Managing several marketing initiatives and social media schedules simultaneously could get challenging for companies. The collection of uncategorised data for marketing insights could also eat up work hours that could be better spent doing more complex tasks, likely compelling businesses to look for automated solutions. This is where the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing could be felt, particularly when it comes to digital marketing.
In this article, we are going to explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing, and how this could help companies scale up their marketing initiatives and customer reach.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
According to Gartner, AI is the ability of machines to use logic-based techniques and advanced analytics —which includes supporting and automating decisions, taking actions, and interpreting events.
How is AI changing the digital marketing landscape?
Digital marketing operations are mostly concerned with promoting products, brands, and other related activities through digital platforms, such as social media apps and websites, as well as online retail stores. Most companies could find a major part of their workday allocated to designing campaigns, strategising policies to enhance sales, offering engaging deals and schemes, and improving visitor experience and management. However, it may not be easy to perform all these tasks manually. This is when businesses could potentially realise the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing.
Imagine a furniture business employing a small robot that performs tasks such as implementing approved furniture designs, communicating with clients, informing potential customers of new offers, and assessing the cost of materials and resources. Now picture such a robot doing the same when it comes to digital marketing —designing marketing campaigns and building email subscription lists, among other tasks. Businesses —particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)— could benefit from using AI solutions that could help simplify tasks and manage marketing initiatives.
Which AI-enabled processes can aid in digital marketing?
Often, businesses perceive the use of AI-enabled systems as limited to data analytics. However, the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing goes beyond tracking present and future patterns of customer behaviour. AI-powered processes may have potentially enabled companies to integrate new features that can speed up productivity and performance when it comes to marketing operations, some of which are listed below.
Some companies are integrating chatbots —an application that enables customers to communicate with businesses online using graphics, voice messages, and text messages over websites, mobile applications, and phone calls. Such chatbots offer data and take feedback, which could help automate quick decision-making. Prompt responses to customer queries could also help companies improve customer loyalty —and, in turn— widen the scope for digital marketing. In addition, the feedback received from such chatbots could aid in creating data-driven marketing initiatives.
AI technologies can help businesses understand customer decisions and requirements based on digital shelf edge labels. These shelf edge labels collect details related to product ingredients, components, barcodes, prices, and more through digital tags. With this process in place, companies can potentially understand the preferences and needs of customers in greater detail and make predictions about their future purchase decisions, thereby helping them craft better-informed and focussed digital marketing campaigns.
Robotic process automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a productivity tool that enables the configuration of robots or bots to offer automated solutions. AI solutions such as robotic process automation could enable businesses to collate important data from various systems and devices efficiently, unlike manual processes which could take hours or even days. This can help companies save time and navigate through the collected data, aiding in formulating future digital marketing strategies.
Business process automation
Business process automation (BPA) enables the automation of various business functions and processes, such as data management and assessment, using advanced AI-enabled technologies. Such solutions could enable businesses to cast a wide net in their marketing strategies —such as business to business (B2B) email marketing— by automating tasks such as assessing, monitoring, and developing marketing campaigns. This could also help them identify non-responders on digital platforms, as well as improve their reach among respondents.
Machine learning is a set of instructions comprising various technologies used for learning behaviour patterns and generating insights based on existing information. It could help businesses improve customer engagement and provide cognitive insights —the concept of assessing insights and self-reflective perceptions to offer improved awareness regarding a situation. This could potentially help them automatically track routine customer patterns and design their digital marketing strategies based on age, interests, and income, to name a few metrics.
What are the advantages of using AI for digital marketing?
AI-enabled processes could help businesses by providing automated solutions for performing routine and repetitive tasks, and also help pilot smarter marketing strategies based on the analysis of customer behaviour and purchase decisions. We will now list some advantages of using AI-powered tools for digital marketing.
1. Helps in utilising predictive analytics
As the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing may be gaining ground, companies could potentially benefit from adopting it. AI technology uses a series of statistical techniques, including machine learning, data mining, and predictive modelling (a statistical model that helps in predicting outcomes). With the use of predictive data analytics, businesses can likely improve their real-time decision-making through historical and current data analysis. In this way, they can translate customer behaviours and preferences into actionable insights and incorporate them into their digital marketing initiatives.
2. Aids in enabling personalisation
Understanding customer preferences is usually not just limited to purchase behaviours. Companies are realizing the importance of AI as it could help in tracking browsing histories and creating a list of websites visited by customers, which could help businesses level up their marketing game via the use of targeted ads. These recommendations can potentially be integrated with their marketing automation platform and shared with customers through multiple channels, including emails, social media, and messaging platforms.
3. Helps with segmenting data
The importance of artificial intelligence may have intensified across industries as the need for categorising data persists. With the use of AI-enabled tools, data sets can be analysed and segmented or categorised efficiently, which would further help businesses personalise the customer marketing experience and tailor digital marketing strategies in alignment with the insights and feedback they receive.
4. Tracks the behaviour of leads
Companies are likely understanding the importance of artificial intelligence in marketing as it can potentially identify relevant channels for their target market. This technology could enable marketing teams to send messages on these channels —on the basis of the behaviour of their leads or potential customers— on apps for mobile devices and desktops, emails, and websites.
What’s the key takeaway?
As the need to crunch data persists to improve outcomes, the use of AI-powered tools can help businesses enhance their marketing performance. AI is potentially gaining ground as a catalyst for growth in digital marketing as it has widened the scope of improving the customer experience and understanding their behaviours and patterns.