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17th of January 2018

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How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact Digital Marketing in 2018?

From sarcastic and brilliant Siri to Tesla’s self-driving cars to Google AI that can learn video games in mere hours, Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing industries one by one. The next target of AI in 2018 would be the digital marketing field which is already in a dynamically evolving phase.

Thanks to social media outreach and tons of data left behind knowingly and unknowingly during internet surfing, AI holds a huge potential in the field of digital marketing. Using AI in providing better customer experience, predictive analytics and targeted marketing will surely provide a great ROI to businesses.

The relationship between AI and Digital MarketingDuring previous years, marketers were hesitant to incorporate artificial intelligence into their strategies. But this year has witnessed considerable confidence amongst marketers with regards to its application. It is because of the reduced ambiguity regarding results as more and more sectors have already reaped significant benefits.

Artificial intelligence made its presence felt this year through its supplementary processes such as big data, Internet of Things and Machine Learning. But these are only components that will eventually contribute towards unleashing the full potential of AI. The coming years, especially 2018 would see visible changes and impact due to the application of AI.

Let’s see in what ways artificial intelligence will possibly impact digital marketing in 2018. Below are some of the potential areas where AI can tremendously boost digital marketing. These possibilities are only in the fetus stage now but 2018 could prove to be path-breaking for AI-powered digital marketing.

1. Personalizing user experience to a greater extent

It is the most crucial area where AI can break in and create a significant impact. A customer is the King of any business and content is king for a marketer. If he can align the content marketing strategy with artificial intelligence, it could be ground-breaking. Based on data collected such as customer searches, buying behavior and interests, customized content campaigns can be conducted. The catch is that it can be done for every single customer or prospect.

Chatbots are another example of AI interference in enhancing user experience. Chatbots are programmed to interact with customers on the basis of data that it receives. Traditional chatbox and text communication will soon give away to a multi-dimensional communication system with sensory abilities such as voice and touch. This would personalize the whole experience for users as they receive the impression of talking to a real person with consciousness.

Augmented reality, another aspect of AI can be leveraged to provide consumers an option to see and feel the product before actual purchase. This would make decision making easy for customers as they are able to perceive the product even before purchasing. This will stimulate a faster response from the customer and in turn increase the revenue.

2. Make Your Decision Simpler & Easier With Predictive Marketing

Each time a user browses on the internet; new data is generated and collected for AI analysis. This data can reveal information such as user needs, behaviors, and future actions. Based on this information, marketing can be optimized to supply the most relevant information. Social media outreach also reveals personal information about the prospect making it easy for marketers to create a targeted campaign.

This further reduces the sales-cycle as the relevant information is handed over to customers on a silver plate. This “predictive” campaigns can significantly reduce customer research on the product and makes decision making easier. As for marketers, they can continue to analyze the buyer through data and even make the customer return!

This type of AI-enabled algorithms will challenge the current ‘hotshots’ like SEO in a huge way. With AI powering the digital marketing initiatives from ground level, chances of trends such as SEO, banner ads becoming obsolete are high. After all, who needs SEO and website traffic when you have a detailed report of your prospect?

3. Using image recognition to get maximum ROI

Previously, image recognition was confined to identifying isolated objects in an image. But with AI – enabled software, it is now possible to get a detailed description of an image. Amazon’s latest brainchild Amazon Rekognition can actually recognize human faces, emotions involved and identify objects.

This technology can be used in various ways for various sectors. For banking and financial sector, AI-enabled image recognition can be leveraged for faster payment processes and enhance customer security. Social media is a huge source of images.

Social media has always been biased towards visual content as tweets with images receive 150 more tweets and Facebook posts with images receive 2.3X times more engagement. The world population together shares 3.25 billion photos a day according to this research. This humongous amount of images can be leveraged by AI to understand consumer patterns, behaviors, and needs. AI software will look for images in social media and compare it to a large image library to draw conclusions.

For example, a snack manufacturer can map their brand against the huge collection of photos in social media and understand the buyer demographics such as age group, gender etc., and also geographical potentials such as if the snack was consumed more at the beach, park, supermarkets, theaters and so on. This will help to align the marketing strategies in order to extract maximum Return on Investment.

Conclusion

Thanks to social media outreach and big data, we now know customers better than we ever did. Artificial intelligence and its associated technologies should bring marketers and customers closer in the coming years. Customers have a better understanding of a product and marketers have a better understanding of consumers.

With artificial intelligence as the connecting link between them, it would be interesting to see how digital marketing turns out in 2018. Optimized decision making, better sales-cycle and ‘predictive’ buying and selling processes are sure-shot outcomes of this robotic war. But this time both customers and brands would be on the winning side.

So let’s wait and see how marketers are maneuvering this highly lethal weapon to multiply sales, strengthening the pipeline and to get real close to the customers.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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