Whenever Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes up, people are quick to picture a robotic Arnold Schwarzenegger running around trying to stop a nuclear doomsday.
In reality, AI is all around us. Tesla cars come preinstalled with hardware that enables Autopilot, and Google is using machine learning to reinvent how it handles search functions.
AI has played an important role in our society for some time now and companies are taking note to see how their brand can benefit.
But aside from changing how we build our products themselves, how has this exciting technology affected how we market said products?
Here are a couple ways that companies are using AI to innovate how they advertise products, and some thoughts on what consumers can expect in the next few years.
Targeted Online Ads
While shopping online, it’s become common to check your Facebook page and see an ad for the product you were just looking at.
As creepy as it may feel, ultra-personalized advertising stems from brands using AI digital marketing tools that analyze search terms and user habits to display relevant ads.
This means that if you just spend 20 minutes looking at jackets from REI, you’re likely going to see those same jackets in side bar ads for the next couple of hours.
From a marketer’s standpoint, targeted ads are a great investment because they’re going to reach consumers who are more likely to purchase your products or services – which can generate a better ROI of marketing campaigns.
Automated Customer Service
The days of being put on hold for 45 minutes are – hopefully – coming to an end.
More and more companies are starting to use chatbots that are just as effective as talking to a customer service rep. As of now, they are used for handling basic questions and requests, but brands are investing to see how far they can push the technology.
Chatbots are able to free up employees to focus on more important tasks all while giving customers 24/7 customer support, with little-to-no waiting, and a more personalized customer experience made possible by data collected from past interactions.
Although there will always be consumers who prefer to speak with an actual person, more and more people are warming up to the idea of having their questions and complaints handled by automated machines.
Imagine this: You’ve finally made it to your destination after driving for hours. You’re starving and you’ve read that this area is known for its Mexican cuisine. You turn to your wife and she’s still fast asleep in the passenger seat, so you grab your phone and say, “Good Mexican restaurants near me”.
Within seconds, Google displays a list of the best spots within a 5-mile radius.
Voice commands have become so common that phrases like “call Mom” and “call Dad” have increased significantly over the last few years. That explains why brands are investing in AI that analyzes the semantic phrases that link to their products.
Voice operated search also opens the door for Google to prioritize its mobile version over the desktop version, which means that brands should make sure that their sites are optimized for mobile.
Facial Recognition Software
Another way that AI is influencing our lives is through facial recognition software that allows brands to connect with users in unprecedented ways.
We’re approaching a point where AI technology can empower brands to recognize a customer’s face in stores, ending the need for membership cards and going as far as to recommend them products that they considered buying in retail stores.
As hard as it may be to imagine, the technology is improving every day and will be in stores before most people know it.
Along with the territory comes the criticism that targeted ads also receive, where consumers feel like marketers are being intrusive with their data collection.
A way for marketers to bypass this, is by generating content that users actively go out of their way to interact with.
An example of which would be Snapchat filters that have themes associated with certain brands.
Along with developing the technology itself, a big hurdle with facial recognition software is implementing it upon users in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
If brands can figure it out, users will flock to technology that relates to them in a way that they are not used to.
AI is Here to Stay
Technology is constantly improving and moving faster than any other point in time. The type of automation you only saw in The Jetsons is rearing its head into our everyday life.
It is up to the brands to figure out a way to deliver this new technology in a way that makes consumers comfortable and helps market their products.
Whether you are a fan of the idea or not, AI is leaving an impact on our marketing strategies and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down or going away.
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