By Nishant Mishra
The digital era took off with the internet coming of age, its fiery adoption, and the ubiquitous access to personal computers. The first fully assembled personal computer was sold by Apple in the later part of the ’70s, while the ’80s saw the internet’s introduction. Finally, the ’90s saw the mass usage of the internet by the whole world. This led to a fundamental change in the global communications landscape and prompted wholesale digital marketing changes. Enterprises realised the potential of this new channel. They raced to build their web presence and optimise themselves to pull in higher search engine rankings for brand visibility and generate demand for their products and services. All these developments in the ecosystem led to the birth of several dot com companies. The dot com burst also saw a lot of those companies vanish into thin air.
Post-2000 or the post dot com era saw companies strive to compete and outperform. Digital marketing practices became more complex as they evolved. While digital marketing algorithms underwent massive evolution through decades, the elusive and nebulous Artificial Intelligence (AI) gradually made its way to aid that evolution.
So, what is AI, and how did it become a part of our lives?
The term Artificial Intelligence was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956 when he held the first academic conference on the subject, but the concept was even older. By definition, it refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines programmed to think, react and decide like humans, and mimic their actions. From watching sci-fi movies to conversations with humorous and smart Siri or Alexa and self-driving cars, AI has become a part of our lives every day through the data we feed continuously to the internet.
With AI, marketers can spot micro trends and even predict them to a large extent. They can then make strategic decisions about where they allocate their budgets and who they target. As a result, brands can reduce digital advertising waste and get the best bang for the bucks spent.
For example, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, etc., use AI to predict their consumers’ behavior and present them with relevant products and videos based on their search histories, views, and other demographic data accumulation and analysis. From one-size-fits-all marketing to a one-size-fits-only-one, AI has made it possible to create customized experiences for every consumer in almost every sector now.
AI tools are being integrated with digital marketing to create, curate, and market content, gradually substituting customer service centers through chatbots. Consumer behavior and preferences are also being predicted through email marketing and social listening, which, in turn, help consumers search online through voice search algorithms. AI can also design and develop websites through its algorithms instead of hiring web developers and can provide consumers with compelling UI/UX through buyer persona analyses.
Some of the popular AI-led digital tools include HubSpot’s social media software that automatically creates social posts based on the metadata of the link you copy and paste, saving a lot of time. Anyone subscribed to HubSpot’s Marketing Hub or its higher versions can use the tool, which can be found in the platform’s Social section. Phrasee is another enterprise-level AI copywriting tool for generating increased ROI from multi-channel marketing, including emails, Facebook, and Instagram. Sprout Social enables brands to find, form, and deepen connections with their social audience. Sprout Social’s automated technology can also help generate tweets that can reply to fans, customers, or followers. Acrolinx is another AI marketing that can help businesses develop optimal content marketing strategies and provide scalable AI solutions for content creation.
We are now living in an age of all things data. Digital marketing is evolving every second, from static banners to clickable ones, from a blanket discount to dynamic pricing influencing buying decisions on-the-go. Marketers are now using search patterns to predict their sales and serve customers better.
AI is the new face of productivity, efficiency, and profitability. It is no longer limited to the usage of more prominent firms. MSMEs and start-ups too can adapt and scale their business through the strategic use of AI. The biggest boon in the future digital era will be the gradual extinction of human errors through AI-enabled processes and systems and detecting frauds and other criminal activities online.
However, the apparent fear that looms is the replacement of specific human jobs of marketers or advertisers. But to embark on a new era driven by AI does not mean so. AI is here to unleash their creative potential and rewire them to plan and execute marketing programs better.
As a business owner or marketer, it’s time to identify problems that might deter the business or its marketing. An insightful approach aided by AI will surely and accurately solve these issues for a future-proof business.
The author is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of The Higher Pitch, an Experience Consulting company
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