6 practical AI uses for digital marketers
Artificial Intelligence is the new buzzword in town. To many digital marketers, it seems so promising but so far away at the same time. Though it’s true AI “as seen in the movies” is not here, below are six AI applications that a savvy digital marketer can make use of right now.
Professional services websites are a wealth of information for both the user and the marketer. Analytics are captured for every visit and session. Until recently, digital marketers could only use this data to get an overall pattern of visits on the site. There really was no easy way to provide an individual user with what he or she needs based on this data.
However, with personalization, content can be tailored to a user based on different factors, including those as simple as their location, to the more complicated, like what their browsing pattern looks like. Personalizing these paths and the content offered up gets the user directly to what he/she is interested in, improves engagement and keeps them coming back.
A website redesign takes a lot of time and effort. As marketers, it’s important to learn about your clients and try to apply that knowledge to this digital effort. But sometimes, we assume preferences and outcomes with no plan to test them.
A/B testing is a way to test these assumptions. With tools that are available now, we can easily test if a design/content/placement does better with your audience compared to another. These tests can be automated and can help in understanding your audience on a continuous basis. It also informs you of an overall trend through which you can make decisions based on data.
Voice is the new frontier for marketing. We all have a voice assistant at home or on our phone. Though some of these may need more work, they all seem to be getting better year after year. And most of them already have ways to look up content from another application. Not only that, but voice is a great option for those looking to up their accessibility game, as it allows users with certain disabilities to access information more easily.
As was recently seen in the Google I/O conference, voice assistants can book appointments on their own and can be a great source of information. In fact, looking up a nearby office or finding a professional near you to help with real estate, for example, is a feature that can be developed today. Voice lets users engage with your brand on their own terms, not just when they have access to a keyboard (virtual or not).
Chat interfaces have (until recently) been used primarily for customer service. Improvements in natural language processing has changed that. Chatbots can now be more conversational and guide the user to what they are looking for more easily.
Facebook, Microsoft and other big players have come out with chatbot frameworks that do much of the heavy lifting for us. Those frameworks include natural language processing and therefore decrease complexity, speeding up the development cycle. They also help integrate to our already existing chat applications like Skype, Slack etc.
Chatbots are ideal for tasks that would usually require your clients to pick up a phone or log into a website. Chatbots can help your clients look up their previous invoices, for example, or pay their bills in a secure, easy-to-access manner.
Thanks to Google, search has become one of the primary ways in which users find information on the web. Search engines use a relevancy algorithm based on the content of your pages to find results. In fact, quite a few businesses have started to take a page from Google and analyze user behavior to bring back relevant results that are also currently popular.
Predictive algorithms in these search engines can also learn common spelling mistakes, identify synonyms automatically and understand user intent by analyzing click patterns. All of this results in getting users to what they want sooner, decreasing frustration and increasing engagement.
Many modern CRM systems have started to use AI to analyze your customer data and provide predictions for lead generation, sales opportunities and customer service. Salesforce Einstein and Dynamics 365 AI Solutions are systems that are available now that can make recommendations on content, research social engagement and more, and enables you to find more sales opportunities from the large amount of data you already have in your CRM.
AI has come a long way, from email marketing applications that analyze optimal send times and engagement rates, to social Ads that review and push your most effective content. While it’s true that we won’t have any West World-level artificial intelligence available to us in the near future, AI will continue to evolve, so it’s important for digital marketers to educate themselves and decide how to integrate the technology into their digital arsenal. Because, just like email marketing and Ad tech, all of the applications mentioned above have a good chance of becoming a part of the digital marketer’s routine very soon.
Vinu is the director of solutions architecture at One North, defining technical architecture for complex marketing/IT systems and products, acting as a technology consultant for clients and working with One North’s Experience Design team to define and implement solutions that will serve the client’s objectives now and in the future.
Favorite season: Summer – love the beach.
Superpower: Ability to breathe underwater