How AI Will Shape the Future of Marketing

Contributed content / By Anastasia Stefanuk / 20 November 2019

In today's fast-paced and digital-oriented landscape, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as one of the most effective social media and marketing outreach technologies.  It has been used to change the way businesses attract, generate, and nurture leads. 

Over the last few years, the number of internet and social media users has surged. As of 2019, it is estimated that more than 3.4 billion people are actively using social media platforms. 

With so many users on social media, it’s inevitable that your customers are amongst this group — along with your potential customers. But the question is, how do you reach them?

Industry thought leaders argue that recent AI advancements will help businesses turn prospective customers into raving fans in the future.

Marketers around the world are already reaping big returns on AI innovations. Whereas the AI software market generated revenues of $1.4 billion in 2016, Tractica estimates that it will hit $59.8 billion by 2025.

tech jury AI software growth infographic
Source

AI may also contribute to global GDP growth of $15.7 trillion by 2030, according to Manning Global.

So, how can you leverage this cutting-edge technology to give your business much-needed exposure?

In this article, we will take a look at the future of AI in marketing and the impact that this technology will have. We are also going to briefly look at how and where you can hire AI programmers. 

How AI Will Shape the Future of Marketing

  1. What is AI Programming? 
  2. Core elements of AI marketing
  3. Future benefits of AI in marketing
  4. Disadvantages of AI for marketing
  5. Future of AI software programmers

1. What is AI Programming?

AI simulates human intelligence processes using machines and computer systems. These processes mainly include learning, reasoning, and self-correction.

In marketing, AI leverages concepts like machine learning and customer data to try and forecast a customer’s next move and help improve their journey.

The advancements in analytic solutions and the evolution of big data have helped marketers profile their target audiences. Armed with data insights, marketing teams are able to augment the performance of their marketing campaigns and see a higher ROI.

2. Core Elements of AI Marketing

There are multiple elements that have made AI as powerful as it is today. However, AI in marketing is supported by 3 main pillars. They include:

Big Data

As the name suggests, big data is based on a pretty straightforward concept. It gives marketers the ability to aggregate and profile large data sets with little manual work. The marketing team then uses this data to push campaigns to the right people, at the right time, using whichever channel they choose.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the platform of choice for marketers when they are trying to decode huge data repositories. It helps marketing teams identify common patterns and trends within the accumulated data so that they can understand the root cause of trends and the likelihood of repetition.

Powerful Solutions

AI marketing solutions have a deep, human understanding of the world. As such, they are able to identify insightful concepts across huge data sets at an incredibly fast rate. 

AI solutions are also helpful in interpreting emotions and communicating like humans, which makes them intelligent enough to understand natural language and open form content, like email responses and social media.

3. Future Benefits of AI in Marketing

AI marketing has enthralled marketing teams all over the world. According to a study from Statista, 84% of respondents said that AI gave them a business advantage over competitors. 

So, what will AI spell for the future of marketing and marketing teams?  

Below, we review the potential influence of AI in marketing in the upcoming years, which include:

  • Improved product and content recommendations
  • Better social engagement and customer service
  • Improved search engines
  • Better ads

These are only a few aspects of marketing that AI has the potential to improve.

Improved Product and Content Recommendations

The practice of profiling customers in order to predict their future behaviors began two decades ago. Over this same period, Amazon began deploying collaborative filtering to push recommendations to millions of customers.

Fast forward to today, and many blue-chip tech companies have built their product offering and business models around the concept of targeting customers with highly relevant and customized products or services. 

All of this is the result of AI-based clustering and data interpretation compounded with demographics and profile information. By continually pairing and adapting to customer likes and dislikes, companies are now able to put forward new and tailored recommendations in real-time.

To keep up with the growing popularity of AI in marketing, major brands are now hiring AI software programmers capable of creating AI-powered recommendations platforms.

A good example is Sky, which deploys a machine learning model that can recommend content based on the viewer’s mood. 

Better Social Engagement and Customer Service

The quality of social engagement and customer service before, during, and after the sales process is important — it could be the missing link between scoring loyal customers and conducting a one-time sale. 

According to Salesforce’s 2018 State of Marketing Report, 33% of customers interviewed indicated that they were more compelled to drop a brand if they didn’t have top-notch customer service. Here are some other stats that illuminate how critical customer service is:

Nextiva customer service statistics infographic
Source

According to research from Microsoft, 97% of consumers say customer service is an important factor when they choose a brand. 

Modern-day businesses likely won’t succeed without high-level customer service and support offerings.

Fortunately, AI-powered intelligent messaging platforms are helping businesses improve their overall customer service engagement experience. 

Whether it’s retail, e-commerce, or healthcare, these platforms can register customer suggestions and feedback based on their buying habits. And this is where the future of customer service lies.

Improved Search Engines 

AI has profoundly impacted the way we search for information online, along with the overall quality of the search experience. 

In 2015, Google’s experimentations with AI led to their machine learning-based algorithm RankBrain, which helps process search results.

Since then, Amazon and other large e-commerce sites have followed suit by incorporating AI into their search engines to make product searching smarter.

With innovations like semantic search and natural language processing (NLP), search engines are able to crawl through multiple websites, correlate similar links, auto-correct mistakes, and find relevant search results. 

Equipped with these technologies, customers can discover products well-suited to their needs and interests, even if they weren’t originally sure what they were looking for.

Smarter Ads

With these advancements in big data and the proliferation of social media platforms, marketers are already working overtime to create smarter and more effective ads. 

Using AI-based solutions, marketing teams dig deep into social profiles and keyword searches. Markets can ultimately create human-level outcomes using this information gathered by AI.

4. Disadvantages of AI

Artificial Intelligence, like any emerging technology, does have drawbacks. Here are a few to keep in mind as you decide whether to include AI in your marketing strategy.

AI Is Expensive

Creating AI platforms and systems is costly, as it requires complex machines whose repair and maintenance don’t come cheap.

AI software programs also need frequent upgrades to accommodate the constantly changing AI environment. 

Any severe breakdown could result in lost codes, which may require a lot of resources and time to recover. 

AI Could Lead to Unemployment

AI has the potential to replace humans in many workplaces, leading to large-scale unemployment.

Today, with the help of machines, most tasks can be done at the click of a button. As machines become more intelligent, companies will only need a few manual workers.

According to research conducted by Accenture in 2018, AI is capable of enhancing business productivity by 40% — but at what cost? 

McKinsey Global Institute reported that up to 800 million global workers could lose their jobs to robotic automation by 2030.

Even more worrying, unemployment is a socially undesirable phenomenon. A 2016 Journal of Quantitative Criminology report indicates that massive employment could lead to anarchy and destruction in society.

AI Might Limit Creativity

Rampant use of AI could lead humans to being unnecessarily dependent on machines. As a result, we would have a lazy and less creative workforce.

5. The Promising Future of AI Software Programmers

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory say it’s likely that AI will replace software developers by 2040

Another survey conducted by Evans Data Corp showed that 30% of 550 software developers believe that most if not all of their development efforts will be replaced by AI in the foreseeable future. 

To successfully bridge the skill gap that exists within the AI industry, any software developer out there should start looking at how to become an AI programmer. Without a doubt, the future is bright for AI software programmers. 

The AI programmer salary is expected to see a steep growth curve over the next decade. Recruiting platform Indeed released a report in 2018. It found that data scientists, software engineers, and machine learning engineers emerged as the three most in-demand AI jobs.

With the increased popularity of IT and development outsourcing, the skills gaps in these and many other AI-related jobs have continued to narrow.

For software developers to fit into the AI ecosystem and become adept AI programmers, necessary skills include math, calculus, NLP, statistics, algebra, data mining, big data, machine learning, text analytics, and cognitive computing, amongst many others.

Marketers Must Be Ready for AI

AI is infiltrating every aspect of our daily lives. There’s no better time for marketing teams to start leveraging AI strategies to create personalized experiences for their customers. 

With the expected growth of AI across all segments and industries, the least any marketer can do is dedicate time and resources to AI solutions. In doing so, they’ll ensure that their marketing strategy is poised for continued success, both now and in the future. 
 

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