I still remember an article published in 2014 on BBC that scared me to bits. It was a prediction on Artificial Intelligence from Professor Stephen Hawking and he said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race…. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
3 years later, it doesn’t sound scary anymore or even unthinkable. As I see and experience AI in all domains, the professor’s words seem to be becoming a reality. AI is everywhere as you can see and it is already taking up our jobs. Unemployment in technology is happening for real. It is happening at a pace that is much faster than what we can imagine. For instance, Foxconn Electronics, which is one of the biggest Taiwanese manufacturing companies to produce Apple iPhone and other electronic brands, has recently announced that it will fully replace their workforce with robots.
Google is no exception. It has already adopted machine learning with the RankBrain algorithm to resolve the search results that the user wishes to see. Even Facebook is using AI for its Messenger platform (customer service chatbots). What’s more interesting is the fact that AI is cheaper as compared to hiring developers and other professionals for similar operations.
So, AI is real and it’s happening fast.
Experts say that in just 3 years (by 2020), as high as 85 percent of business transactions will be served without the need of a human. The competitiveness of these companies will be their ability to provide this kind of customer service.
We are reaching a stage where it will be hard to part ways with Artificial Intelligence in any domain. Recently, I heard that AI can spot the early signs of skin cancer just as well as any doctor. It will become so much of an integral part of every aspect of our lives. AI is so much permeating into all industries like manufacturing, healthcare, education, automobile, aviation, legal, etc. that it is impossible to single out a single industry that will not be impacted by AI.
Some experts say that digital marketing will thrive with a seamless interworking of varied mediums. What that means is that the way marketers will be able to use newer technologies like AI along with traditional digital marketing approaches will be the key to success.
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/hand-robot-machine-697264/
Let’s first try to understand what is AI capable of? At present we know that AI is capable of speech recognition, visual perception, decision-making, and translating languages. We are already experiencing the growing popularity of voice assistants such as Amazon Echo, Siri, etc. Chatbots and social media are also getting popular to engage with the customers. In the future, all these platforms, which are operating in silos, will have to work in seamlessly with each other.
Impact of AI in Digital Marketing
Website Design – a typical website takes about 4 weeks to design. Not anymore. With AI, you can have a website ready within minutes, and all this with content, images, and page layout. AI can make an intelligent design decision and based on that analyze your needs or current website to give you the right layouts, font, graphics, and colors that resonate with your brand.
Website Optimization – in the future, AI-based tools will help the digital marketers to optimize based on the hypothesis to the software and the algorithm that is able to act accordingly. Machine driven technology will be able to optimize the website for search engines within a fraction of seconds compared to the manual work that is being done in the present day.
Content – can you imagine a future where AI tools are used to create the copy of online ads? It doesn’t end there. These tools also could be used to create content to promote these ads. Experts predict that by 2018, almost 20% of the business content will be generated with the help of AI (after all AI can produce 2000 articles per second. And all of it without any grammatical errors and typos). Do you know some of the companies like Yahoo, Associated Press, and Samsung are already using AI to generate their content?
Smart tagging – whenever there’s a website audit, one of the critical aspects that is missing is the image and video audit. It is absolutely critical to tag images and videos on the website as it helps in improved UX. AI tools like Dextro and Clarifai are already being used for their smart tagging features.
Email marketing – Citibank has been using AI services to distribute emails to their customers for a number of segments. They have been generating emotionally charged content with their emailers and have experienced a phenomenal result. Can you imagine that they experienced a 70% growth in their open rates and 114% increase in their click-through rates?
Voice Search – studies suggest that voice search is here to stay (even longer that text search). It will change our content, and also our customer service that is targeted more towards customer experience. SEO experts will have to focus on long-tail keywords rather than short keywords.
The growth of Chatbots – Used extensively, chatbots are programs used to interact with humans over the Internet. There are a number of platforms where chatbots are used, for example for chat and professional tools. Chatbots are much faster and perceptive to understand the customer needs and these will be widely used in the coming days.
Improved customer experience – AI tools are expected to give better customer understanding and insights into what customers want and also tools to construct your message accordingly. These tools also help to serve the customers better. Take for example mobile traffic, most of it occurs during the weekend. It’s a time when employees are not available. This is the time when AI can take over and schedule updates, track interactions and even change the content if required.
There is a vast data available that digital marketers can use to make an impact on customer experience, marketing campaigns and the future of digital marketing. There is a drastic increase in the number of AI tools that can help to optimize campaigns, generate leads, build the brand, improve customer retention, and prepare you for better results from digital marketing. In the current state, AI is taking up all the mundane and time-consuming tasks in Digital Marketers. In the future, it is expected to do much more and that future is not far-fetched.
Embracing AI is not a choice anymore, it is the way forward for Digital Marketers.