AI in Marketing — Ally, Not Enemy

We recently explored how digital marketers could take some cues from the ancient game of Go to learn how to create complex yet fluid strategies that can effortlessly anticipate the modern consumer’s behavior. One of the key insights that we gleaned from AlphaGo’s victory on Lee Sedol was that AI technology makes computers implement strategic decisions not just on par with, but in some cases better, than humans.

The question this insight should prompt is not “are machines just going to replace us?” Rather, we should be asking ourselves how we can leverage the pure number crunching force of AI to ease our lives.

In the late 1990s Gary Kasparov’s defeat at the hands of of IBM’s Deep Blue computer “was met with astonishment and grief by those who took it as a symbol of mankind’s submission before the almighty computer.”  What most failed to notice was that  Kasparov was actually optimistic about the machine’s capability to help us. His experience proved that “the teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. (…) Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.”

In the same way that Kasparov leveraged AI technology to crush super powerful computers, modern marketers of the 21st century should leverage AI’s computational and decisional power to automate campaigns across marketing channels to crush our revenue goals.

  1. Use AI to Optimize Your Workflows

Instead of spending hours pondering complex workflows and setting up tortuous networks of drips and triggers, trying to guess which path your customers are going to follow, you can now leverage AI’s advanced decisional capabilities and let machines determine which is the best path for each of your customers. At a micro level, the computer’s sheer processing power will allow it to make more informed decisions about who should be getting what message when as it has access to all of your customer data.

  1. AI Adds to Your Bottom Line

Just in the same way that an AI engine can decide when a given user should be getting a message, an AI engine can also make an informed decision about which customers should be getting a discount and at what rate. If you feed your customer data to an AI engine it will actually be able to determine the lowest possible discount that any given user needs to convert, adding to your bottom line.

  1. AI Lets You Get Creative

At the end of the day it’s a fallacy to say that AI possesses the same amount of creative intelligence that humans do. Machine are great at processing huge amounts of data, at mapping out possibilities and making informed decisions but they cannot actually create, that is to say build something out of nothing. More than ever our job as marketers is to createemotional brand experiences that make our customers want to be lifelong members of an awesome club, our brand. If we let AI do the grunt work of marketing, we can fully dedicate our attention to what actually matters, creating brands that are loved by their customers.

While AI can seem intimidating to marketers, in the end, it is our ally, not our enemy. By using AI to optimize campaigns to send the right message at the right time, create smart discounts that save money, and letting AI do the grunt work, marketers can focus on what they do best: creating engaging, emotional brand experiences that excite their customers.

The Future of Marketing Lies within AI | Retention Science

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