AI technology is a hot topic for marketers these days. While talk of artificial intelligence is more commonly used to describe life-altering technological advancements such as driverless vehicles, speech and image recognition, genomic medicine, and Netflix recommendations, in the marketing tech industry AI promises to produce greater efficiencies at scale. However, what can we really expect when the bots take over?
A study by CRM tech provider Salesforce found the top improvement respondents expect to see from AI is efficiency in personalization and user experience. With massive volumes of data filtered through algorithms, the goal of AI is to make the data actionable – in real-time. Creating experiences that are both unique and specific to each user is an advertiser’s digital dream. If the consumer does not feel that the product/service directly fits their need, then you have lost them. It is a selfish way of thinking, but with the amount of media consumed from multiple devices, it is we who are being programmed.
Like a human brain, AI recognizes patterns they have seen in the past to make decisions and predictions about what might come next. This should sound familiar. Programmatic ad systems have been around for a few years now using machine learning. In fact, whether there are clear distinctions between machine learning and AI is questionable. Graham Cooke, founder and CEO of personalization platform Qubit, suggests that what has evolved from machine learning – “deep learning" requiring "an unbelievable amount of training data" – that truly qualifies as AI. Others see AI as what powers programmatic advertising altogether, automatically optimizing campaigns that once required intense menial labor. Regardless of how it is define, as with any AI, it will only be as good as the data flowing through it.
So where does artificial intelligence leave the marketer? The Answer: not out of a job. AI has the potential to shift our focus from day-to-day processes to long-term solutions. People will still possess the human emotion behind designing compelling creative and developing greater strategies to meet marketing objectives. It will allow a new breed of marketers to emerge. Data scientists, programmers, data-analysts, and behavior-gurus will work alongside AI systems to create some of the most personalized marketing we have yet to see. AI will provide us with the necessary tools and resources, but only humans can pull the plug on what works – and what does not.