The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into marketing strategies can often feel overwhelming and intimidating. But, it is important to recognise that AI is already part of many marketing strategies, even if we are not consciously aware of it. According to a survey by Constant Contact, 74% of small businesses are interested in using AI or automation in their business, but only 46% of them have a beginner’s understanding of the benefits.
To better understand AI’s role in marketing, let’s explore some basic concepts. The term Artificial Intelligence was actually first coined almost 70 years ago, and it’s been used in our everyday technology for over 20 years. Despite this, it is still arguably considered newborn. In fact, similar to a baby, AI learns and adapts based on what it is taught. Machine Learning, a field of AI, enables computers to learn and analyse data. This emphasises the importance of teaching AI the right information for it to provide the best benefits.
As our “baby” AI grows, it not only learns but also begins to create new things. Just like a child’s imagination resulting in a painting, AI can generate content through Generative AI. While it may not always be perfect, the potential for creativity is limitless. This process of learning and creating is a fundamental aspect of AI.
Now, let’s examine how AI has already been incorporated into marketing strategies, often without us even realising it. There are four core elements that have been significantly impacted by the integration of AI:
- Copywriting and content creation: AI has transformed the content creation process. It can analyse vast amounts of data, identify trends, and tailor content to target audiences. With the assistance of AI, we can generate recommendations and even have articles or essays written on specific topics. The output will often feel inauthentic to the author’s voice, but it goes a long way to support – and speed up – the writing process.
- Data analysis: Previously, data analysis was a time-consuming manual process. However, AI now allows for automated data collection from multiple sources, enabling us to identify patterns and trends that would be difficult to detect otherwise, from best-seller products to which ads resonate more with a specific group of people.
- Audience segmentation: AI helps us understand the complexities of individual consumer behaviour, moving beyond general demographics. By utilising AI, we can assign different values to each channel in the conversion path and identify similar audiences through lookalike audiences.
- Day-to-day tasks: AI has become highly proficient in assisting with a wide range of daily tasks, offering significant time savings and opening up new opportunities. For instance, AI can seamlessly conduct Google searches, draft and send emails, and provide accurate translations – reducing some limitations in running international campaigns due to language constraints.
The ‘infusion’ of AI
Paid media has been at the forefront of marketing automation and AI integration. By infusing AI within platforms, a new way of marketing is being created. Automated campaigns, like Advantage + Shopping from Meta, have shown promising results with a 623% return on advertising spend for one of our clients. However, it is important to note that blindly letting the algorithm dictate everything can lead to risks. Algorithms might misinterpret signals, resulting in mistargeting – reinforcing the need to feed the right data to generate the best results.
Looking towards the future, several additions show promise in addressing future challenges:
- Contextual AI: In a cookieless future, AI can help by understanding the context of your audience’s interests and displaying ads when it matters most.
- Product placement: AI can evaluate the sentiment of content, such as movies, to determine if it’s a suitable space for product placement. It can generate images of your product and display them at the opportune moment.
- Generative landing pages: Already a reality, AI can create customised landing pages based on your ideas. In the future, personalised landing pages will adapt to each visitor’s preferences.
- Meta AI Sandbox: Currently in development, Meta is working on a solution to simplify campaign creation. The Meta AI Sandbox will generate text variations, create different image backgrounds, and crop images based on the intended placements.
Using AI to support your marketing
So, if you want to start including AI within your marketing strategy here are the most important takeaways:
- Think of AI technology as a newborn baby. It will learn and adapt based on what it is taught.
- AI can generate content through Generative AI, but requires human input to stay true to your brand voice.
- Using Automated campaigns, like Advantage + Shopping from Meta, has shown significant returns on advertising spend and should be incorporated into your test and learn strategies to ensure they work for your business needs.
- When using AI, it is important to feed it the right data to avoid risks and misinterpretations.
- AI will save you time, if given clear instructions, by automating tasks, generating content ideas, and providing insights to enhance marketing strategies.
Considering the benefits and risks, it is important to approach AI as a tool that can support your marketing efforts, improving results, saving time, and unlocking previously impossible opportunities.
Don’t be afraid of it and embrace it before it is too late to adapt.