Everyone, everywhere is talking AI this and AI that, but skeptics who think AI is just merely a buzzword have their heads in the sand. According to Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, “AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It’s more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.” Steep statement, I know, but when you think of the potential implications of AI, this actually doesn’t seem too outside the scope of possibility. According to many experts, it will take some time for AI to get advanced enough in deep learning to fully simulate human logic and behavior. Though at the end of the day, AI is only going to continue to get more sophisticated and we are just too wrapped in it now to turn back.
And while we don’t have intelligent, fully humanlike robots walking around taking all our marketing jobs just yet, AI is already starting to massively transform the function of our role in a way that will require us to adapt quickly.
How is AI changing the world of marketing today?
1) AI as an Augmentation of Creativity & to Simplify Content Creation
Humans have used tools to extend their creative capabilities since the dawn of time. IBM says that creativity is the ultimate moonshot for artificial intelligence, and AI assistive systems are already helping to make creativity more accessible. According to Adobe, as tools become “smarter” and more intuitive, the demand for creativity will increase, leading to a stronger emphasis on novelty.
However, AI is already helping to produce creative elements of content as well as helping to free up time for content creators to be more creative. For instance, 20th Century Fox used the super computer, IBM Watson, to help its team create their first AI-powered film trailer for the upcoming movie (ironically about a too-savvy for her own good AI character) Morgan. Watson used tone and emotions to figure out what bits of the movie would keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Using the power of Watson’s cognitive computing, the trailer creation process was cut down to only one day when it typically takes around ten to thirty days to complete.
“In 2018 and beyond, more solutions will come to market—in all verticals—that use leading-edge AI approaches known as generative adversarial networks (GANs) to algorithmically create digital and analog objects of all sorts with astonishing accuracy.” (InfoWorld)
Generative AI applications can extract elements from visual patterns of artwork to organically transform, render, enhance, edit, or even compose new components of an image or graphic. Similarly, Generative AI can also do this with audio, text, code, video and more. For example, Prisma uses both AI and neural networks to transform photos into works of art in the particular style of various famous painters. Other examples include Jukedeck and Amadeus Code, companies that bring artificial intelligence to music composition, production and songwriting. In addition to various tools and applications already leveraging AI, Google’s research project, Magenta, is fully dedicated to exploring the role of machine learning to the process of creating all types of various art and music.
AI is starting to reduce the mental workload involved in performing every day marketing tasks and helping the marketer to create inventive content faster. As more companies invest in AI, we’ll start to see an increased use of machine learning from the very beginning stages of content creation. However, something we must ask ourselves- Is it still creativity if not created by man? Just something to ponder.
2) AI for Content Personalization & Predictive Customer Journeys
Personalization will become increasingly vital for marketers to engage with their customers and prospects effectively. For years, marketers have been relying on segmentation to help them increase relevancy in their campaigns. While segmentation can certainly be more effective than mass marketing, as technology gets increasingly intelligent and consumers’ attention spans get shorter, relying on segmentation alone won’t cut it. As humans, we all have unique lifestyles, like different music, have different hobbies…Different things make us tick. So, it really doesn’t make a ton of sense to put a large group of people in a bucket just based on their job title, industry, location, etc. Consumers today require more of an individualistic approach when it comes to sales and marketing. In order to establish consumer trust, they first want to know that a brand not only knows who they are, but actually gets them and understands them as a unique personality.
Though, without the quick and stress-free tools to help marketers personalize content to the individual consumer, it just isn’t realistic. Luckily, this is where AI comes in. AI has the ability to make sense of consumer behavior on an individual level and in a way that is much speedier and more precise than a human being is capable of. AI can track behavior across a vast array of channels to fully understand a consumer’s digital footprint and automatically interpret data to determine their buying intent. Having the capability to personalize content at scale, AI can create a one-of-a-kind buyer journey by catering to an individual’s specific wants and needs, ultimately bringing way more value to them.
3) AI to understand marketing efficiency & content performance
As the marketing role evolves to be more data-focused, marketers are trusted to make a more profound impact within their organization and industry. Plainly stated, marketers are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the complexities of their Martech stack and shifting skill expectations…Marketers need to be ready to tackle any problem on a dime. What’s more, they’re often drowning in a sea of data, but have limited time or resources to make sense of it in the most strategic way.
Fortunately, there are AI tools already at play to help marketers better understand content performance as well as their own marketing efficiency. With its ability to discover patterns and improve outcomes over time, AI can massively help marketers accelerate productivity, improve their content management process, and effectively connect the dots between their data and analytics.
Companies like TrackMaven are leveraging the power of AI to make it possible for marketers to create performance report narratives based on marketing data, discover insights into top performing content and forecast campaign results based on predictive analyics. Essentially, AI is turning data into intelligence faster and more accurately than humans have the ability to. Now that there are AI tools to help make sense of marketing data and analytics within just seconds, fumbling around in Excel or other analogue tools seem to be ridiculously time consuming and inefficient.
Right now, the world is still trying to figure out how to approach AI as we’re just starting to scratch its surface. However, as AI continues to power machines to learn on their own, marketers will need to figure out out ways to innovate their own craft. An impetus for drastic change is upon us, and regardless of what you feel about Artificial Intelligence, you won’t be able to stop it.
Want to get started on AI in your content marketing? Here are some saavy AI tools that can help unlock your marketing performance potential:
AI for Planning- Hubspot, MarketMuse, Clara, Adobe Media Optimizer, Atomic Reach, Motiva AI
AI for Content Production & Content Management & Content Distribution- Atro, Smart Kai, Cortex,Clarifai, Gumgum, Phrasee, Persado, Scripted, Vestorly, Quil of Narrative Science, Albert, Boomtrain, Onespot, Wordsmith
AI for Competitive, Brand & Customer Intelligence- Crayon, Agilone, Zoomph, Kenshoo, Indico,
AI for Personalization- Open Topic: Sia, Torch
AI for Promotion- Rocketfuel, Stackla
AI for Performance- Scoop.it, Open Topic: Sia, ActionIQ, Adobe Audience Manager, Crimson Hexagon, Monkey Learn, PaveAI
Want to better understand how AI is changing the way marketers manage their digital assets? Check out “How AI Can Enhance the Utility of the DAM.”