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Digital Marketing 10 min read
Written by Sarah Harris
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter
Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed
Published 15 Feb 2023
Artificial intelligence is transforming work as we know it, relegating redundant and labor-intensive tasks to computers. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, the use of AI in marketing is growing, leveraging complex data and automation for consumer behavior analysis and competitor research. In fact, AI has become so crucial to the needs of modern marketers that many standardized processes are nearly impossible to perform without it.
In this article, we’ll give a brief overview of how marketers use artificial intelligence to perform core business functions and unlock greater opportunities for their brands.
Artificial intelligence is a subset of computer science that leverages powerful man-made algorithms to analyze, transform, or apply data — all to accomplish specific tasks that typically require human intervention. For example, AI can review historical stock prices to estimate a company’s future stock price or analyze customers’ internet shopping habits to recommend specific products they might need.
There are various types of AI, including rule-based systems and artificial neural networks. These systems can significantly benefit anyone who relies on lots of data to perform their job or make a decision. However, they do have limitations. For instance, the output of an AI system is only as accurate as the data it has. If the data is inaccurate, the result will be too.
As a result, artificial intelligence requires human oversight to ensure the efficacy of its work, especially when considering the ethical and regulatory implications of AI. Companies should fully understand how their tools collect data and use it. This way, brands can protect customer data, observe relevant regulations, and produce consistent and accurate business outcomes.
Without AI and machine learning, many tools used for effective digital marketing strategies wouldn’t exist. Let’s take a look at some of the areas where AI is most prevalent in digital marketing.
Understanding customer behavior is critical for companies that want to maintain their client base and expand it. The use of AI in marketing accomplishes this with various tools. For example, when a customer logs into their Amazon account, the company’s storefront tracks their searches and purchases, allowing Amazon to make specific product recommendations that appear on their home page.
Similarly, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram leverage AI to analyze an individual’s interests, hobbies, posting habits, and interactions. These sophisticated tools can create customer profiles and even track individuals across platforms, such as when they click on an ad that sends them to a company’s website.
Search engines like Google and Bing also amass considerable amounts of customer data. These robust systems analyze search behavior worldwide to understand what consumers are looking for and their browsing habits.
Digital marketers benefit significantly from customer behavior analysis because they can better target their ads to reach people that mirror their target audience. A business that accurately defines its target audience can reach its customers where they’re most likely to be, whether on Amazon, a social media platform, through email, or a search engine.
Narrowly defining a target audience and crafting effective ads results in higher customer conversions and greater revenue. When combined with strategies like pay-per-click advertising and affiliate marketing, AI can unlock powerful marketing strategies that target very specific audiences.
Promotional emails are another powerful use case for AI in marketing. We’re all familiar with email newsletters and advertisements we receive when we sign up for a company’s mailing list. With email, customers receive notifications about new merchandise, upcoming sales, and general information relevant to their interests.
But artificial intelligence allows brands to send better, more informed emails to their customers. Rather than sending the same generic email to an entire customer base, AI can apply data-driven logic to determine which customers should receive which emails. This results in communications that are more targeted and personalized — and therefore more profitable.
This is done by analyzing a customer’s location, demographics, interests, and purchasing behavior. For example, if you have a large e-commerce store selling a wide range of clothing for men and women, you can send an email promoting summer dresses to the women and an email advertising polo shirts to the men.
Or, if a customer regularly purchases ties from a specific brand, an AI platform could trigger an email to be sent to them whenever the brand releases a new tie. While it would be cumbersome and time-consuming for someone to do this manually, an algorithm can achieve this task in seconds.
A problem with a product or service often means calling a customer service line, only to sit on hold while waiting to speak with someone. Other times, the customer may need to return to a physical store for assistance.
While this may eventually resolve an issue, it’s not a good use of the customer’s or an employee’s time if the problem is simple enough. To this end, developers created chatbots to alleviate common customer service problems. Rather than wasting time on a phone call or an in-store visit, customers can quickly get an answer by discussing their issue with an AI-powered chatbot on the brand’s website.
If the AI chatbot can’t assist the client with their inquiry, it will forward the request to a live customer agent, who can respond via email or set up a phone call with the customer. However, the number of support tickets that make it to a human is greatly reduced, allowing agents to focus on more complicated issues and providing better resolution times and rates for the brand.
To properly benefit from an AI-powered chatbot, marketing managers must establish a set of frequently asked questions and their responses. Whenever a client initiates communication with the chatbot, it will provide answers in alignment with the FAQs.
In digital marketing, chatbots eliminate hiccups in customer service and better serve clients.
Digital marketers rely on AI tools to understand their competitor’s advertising strategies. Without manually studying every line of code, brands can leverage AI to analyze a competitor’s website to understand their use of keywords and backlinks and examine the competitors’ topics and products. This information is critical to companies that want to remain competitive in a challenging economic environment.
For example, tools like Semrush provide an in-depth analysis of keywords and their related search volume. They can also assist with planning social media marketing campaigns and examining a competitor’s SEO strategies concerning content and backlinks.
Some AI tools assist with content generation and planning. For instance, SEO content tools like Clearscope and Surfer provide natural language processing terms that make it easier to develop content more likely to rank highly in search engine results. Given a topic, these tools can suggest a content brief and the length of an article to help companies (and writers) create articles relevant to the searcher’s intent.
Other AI tools — like OpenAI’s viral ChatGPT platform — can draft content almost instantaneously based on a set of parameters. While this can be very helpful to a startup company that needs to create lots of content quickly to obtain organic traffic, it has its faults. For instance, it can’t fact-check, so companies must be careful not to post something with inaccuracies that could adversely impact their brand.
Since they’re no replacement for a human writer, these tools are better used to generate outlines or ideas for content, facilitating the overcoming of writer’s block. For example, an AI could suggest blog topics relevant to a company’s products or services. It can also provide suggestions for areas to cover in an article, leading to a well-thought-out and fully-developed piece that addresses all the concerns an individual might have.
Predictive analytics makes it easier to discover and predict consumer trends, allowing marketers to get ahead of their competitors. It can also help determine the characteristics of a company’s target audience and identify which customers are likely to purchase the most or become long-term customers.
With predictive analytics, digital marketers can increase the ROI of their campaigns, reducing excess spending and advertising only to the customers most likely to follow through with a purchase. It also reduces the manual effort needed for customer research since most tools have built-in analytics that identifies customer trends and needs.
Other areas where predictive analytics are helpful include social listening, where companies receive notifications whenever customers mention their name through social media or when it appears in news articles, review sites, and forums. With social listening, organizations can track their company’s brand sentiment and address customer complaints in real time.
Without the AI tools available today, it would be far more difficult to execute various marketing activities. Modern technology drastically reduces the time it takes to analyze customer behaviors, identify trends, and perform competitor research.
However, these tools are only the beginning. In the future, we’ll find more ways to use AI in marketing that continue to revolutionize digital marketing as we know it.
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
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