The Impact of AI on Online Marketing

This article is a 6 min read.

To win in internet marketing you have to be great at analyzing and selecting your customer segments. You have to create and automize marketing campaigns. Then you need to test and optimize them.

The Internet, Facebook, and Google became the most important tools for online marketers. Thanks to Facebook Ads small brands with less than 10 employees are able to compete with global brands like Forever21, Zara, and UNIQLO.

If there is one technology which will have an even greater impact on saving costs, driving sales, and increasing efficiency it is artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence – in short AI – is going to shape marketing in the future. Weber Shandwick reported in June 2016 that 68% of CMOs are planning to implement AI in marketing. 55% of CMOs even expect that AI will have a “greater impact on marketing and communications than social media ever had.”

The question is not if but rather how and how quick will AI reshape the marketing industry.

Data is the Key to Online Marketing Success

Marketers are great at utilizing popular platforms to market and sell products. They did it successfully with email marketing. Later they joined Google to advertise for their products. Then Facebook became an important tool. Today everyone is joining Instagram and Snapchat to market their products.

Artificial intelligence on the other is not a new platform which marketers can simply join and exploit. Artificial intelligence is a technology which is great at working with data. AI is great when it comes to repetitive tasks and analyzing huge amounts of data. They can do this faster and more efficiently than humans.

To be successful in online marketing today, you need to understand and work with data. This is a task which AI can do better than you. The creative part of marketing will become more and more important for human marketers. Creativity is a human skill in which AI is currently not that talented in.

So how will AI affect the work of marketers in the future?

The field of marketing will unite the power of accurate data analysis by the AI with the creativity of a human marketer. The use of high-quality data and human creativity will become the new foundation for successful internet marketing campaigns.

AI and A/B Testing

Data based work will be completed by AI assistants. Marketers, on the other hand, will be able to focus on the creative side of their projects and campaigns.

So how might this look like? What are some marketings tasks for the AI?

One example is the A/B testing of headlines, photos, and videos. AI is able to understand huge amounts of data faster than humans. By testing and proposing the best email subject lines, Facebook Ad headlines, and photos the AI will help marketers to achieve faster and more accurate results. AI computers will test different combinations of words, phrases and images to check which one works best to meet your goals. The AI is able to analyze millions of headlines and photos on the whole internet. It can check and analyze the click-through rates of the Facebook ads of your competitors. The result will be more effective and moneymaking advertisings than today.

Ultra Personalization

TV advertisements are the best example of anti personalisation. It doesn’t matter if you are a teenager, a 60 years old woman or a 25 years old man. If you watch the same channel you will see the same ads. TV marketers have no choice of targeting specific people or target groups. They cannot show female viewers different ads than male viewers on the same TV channel.

Exactly this became an essential tool and is the big advantage of internet marketing. Online marketers use massive amounts of data to personalize advertisements for certain target groups. Females aged 18 till 30 will see different headlines and photos than females in the age range of 30 – 40. Internet marketers can differentiate between gender, age, interests, previous browsing behavior and much more.

Still, the way internet marketers use this data today is still limited.  In online marketing every subsegment of customers needs to be analyzed separately. Marketers have to create different algorithms for each target group and subsegment of customers. This is a very time consuming task (still a very rewarding and moneymaking one).

By implementing AI assistants, marketers will be able to ultra-personalize their marketing. Instead of targeting a specific target group consisting of 1000 people they can ultra-personalize their ads. Instead of showing one specific headlines to 1000 potential customers they can create even more personalized ads. The result will be an ultra-personalized ad which is shown only to 10 people or even a single person. This ultra-personalization will result in even greater conversion rates. You can use this strategy in Facebook, Email, or any other online marketing.

Predictive Delivery

Amazon is already utilizing a light version of ultra personalisation. In fact, a third of Amazon’s business is coming directly out of purchases resulting out of machine learning recommendations.

Machine learning – which is a subset of the broader term AI – describes the artificial learning of computers. It describers computers – which are not explicitly programmed to learn in a certain way – which use data to learn themselves. And they do it faster than humans can.

Amazon’s machine learning is even stepping one step further. In 2013 Amazon has been granted a patent called “anticipatory shipping”. Amazon’s machine learning efforts can predict what you will buy even before you know you want it. According to Amazon’s patent filings, products which you will purchase in the future are relocated to an Amazon fulfillment center close to you even before you order it. In the future Amazon may even deliver a product you will buy, before you even ordered it.

Will AI replace your Marketing Job?

Artificial intelligence is going to have a major impact onto the marketing industry. So which jobs will the AI certainly replace in the future?

As I pointed out earlier, AI is great at working with data. Therefore any job which works with data is at risk. AI powered computers will finish tasks like reporting, customer segmentation and analysis, campaign automation and A/B testing and optimisation faster and more efficiently than humans.

But there is no need to panic. Until we see a full automation of these tasks a few years will pass by. Marketers have the chance to embrace the future. We have to understand the possibilities and chances of AI technology and utilize them.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders can implement AI in marketing. This will open doors which seem closed today.

If you are an employee you can use the next years to upgrade our skills. If you can collaborate with an AI it’s pretty sure that you will not be replaced by an robot.

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