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Artificial Intelligence: The Holy Grail of Digital Marketing The digital advancements made in the past few years have been nothing short of phenomenal -- more so the path-breaking advancements in the area of artificial intelligence (AI)

By Chandan Bagwe

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AI offers exceptional opportunities particularly in digital marketing while irrefutably revolutionizing and propelling the industry. AI is the ability of a computer or computer-enabled robotic systems to process massive amounts of in-depth data and produce outcomes similar to the thought processes of humans in learning, analysing, decision making, and problem-solving. Hence, AI has enabled marketers to comprehend vast data to gain valuable consumer insights, and in turn, improve digital marketing strategies.

The applications of AI are essentially limitless, and the field of computer science is on a stark ascendance. The global AI market was worth $7.35 billion in 2018, where the largest portion of revenue was stirred from enterprise applications. The market is expected to catapult to $89.84 billion by 2025. The numbers are simply staggering.

AI is providing a competitive edge to digital marketing efforts through the following.

  • Helps Understand Target Audiences: Since AI analyses massive amounts of complex and deep consumer data, it predicts consumer behaviour with seamless ease. These may include users' interests, focus, demography, price limits etc.

  • Improves User Experience: Customer experience is the most important aspect of any marketing strategy or campaign. AI ensures this by collecting data and deciding which content is the most applicable based on factors like trends, location, historical data, and past behaviour. This creates an impression among users that the brand is suited to their needs and demands.

  • More Effective Marketing: Apart from personalizing the customer experience and eliminating guesswork in digital marketing, AI also predicts behaviour for new and existing users. As data management platforms gather second- and third-party data, AI helps to acquire information from users across the web rather than from a mere session on the company website. This understanding helps target potential leads instead of focussing on users who are unlikely to convert.

  • Increases Productivity: AI algorithms help automate various draining and repetitive tasks. This enables a company's human resource to delve into other more important areas of business. This invariably increases productivity while saving on both time and money.

The applications of AI have eased company processes in various ways in the past few years which are only expected to better with further advancements. Some such applications already revolutionizing digital marketing include the following.

Content Development and Curation

The truth is that AI has not reached a level of advancement where it is able to draft subjective content like political newspaper opinions or even thought-leadership industry articles. However, it has the ability to write reports based solely on data and information, which can help attract visitors to a company website. There are set templates including placeholders or blanks which are filled by AI through data and keyword entry, giving an impression that a human wrote the content. BBC, CBS, the New York Times, Reuters, and Forbes are among the media agencies that have implemented the technology.

Apart from this, AI is also able to curate content to help form better connections with visitors on certain websites by providing content according to their suitability. For instance, Netflix uses AI to provide recommendations and matches according to past views and interests of users. On the other hand, e-commerce websites like Amazon use AI to provide suggestions that correspond to the product they're viewing – "people who bought "product A', also bought "product B'."

Email Marketing
Through AI's data analyses, the most opportune times during the day and week are determined to send emails to prospective customers. Apart from this, the recommended frequency, eye-catching content, and successful email subjects and titles are derived as metrics to personalize email content for each customer based on preferences and user behaviour.

Digital advertising
This is one area of digital marketing which has most successfully adopted AI. For example, Facebook and Google ad platforms already use machine learning and AI. They analyse user data including interests, actions (likes, shares, and comments), demographics, and alternative aspects to learn and discover the most effective audience for their brand.

AI-led voice searches allow people to seek information through voice commands on Google Home, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana. More than 20% of Google searches are now voice based. Digital marketers need to understand this shift and start planning strategies to optimize websites for voice search along with the traditional text-based search.

The intent behind the search conversations that users engage in with a brand is crucial. It is advisable to optimize pages that provide a direct answer to the questions asked by searchers normally – starting with "who", "what", "where", "when", "why" and "how". This helps in edging closer to the way users verbally express their queries.

UI/UX Personalization
After analysing the usage data of a single user, it's possible to personalize an experience on a website through intelligent algorithms. AI can display offers and information that are suitable for each user type thus making the entire experience more user-friendly. Many retail and e-commerce brands use AI technology to track their customers' preferences, habits, and buying behaviours. These insights assist them in providing suggestions on products and services that customers are interested in.

With the use of AI in digital marketing, it will become easier to predict buyer behaviour and persona, as well as search cycles. Great user experience and ease of use are what keeps the audience coming back to a website.

Brands have begun the process of automating responses to FAQs by providing consumers with a way to search for information they are seeking as well as to answer open questions. These bots use natural learning processing and machine learning to find the correct response. They can serve clients 24/7 and retain their data while seeming friendly, patient, and even humorous. Customers may get angry, but the bot always treats them respectfully. Chatbots can respond to several requests from different customers at the same time, so wait times are no longer a problem.

Predictive Analysis
Predictive analysis is the process of using data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to speculate the probability of future conclusions based on past data. An example of how this discipline is applied in digital marketing is the ranking of prospects or lead scoring – where prospective consumers are evaluated and ranked based on purchasing factors. The sales team then saves a lot of time on leads that fail to convert and rather focus on those that will. In addition to contributing to increasing sales, predictive analyses save considerable time and resources.

In conclusion
AI is thus emerging as a significant tool to unleash and even elevate the potential of digital marketing strategies. However, this can only be achieved when marketers understand the possibilities on offer and adapt accordingly. The onboarding phase of the technology would be critical to understanding system processes. Once they are implemented, the opportunities to gain first-hand in-depth consumer insights can make stupendous impacts in generating personalized consumer experiences – the primary motive of digital marketing today.
Chandan Bagwe

C Com Digital


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