Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Transforming the Future of Marketing

One of the biggest disruptors in marketing today is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI technologies are quickly advancing and changing the way marketers’ analyze, solve and implement solutions to improve customer engagement. With AI, machines perform tasks which involve intelligence at par with that of humans like decision making, visual perception, speech recognition, learning, reasoning, planning, and strategizing. It also helps machines learn from experience and take actions based on analyzing data without the need for coded instructions every time.

But what is AI Marketing?

“Artificial intelligence marketing (AI Marketing) is a method of leveraging customer data and AI concepts like machine learning to anticipate customer’s next move and improve the customer journey.”

The evolution of big data and advanced analytic solutions have made it possible for marketers to gauge a better understanding of their target customers than ever before. With the help of data mining algorithms and AI, marketers are able to identify customer’s preferences, purchase history, traits, characteristics, etc. All this helps companies in developing relevant products and services for their target consumers. With the advancement of AI, there has been a sharp increase in predictive analytics. Companies now can not only predict the future but also change it favourably. The AI systems are so robust that just like a doctor it prescribes the company the steps it needs to take in order to accomplish the goals.

Unilever recently used AI for unstructured data and predictive modelling for the purpose of product innovation. Unilever’s Head Global Insights and co-author of the book “AI for Marketing and Product Innovation”, Sthanunathan explained: “The movies we watch, the books we read, all influence our thinking. If you can analyse every single piece of dialogue in a movie or song, we may be able to unearth something meaningful. Consuming all that content is not a mind-numbing experience for a computer. We started mining unstructured data to get metaphors. We can use those same pieces of information to identify emerging trends to see.” With the help of these insights Unilever’s biggest brands, such as Ben & Jerry’s, was able to launch a range of breakfast flavours in 2017.

Similarly, Coca Cola announced the decision to launch Cherry Sprite as a new flavour based on monitoring of data collected from the latest generation of self-service soft drinks fountains, which allow customers to mix their own drinks. The company also planning to install AI in vending machines to allow greater personalization. For instance, customers will be able to order their favourite blend from any vending machine with the machine mixing it to their individual preference. The AI will adapt the machine’s behaviour depending on its location.

Companies are integrating AI not just in product innovation but also in personalization & profiling, SEO, content research & creation, buyer journey optimization, customer service, CRM, and image recognition software. AI does data mining at lightning speed. It performs sentiment analysis by analyzing people’s behaviour, opinion, attitude, and emotion towards issues, events, and various topics.

The future is about marketer and machine working together wherein the latter will enhance the former’s performance. Personalization also called individualization is the key metric for improved customer satisfaction, better customer engagement and a deeper relationship with the customers. Marketers have realized that tailoring products, services and content for each individual customer are the only way to win and retain their loyalty. However, personalization has to be done in the right way as mistargeted personalization leads customers to think that brand is unable to understand them. According to research by McKinsey, when brands get personalization right, marketing expenditures can deliver five to eight times the ROI and lift sales by 10% or more.

Brands are more likely to convert leads into sales if they offer personalized interactions with their customers. Consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they know their name, recommends new products based on past purchases or, knows their purchase preferences. Today’s consumers expect more humanity from their brands. They want to be listened to and truly understood. In light of this, the future of marketing is going to witness the power of personalization, and this would be possible only with the help AI solutions.