March 22, 2023
The inevitable reality that marketers have been keeping at bay is finally here, and within the last five years it has been increasing in adoption and usage rates. Taking on many forms, such as artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and machine learning, IBM describes it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.” AI has begun to take some of the burden off of our marketing executions, but it’s important to note that when leveraging AI, it should always be used in conjunction with human expertise and other resources. Keeping this in mind, we’ll discuss the best AI practices you can implement to ensure your marketing strategy is built for the present and the future.
The rapid advancement in AI has produced additional options for task completion and ideation. For example, following a customer’s online purchase, a task-automation AI program can automatically send a prewritten email to them. Similarly, a machine-learning AI program can identify the customer’s characteristics (i.e., buying history), and create a personalized message to send them. These machines can serve many powerful functions for marketers within this growing landscape and range in capabilities. From more advanced, stand-alone, machine-learning software, like facial recognition, to less advanced, integrated, task-automation software, like social-post scheduling, the benefits of AI continue to grow within our industry. In fact, according to a
2020 Deloitte global survey of early AI adopters, two-thirds view AI as a critical tool for their business’s success, and three out of the five most popular AI objectives were marketing-related.
Artificial intelligence has significantly impacted modern programmatic advertising through personalization and optimization of ad buying and placement. AI has been used in marketing strategies for some time now, especially in digital ad exchanges. When you use programmatic advertising, AI dictates how your media spend is being used and who sees the ad. AI is taking into account the consumer’s behavior, preferences and interests to create a hyper-personalized strategy to capture and influence your target.
At Bailey Lauerman, we use programmatic buying and AI to execute our strategy and allocate the budget efficiently, which optimizes our team’s abilities. We recognize that each client is unique in terms of needs and goals, and AI allows us to take the guesswork out of ad buying, selling and placement. Through our Kantar Advertising Insights software, Vivvix, we have access to an abundance of market trends and exclusive insights that are aggregated and identified by AI. Proctor and Gamble has recently increased its AI efforts with hopes of strengthening in-house power and improving productivity. This decision stems from the company’s 2022 AI strategy for its Pampers brand, which saw U.S. sales increase by 10%, return on investment by 17% and media savings by 15%.
Customer relationship management has been supported by AI for quite some time now. From CRM systems to 24/7 chatbots, AI provides a faster and more efficient customer-service experience. CRM software is a very popular way to use AI in your marketing strategy. By utilizing software and applications for more tedious CRM tasks, you can focus more on the growth and goals of your account team and on closing deals. Systems like Salesforce use artificial intelligence to manage and predict leads and assist with data management. This type of software can save time and money for the business while simultaneously improving client and employee satisfaction.
There is some irony in using a computer program to assist in nurturing your client relationships, but many customers would rather work with a chatbot to solve a problem than wait on hold for a real human. According to LivePerson, a global leader in conversational AI, “68% of consumers say that communicating with automation to resolve issues faster increases their loyalty to a brand.” It was also stated in the company’s same customer experience report that “60% of 18–24-year-olds would rather interact with a chatbot than a human to find a product.” As the need for face-to-face interaction has decreased within the last decade, it’s no wonder chatbots are the preferred customer-service rep in solving issues. To provide the maximum amount of “humanity” to your use of AI customer service, BL recommends implementing a stand-alone, task-automated chatbot. This way, the machine is able to distribute answers based on frequently asked questions. However, more difficult issues will still require personable and human interaction. Overall, this combined approach will save time and still form meaningful relationships with your customers.
More advanced versions of chatbots and other creative AI programs have formed a new segment of AI called generative AI. While traditional AI can only analyze and organize existing data, generative AI uses machine learning to produce new data such as images, music or text. Generative AI is changing the way we think of and pursue creative ideas. A recent example of this comes from a collaboration between Hulu and IBM Watson Advertising in which an AI-powered ad will conjure up personalized copy that fits the user’s unique habits and characteristics. For example, a current subscriber to Hulu would be given an ad for a show they are already watching along with the call to action “Watch Now,” whereas a non-subscriber will be given the call to action “Start Your Free Trial” for a show or movie that the AI program suggests specifically for the user. This AI-powered ad campaign saw huge success, serving 44 million impressions and 18,000 active user sessions.
In recent months, ChatGPT has become increasingly popular and has had a massive influx of users. The majority are using the software for entertainment, but several corporations and brands have begun using it to assist their copy and strategy. At BL, we view copy as a craft, which is why we use the word “assist” purposefully. This instructs the user to employ ChatGPT and other generative AI formats with caution and recognize their limitations. Recently, Vanderbilt University received backlash after using ChatGPT to write a letter to its students addressing the recent Michigan State shooting. The letter was perceived as insincere and even included incorrect information. If you plan to use generative AI in creative marketing efforts, AI should always be used to assist your strategy, not replace it.
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