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Artificial Intelligence – making marketing human again

COVID has seen a significant spike in the amount of time consumers are spending on their digital devices. This signals opportunity from a marketer’s perspective to stay in touch through these digital channels more than ever before, but ensuring engagement along the way is the constant challenge. Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to shift brands away from marketing automation and towards curated experiences in real time…making the engagement more personalised….more human.

Consumers are always ‘on’….and they are becoming more and more demanding, they want things NOW. Impatience and an expectation to be engaged by a brand in a personalised way that speaks directly to them – consumers want new and memorable experiences when connecting with a brand. Electronic direct mail to the masses and generic digital messaging as a result of marketing automation has often become an easy option, at the detriment of a business’ most valuable assets – their customer data.

Giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon have embraced AI and consumers experiences are specifically guided, determining what we see and when we see it, and if we buy.

We see this in our everyday lives:

Google maps helps us find a location or avoid an accident, Siri answers our questions, gmail finishes our sentences, Alexa turns on our lights or our smart phones recognise our faces.

In all of these instances software or algorithms are trawling through immense amounts of data to predict the outcome and guide us to the best solution – in it’s basic form, it unites needs/wants with products/services.

Search terms, clicked vs didn’t click, purchased vs didn’t purchase, video views, subscribes etc. are just some of the categories that Google will assign to your user information that it gathers whilst you spend time on a device. What you see is being predicted and served to you based on your digital data history, your activity yesterday is shaping what you see today.

Google co-founder Larry Page, when asked in the early 2000’s why the company offered search results for free, responded “…Oh we are really making an AI…”.

Marketing is leveraging AI to make the shift from automation to personalisation and meet the consumer expectation of tailored experiences.

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Marketing has seen the shift from a traditional model to a digital one, leading to a more advanced strategy.

AI Algorithms can select headlines and copy from a bunch of options that match a user’s search profile, in real time. Machine learning across customer data can help predict engagement rates – who is likely to open, click, convert etc. AI marketing solutions super charge buyer personas – identifying unique traits of customers and tailoring the marketing content that is subsequently shown to them.

The future of AI is advancing at an amazing speed, former head of Google China and AI expert, Kai-Fu Lee identified 4 waves of AI revolution:

1. Internet AI eg. cybersecurity
2. Business AI eg. chat bots or AI driven campaign utilising Google Display Network
3. Perception AI eg. face recognition on our smartphones
4. Autonomous AI eg. where machines can hear, see and react to the world around them…..scary

AI is destined to go far beyond tailoring your digital online experience. Brands need to be open to exploring new ways to connect with their target audience and build memorable experiences.

Take for example the fridge scene, we have seen major brands such as Samsung and LG launch smart fridges that allows you to order your groceries with partners such as Woolworths via App and interactive ‘smart’ door interfaces. Now the price tag was a little steep and the consumer experience seen as a little clunky but these integrations are only going to become more seamless and affordable, and it’s not limited to appliances, or industries. The agricultural industry in particular is leading the way in many of these AI integrations from crop management to milking cows.

In the not too distant future AI seems destined to become an everyday lived experience, where not only the devices we use, the smart fashion we wear, automated cars we drive, the smart home we live in are all connected, working to ensure our lives are made easier. This is happening all whilst gathering mammoth amounts of data, ‘fuelling’ the algorithms and allowing them to build an even deeper understanding and connection with people more than ever before.

Kyleen Partridge, Senior Digital Account Manager

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