Before falling asleep every night, I ask Siri to set an alarm for the next morning. When I text my friends, I use the suggested text to make typing easier. If I have a question, I can ask my Google Home without having to look it up myself, and before I go out, I use Google Maps to chart the quickest route to my destination.
All of these mundane realities that have become routine for us are glaring examples of the way Artificial Intelligence (AI) has fully integrated itself into all of our lives. We’ve been using AI without even knowing it, and the basic concepts of what artificial intelligence can do for us are not unfamiliar; after all, they’ve been here for years now. Despite this, there’s an air of unapproachability around AI and there seems to be a border that stretches around the field.
Coming from a more traditional marketing background, I was on the outside of this border. In my head, the phrase “AI” conjured images of advanced technology and software that required a skillset separate from the one I already possessed but this mindset that many others also share is borne out of a misunderstanding of what AI is— a tool. AI is just a tool that can be wielded to any marketer’s advantage and if used correctly, can optimise marketing strategy in ways that set themselves apart from any others.
The marketer’s goal, at its most simple definition, is to understand their customer. It’s through that understanding that you learn their shopping habits, about what they like, about how they live their lives online; you learn what you can from information, from their data. Over time, this collected data reveals patterns and trends, and these insights—once gleaned—prove to be invaluable in achieving success when it comes to planning and deploying campaigns. Thus, this model is built on the idea of understanding data, being able to analyse it, and then use it to design strategies.
At its core, the goal of marketing is often to understand your customers. It’s about being able to empathise with them, to imagine yourself in their shows and this in turn offers invaluable insight into the way they behave online. This model of building and fostering this digital relationship is reliant on being able to predict the success of campaigns tailored around that very same audience and thus prediction—and the value of how good that prediction is—has become increasingly salient to marketers. AI or artificial intelligence is simply a prediction technology.
For marketers, and business owners, this prediction technology is invaluable. Every campaign and every ad is built based on prediction; we predict specific strategies will work towards conversion and therefore lead to a successful ad that performs well. AI can help take away that guesswork and offer a simplified and more elegant tool with which to do this.
While humans are unable to parse through big data in an efficient and timely manner, AI technology is able to not only sort through it but learn from it and then offer insights. These insights are invaluable when it comes to marketing strategy and offer a way to hyper-personalise marketing in an arena that is already oversaturated. To bring your ads to the forefront of consumers’ minds you need an unfair advantage; AI is just that.
By learning and constantly improving upon itself, AI is offering a new way with which to market, evolving the landscape into something that looks towards the future of business and economics.