As artificial intelligence continues to develop, the digital marketing sphere evolves along with it; it’s up to those in the industry to learn how to adapt to and keep up with the changes.
What we see is machine learning and artificial intelligence becoming better and better at meaningfully processing large quantities of data, and marketers are using these capabilities to their advantage in a number of different ways. For those in the industry, their career outlook is going to begin to rely on their ability to flexibly adapt to the new demands this progressive technology places upon them.
In order to understand exactly how AI affects the marketing industry, both as a whole, and on an individual level, an understanding of just what exactly AI is and how it’s being used is required.
Artificial Intelligence is technology that utilizes machines which assess data available to them, or perceive their environment and the information they gather in order to justify taking action or actions towards a particular goal. That being a broad definition of the term, we’ll take a look at how AI is used in the context of digital-marketing.
Machine learning, a subset of AI, is well-suited to fill the role of processing massive amounts of data faster, more effectively, and more accurately than humans can. This allows marketers access to information which may not have been as available in the past. Online marketing thoroughly relies on large amounts data, and efficient analysis of it is something that is of great use to marketers.
Perhaps the greatest advantage to the automation of data analysis is that it lets marketers focus most on the creative side to marketing.
AI falls short in the creativity-sphere, a vital part of what makes marketing effective. This is where humans and their natural aptitude for the creative will be able to excel far beyond the levels they have in the past, due to the alleviation of the burden that is data management.
Think of AI as the exceptionally high-functioning assistant that everyone wants on their team.
Effective online marketing takes into consideration a huge variety of different aspects, many of which machine learning can assist with both faster and more accurately than humans can. AI can asses (among many other things) click rates, penetration, and test effectiveness of all manners of copy across the web as a whole, helping marketers determine what will be most effective for their campaigns. On top of that, the capabilities of AI include accurate assessment of all of the above, but further refined to identify the exact demographics that are being reached, allowing marketers to further strategize based on that information as well.
Perhaps one of the most important advantages of online advertising is the ability to target like it’s never been done before. For many of us, advertising has for most of our lives been something that was explicitly impersonal. Billboard ads, television ads, etc. are the very definition of advertising to the general public, rather than really targeting a specific audience. In the past, targeted advertising was limited to something along the lines of putting a cologne ad in an issue of GQ for example, where sure, the broad target market of “Males, Age: 18-65” is being reached, but that was about as specific as marketers could have been. Now, targeted advertising is on a completely different level, thanks to the internet. That is very much thanks to the capabilities of modern artificial intelligence, and it’s ability to quickly process data such as age, sex, browsing trends and so forth, and carry out the plan marketers have implemented to respond to patterns within such data.
The better AI gets, the better this process becomes.
Even with the strides that have been made in personalized advertising today, there are still compromises in the form of generalizations. Certain identifiers will still place somebody into a group with others, and they will likely see the same, or similar ads as one another. As AI capabilities progress, the personalization becomes more refined. Algorithms will no longer need to apply to a group of targets, as they must now due to the limited ability to process data in the amount of time available to marketers; soon AI will improve to the point where algorithms exist to target each person accessing the web in a uniquely personal way, simply due to the sheer efficiency of data analysis by learned machines. The more personalized the advertisements, the more effective they are.
How will this affect job outlook in the marketing industry?
For starters, somebody has to create and program artificially intelligent assistants. This is, and will continue to be a significant portion of the available careers in the marketing field. Given that AI technology isn’t quite on this level yet, those currently in the industry have the time they need to adapt and progress their skill-sets in order to keep up with the changes that are coming. It also gives those interested in pursuing a career in marketing a different educational path to pursue in order to succeed in the field.
Lastly, with all of this talk about intelligent machines freshly in mind, one aspect that was touched on that will remain vital to the world of marketing is the creative side, which at this point seems very far off for AI. Creativity and strategic marketing campaign creation is something that places the value of a person over that of a machine.
It looks like human marketers are safe for now, and as AI continues to grow, we ensure that we grow with it.