Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a dramatic impact on numerous industries in its short life. Some of the most prominent include retail, finance, media, and healthcare. Organizations in developed countries across the world are enjoying the freedom of not having to hire workers to complete manual, tedious tasks. That is because AI has made it possible to automate them as well as predict future buying trends with machine learning.
AI is Here to Stay and Only Getting Bigger
Markets and Markets, a nationwide research firm, estimates a growth in the AI market to $5.05 billion by the year 2020. This is due to many companies willing to take a chance on natural language processing and machine learning technologies. It can also be attributed to consumers enthusiastically embracing the Internet of Things (IoT). By as early as 2018, industry experts predict that six billion connected computers, smartphones, and other devices will request assistance from an AI platform.
Despite all the promise of AI, the marketing industry has been slow to embrace it. Some believe that it would require too much work to implement it and others feel that working with AI involves the simple flip of a switch. The truth lies somewhere in between.
Another common misconception is that only large, well-established companies can afford and benefit from AI. Perhaps the greatest concern of all is that it will make human workers obsolete.
Challenging the Myths of AI
It’s understandable that marketers feel hesitant to embrace something as large and powerful as AI. Even so, many of their fears simply aren’t realistic. If you’re a marketer wanting to make more accurate predictions about consumer behavior and better identify your target market, you owe it to yourself to separate myths from truth when it comes to AI.
- AI implementation doesn’t mean excessive work for your in-house marketing team. It requires little effort to implement when set up properly. The biggest challenge will be to determine the most important goals and establish access to applicable streams of data. At this stage, AI providers determine value and identify any inconsistencies.
- Marketers can reap the benefits of AI quickly but should expect a longer refinement process. Implementing AI doesn’t need to take a lot of time or resources, but it’s more involved than flipping a switch. Anticipate that it will take time to establish machine learning and algorithms and to know which data insights are most helpful. If you establish a realistic timeline, you should do just fine implementing AI.
- AI and big data are not the same. Perhaps your company already uses big data to improve the targeting of customers and make marketing campaigns more effective. This differs from AI. When you use AI, you can fully automate marketing processes and see the results improve steadily over time. Companies new to AI should realize these differences and make sure they realize the benefits of both big data and AI.
- You don’t have to be a large, established company to implement AI. To reap its benefits, it’s important to embrace all that it offers as early as possible. If you fail to get onboard, you risk losing customers to the competition that has been using AI all along.
- AI can’t replace human beings. The purpose of AI is to enhance the human experience, not replace it. It’s true that marketing roles may change slightly, but the need for skilled, creative, and intelligent human workers isn’t going anywhere.
Improve Customer Engagement with AI
By deciding to take advantage of AI rather than resist it due to fear, marketers can target their customers easier and more efficiently. That is because AI makes it possible to deliver a customized message in the right channel at the most effective time.
While you as a marketer may fear AI, consumers in the modern era have overwhelmingly indicated that they want to experience its benefits. In a recent study conducted by Sonar, 70 percent of Americans in the millennial generation said they would prefer a retailer or brand using AI-powered technology to show them the most interesting products. Additionally, 72 percent feel that brands will be able to effortlessly predict what they want as AI technology develops.
It’s almost 2018 and time to let go of inefficient marketing tactics. Say good-bye to relying on intuition and let big data and algorithms do the work of bringing dynamic and personalized physical stores to the online landscape of the modern consumer. This enables your company to get ahead of the competition while establishing essential customer loyalty at the same time.