Because of how often humans are irrational and inhuman, it’s possible to define AI as the best possible version of ourselves. But that’s a bit philosophical.

At a more practical level, a good way to understand AI technology is to look at some of the common ways researchers divide it into different types.

Strong and Weak AI

AI can be classified as strong or weak. Strong AI has a wider scope, human-level intelligence, and can cluster and associate data. Weak AI is limited in scope and only excels at specific tasks. It can utilize both supervised and unsupervised learning to analyze data. A good example of weak AI is a simple computer chess game.

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

ANI is the only type of AI we already have. It’s able to do one task well, but only that one task. An example could be an AI that can guess what products you might also be interested in by looking at past purchases. Another would be an AI that can predict the weather.

Marketing managers can use ANI to predict future consumer behavior by analyzing historical data. They can also determine the best time to launch campaigns by using data insights.

AGI is currently only theoretical. Instead of being good at one task, AGI would excel at a range of competencies, including language processing, image processing, computational functioning, and reasoning. Basically, it would be like a regular person, able to pay attention to a conversation while driving a car and trying, in the back of their head, to estimate how much longer the ride is going to take based on the amount of traffic.

ASI is the system in those sci-fi movies that can beat humans at all levels of cognition and production. Not only can it outwrite Shakespeare, but it can also emotionally connect to literature better than we can.

What is Predictive Marketing and What Role Does AI Technology Play?

Predictive marketing leverages both historical and real-time data from consumers and market trends to warn you of future opportunities and threats so you can find and act on small insights before they create costly mistakes. Predictive marketing involves a lot of data from many different sources. A report about machine learning in marketing states that ML algorithms gather data from various touchpoints and platforms. They also use contextual data from CRM and marketing automation systems. Additionally, they analyze information on how consumers interact with brands and the speed of marketing campaign success.

The Role of AI in Predictive Marketing

Predictive marketing is like a crystal ball for your marketing strategies, where the crystal ball is all the data, and the AI is the person peering into it. Once you train the AI on what the data from the market should look like, the software can find trends and then anomalies. Without AI, you’d have basic data analysis, where the software alerts you as soon as the market moves outside of what you defined as acceptable ranges.

What is a Chatbot and What is ChatGPT?

A chatbot is a piece of software that simulates conversation with a user. In the past, they were basic, interactive FAQs. Modern chatbots now leverage natural language understanding to figure out a user’s intentions and goals, which helps the AI provide the best possible answers. Over time, the chatbot can also employ machine learning and deep learning to expand and refine its base of questions and answers, improving its ability to predict how best to help future users.

ChatGPT is a popular chatbot from OpenAI. The GPT in the name stands for generative pre-trained transformer, a form of a large language model. The software trains itself using self-supervised learning or semi-supervised training.

Current and Future Use Cases for Language-Based AI in Marketing

AI in marketing will use data from various platforms and consumer interactions to predict when marketing efforts are needed. In the future, AI may also be able to generate human-like language.

Sorting Customer Requests with a Simple Chatbot

Traditionally, marketing managers have struggled to get accurate information on customer preferences from various departments. By upgrading a static request portal to an interactive chatbot, marketing managers are much more likely to get the right data from the right people.

Improving Communication with AI Writing Assistants

Most marketing managers are looking for team members who can create compelling content, design engaging visuals, and develop effective campaigns. With generative AI, everyone in the marketing department gets a real-time communication assistant that helps them with everything from spelling and clarity to tone and style.

Current Limitations for AI in Marketing

For AI and predictive marketing, the limitations are related to cost. Implementing predictive marketing can be costly and requires significant investment in data collection tools, models, and training. For language-based AI, the limitations are more related to accuracy than cost. AI can sometimes produce inaccurate information, known as “AI hallucinations.”

Summary

Artificial intelligence has been viewed as a threat in popular culture and news. However, for marketing managers, it provides benefits. One of these benefits is the ability to predict and prevent failures before they happen. But that’s only the start of the possibilities of AI in marketing. “Artificial intelligence” covers a wide variety of software that excels at what are traditionally human capabilities, including language processing and reasoning. In marketing, we can leverage these for predictive marketing and communication improvements, although the technology tends to be expensive to set up and run.

Marketing managers can also use generative AI. Chatbots can help manage customer inquiries by gathering necessary information for the marketing department. AI can also help marketers craft clear comments and emails, even when out in the field working under tough conditions.