AI is currently being utilized in practically every conceivable department within every conceivable business. But one of the areas where AI has the most potential is marketing.
Over the past few years, AI has reshaped how we think about and implement marketing strategies – but where do we go from here? And how quickly will we need to adapt?
The Marketing AI Landscape
What is AI? And how is AI used in the marketing industry today?
Generally, AI is used to introduce new capabilities, improve efficiency and productivity, address tasks that are difficult for humans (like processing data), and generate new ideas and materials.
Today’s best AI marketing tools include features for:
- General automation. AI is impressively good at automating tasks when trained appropriately. It can handle anything from sending out automated reminders to generating monthly reports to automating entire email drip campaigns. It saves marketers a ton of time, improves consistency, and reduces the rate of human error.
- Copy and content generation. By now, most people have at least briefly experimented with content-generative AI tools, which can produce photos, articles, and even videos based on user prompts. With content marketing still being one of the most dominant and effective online marketing strategies, effective marketers are trying to milk these products for all their worth.
- Market research. AI is also useful for expediting and enhancing existing market research efforts. With the help of powerful search and automation technology, you can carry out days of research in the span of just a few hours and possibly reach even better conclusions.
- Social media listening. Marketers have also enjoyed using AI for social media listening, getting automated alerts whenever someone mentions the brand – and even getting an analysis of the sentiments behind the message. At scale, social media listening is one of the best ways to analyze brand sentiments, and AI makes it easy.
- Personalization. Personalization can be highly effective as a marketing tool. It’s much more relatable and persuasive to see yourself called out by name, rather than getting some tiresome, generic opening. And with AI, you can personalize and individualize more elements than ever before.
- Data analytics. The most effective marketers in the world rely on objective data to gain more knowledge and fine-tune their approaches. That’s one reason why AI-powered data analytics tools are so popular in the marketing industry. Already, AI has surpassed even seasoned data analysts in terms of its core analytical capacity and speed.
What Does the Future Hold?
Already, marketing AI is impressive, so what does the future hold?
We can speculate that we’ll see at least the following in the not-too-distant future:
- More refined personalization. The personalization aspect of marketing AI is bound to become even more important as people demand more personalized, individualized experiences. The big tech world is all about gathering as much data as possible, and next-generation AI tools are likely to make use of all this data.
- Advanced content generation. Generative AI tools are good, but they can’t yet match the creativity and quality of human content-generation experts. But that may change in the future, as companies supercharge the already impressive AI tools on the market. However, there’s one potential risk to be wary of here. Recursive self-improvement already exists, enabling AI systems to improve themselves in isolation – but most AI systems rely on external data to train themselves. If AI content generators are trained on previously AI-generated content, it could lead to a kind of implosion that prevents these tools from progressing. Engineers and developers are already working on a solution to this problem.
- Creative idea generation. Currently, AI is excellent for analyzing data and generating certain kinds of information, but it can’t think in creative and abstract forms the way that humans can. In the future, this may change, and marketers may have access to AI tools with unbelievably deep creative thinking capacities.
- Next-generation prompt engineering. Effective marketers know that one of the keys to success in using AI is thoughtful prompt engineering. But there are certain things that current generation AI tools can’t really understand, like brand style guides. Future iterations are going to become smarter, for lack of a better word, and capable of processing even the most complicated or nuanced prompts. Experienced prompt engineers are going to have an even more robust set of tools available for their disposal.
- Changing attitudes toward AI. We’re also likely to see a shift in attitudes toward AI, though it’s uncertain how those attitudes will shift. Marketers may come to see AI as a threat or a nuisance – or may soften and begin to lean much more heavily on AI for even the most basic tasks. One thing is certain: current outlooks are unlikely to remain stagnant for long.
It’s almost impossible to predict what’s going to happen next in the world of AI advancement. Little more than a decade ago, it would have seemed impossible for AI to beat the world’s best Go players – and early iterations of ChatGPT led even competent experts to assert that AI would never be competent at content generation – yet, here we are. Regardless of whether AI continues to grow explosively and disruptively or whether it trudges along with subtle, iterative updates, AI is going to remain a powerful force in the marketing world, and the savviest marketers are ready to harness the power of whatever comes next.
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