The Evolution of Digital Marketing is Guided by AI

AI and machine learning are fulfilling one of marketing’s most ambitious goals: cross-channel relevance

Artificial intelligence and machine learning could be the long-awaited solution that both marketers and users are looking for – relevance across all devices and digital channels. As we are getting used to digital assistants, chatbots, speech to text or facial recognition, AI is having the strong impact on the way we interact and communicate with brands. Here lies the opportunity for marketers: leverage on AI for the creation of the relevant content and personalized experiences in real time.

Let’s take one of the biggest global players as an example: Google. They launched recently a new Marketing Platform, called Custom Algorithm that uses machine learning to increase the number of viewable impressions bought on premium placements. This tool gathers the historical data, and increases the chances that ads are served to the most relevant audience. When compared to other campaigns that didn’t use the tool, impressions on premium inventory more than tripled and viewable CPM fell 34%.

Netflix is also basing its recommendation system on AI: personalization based on viewer history. And even more: in a very insightful article entitled “How Netflix uses AI and Data to conquer the world” Mario Gavira states that Netflix success story can not be explained without the in-depth knowledge of their subscriber base, thanks to the AI.

Netflix algorithmically adapts the entire user experience to each individual subscriber. On your Home Page you will have your own personalized rows selected, the titles selected for those rows, the recommendations of other movies and even different visuals for the same title – a process is driven by what Netflix defines “consumer science”. For example, the preview image for series Stranger Things will differ based on your taste and viewing history.

AI found its way into the beauty retail also, and of the leading global brands Sephora is the best example of its successful application. The brand does not rely only on in-store sales, but engage their customers also digitally, allowing them to personalize their shopping experience by trying on makeup virtually using Augmented Reality, matching their skin tone to a foundation with AI, and sampling a fragrance via a touchscreen and scented air.[1]

Sephora’s digital transformation success story: An inside look – click the image below to see the video

As the customer expectations expand, the AI-powered solutions are becoming the most important successfactor for companies, that can transform them into valuable data. But not everyone is embracing this possibility, as the recent report “AI in Marketing“  by Business insider Intelligence, confirms: “Just over half (51%) of marketers currently use AI, and an additional 27% are expected to incorporate the technology by 2019, according to Salesforce. This represents the highest anticipated year-over-year (YoY) growth of any leading technology that marketers expect to adopt in the next year, beating out the Internet of Things and marketing automation. And, as the volume of consumer-generated data grows, AI computing techniques — like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing (NLP) — will become increasingly important to data-driven decision-making.”[2]

AI in Marketing is moving rapidly from data analyzing to data generating, helping marketers a more efficient planning and campaigns executions in three main areas: segmentation, tracking, and keyword tagging. However, the human touch in still very much necessary, as innovative and creative approach need to come from a personal and emphatic point of view, of a marketer who is a digital user himself at the same time.