A marketer’s goal is to find an audience for the product or service. While smart marketing teams work hard to identify people who might be interested, it’s not an easy task. Let’s say your target audience is 35-40-year-old dads who earn at least $60,000 a year.
You write content aimed at them. You advertise in places they look, read, and listen. But you don’t always have the right message or the right platform. You may hit home with a small group of those people, but where are the masses beating down your door for your product?
AI will change that. Consider recommendations you receive from Pandora or Netflix. You might be surprised at some of the suggestions, but after watching or listening a while, you realize it was a good pick after all. The program knew what you liked before you did.
According to Google, AI is the future of marketing because it will achieve one of the most essential goals: relevance at scale.
Let’s think about those two words for a moment: relevance and scale. Many business owners think they want scale. They approach marketing with a “spray and pray” technique — one that’s a waste of money. You might reach thousands of eyeballs with a freeway billboard, but are they the right eyeballs?
A viral video on YouTube might reach millions, but are any of those people actually going to order something from your business?
Relevance is critical.
That’s finding the 37-year-old dad who not only earns enough money to buy your product but sees value in paying for it. And here’s how AI will help.
- PPC –
Marketers use pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to reach people searching for a specific set of words. You pay only if someone clicks on it, making it an efficient use of ad spend — especially because such ads on Google and Facebook give you a variety of options for segmenting your target audience by location, age, income, and interests.
AI can help determine which platforms, which words and what message will improve the likelihood that someone will click on those ads. Plus, AI will soon manage those ads and adjust the campaign as needed based on how it’s performing.
- More personal web experience –
PPC ads typically direct visitors to landing pages. Unlike a company’s main website, a landing page focuses on one specific action. But with AI, we might soon be able to customize a website visitor’s experience on a regular site, serving up different information and content based on that person’s location, device, demographics, and more.
Google already serves up results using AI (called RankBrain), and it won’t be long before this approach is used elsewhere.
- Analytics –
Marketers already study Google analytics to determine web traffic and where customers disengage. By examining at which point in the conversion process someone drops off, marketers can make improvements to retain more people. AI can learn these processes and present reports about problems.
- Content –
Whether it’s emails or blog posts, marketers spend a lot of time on content geared toward a specific group of people. AI will help identify segments and create the best material for them.
- Engagement –
When a customer’s interest starts to wane, you want to send him or her an email, a discount, a message, something to stay top of mind. AI will observe these changes in behavior and learn when to send what type of message for the optimum engagement.
- Sales forecasting –
AI analytics can also help sales and management teams by reporting when to expect higher or lower sales volume based on past results, events, the weather, or anything that might affect your service or product.
- Pricing changes –
Hotels are already relying on AI to manage dynamic pricing. Will other products and services follow suit, altering the prices of things based on supply and demand?
The Bigger Picture
AI will help marketing teams in these small ways, but more than that, it will integrate and combine the information. After all, if each section of your marketing team is using a different program, what good are those results?
They are spread across software platforms, with no one way to view it. Many of those tools are proprietary and offer just one slice of your audience data. AI will be the solution for taking all of that information and sorting it so that marketing executives can get a clear idea of what’s happening and make decisions.
How to advertise in this world of AI.
But as Forbes observes, this may lead to consumer behavior essentially powered by AI. And thus, how does a company advertise in this world? For example, the first time you ask Alexa to order diapers, which brand does it choose? Will paid advertising become a suggestion Alexa makes, as in, “You might want the Huggies brand based on your buying preferences, but Pampers has a sale today for $1 off.”
AI has far more implications for consumers and marketers than we’ve even begun to realize. If you’re ready to start using AI, talk to us about how.