The topic of AI is hard to escape right now. 

And the conversations tend to lean towards one of two categories. 

The first: a more positive spin – how Artificial Intelligence will maximise opportunities and make our lives easier. 

The second: the AI apocalypse. We’re all doomed and AI is going to take all of our jobs!  

Whatever your take on AI, we have to admit, most of the fear that surrounds it stems from a lack of knowledge.

AI isn’t going anywhere. So it’s time we truly embrace it, and understand its scope as marketers – whilst also being aware of the limitations.

Facts & figures

  • The UK AI market is worth £16.9 billion, and is set to increase to £803.7 billion by 2035.
  • 1 in 6 UK organisations have embraced at least one AI technology, with larger companies utilising it more than smaller companies.
  • AI has a workforce of 50,000.
  • AI has contributed 3.7 billion to the economy.

AI in digital marketing

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionised the digital marketing landscape, redefining the way businesses connect with their audiences and achieve their marketing goals. 

AI technologies, including machine learning and data analytics, can offer unparalleled insights, automation, and personalisation, which enable digital marketers like us to optimise our strategies and enhance our brands.

Because of AI, we know the best time to connect with our audience, on which platform, and what types of content they are most likely to engage with. AI can even be used to predict how a customer will behave.

Transforming data into insights

As the saying goes: “You can’t grow what you don’t measure”. 

As creatives, many marketers shy away from the numbers and analytics tasks. You’d be surprised how many don’t measure their metrics! Thankfully, AI can empower us to process and analyse vast amounts of data to better understand customer preferences, behaviour and market trends. 

AI-driven analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot, provide real-time information, empowering marketers to make decisions that deliver, and are well received by their audiences. 

Think of AI as a huge computer crunching data that’s faster and more accurate than any colleague. AI can boost our marketing efforts by providing us with the insights that continue to more successful marketing strategies, and increase the efficiency of marketing budgets. 

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Enhancing personalisation

One of the biggest advantages of AI in digital marketing is its capacity for personalisation. Machine learning algorithms can analyse user behaviour and preferences, allowing brands  to tailor and target their content more accurately. Whether in an email or a website, personalised marketing increases customer engagement and conversion rates, leading to higher ROI.

Chatbots and customer service

AI-driven chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, answering general enquiries, help resolve issues, and even guide users through purchases. This enhances customer experience by reducing response times, contributing to improved brand perception. With mixed reviews depending on the demographic you’re dealing with, it;s best to also have an option for human interaction too. But chatbots are great for working through general enquiries quickly and easily. 

Content Creation and Curation

AI can generate content, from simple reports to more complex narratives. Tools like GPT-3 can help you to draft and refine content, or even generate ideas. While AI algorithms can help you curate content that matches a user’s interests, keeping website visitors engaged.

AI can also take on the brunt of repetitive/automotive tasks, such as email marketing, social media posting. This frees up marketers to focus on strategic planning and creative tasks that require human thought.

Limitations and challenges of AI

Understanding the negative side of AI can ensure we use it responsibly. Let’s take a quick look at some of the potential pitfalls:

Data privacy and security

Data is the fuel of AI. But processing such vast amounts of data raises concerns about data privacy. Marketers need to be aware of data protection regulations, like GDPR in the EU, to avoid legal battles and maintain consumer trust. Misusing data or getting caught up in a privacy litigation can be incredibly detrimental to a brand’s reputation.

Loss of human voice

It’s becoming even easier to pinpoint when a brand is over reliant on AI. The absence of any human touch or human voice is evident. And while automation can be a significant asset, an over-reliance on AI can lead to a loss of personal touch in marketing that causes audiences to disconnect from a brand. There is also the worry that so much AI generated content online means we see more repetition and risk losing uniqueness and individuality in marketing.  

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Discrimination and bias

Strangely enough, AI algorithms can actually form biases against the data they are trained on. Marketers need to be vigilant if they want to prevent discriminatory practices and prioritise fairness and inclusion. Your staff should be trained to look for and prevent algorithmic bias if you are relying on AI for data processing. 

Lack of Investment

AI should be seen as a collaborative tool. What you get out depends entirely on what you put in. As mentioned above, staff training is essential so that they can use the AI they have invested in to its maximum potential, while protecting customer trust and your brand’s reputation. 

Digital marketers and AI

To harness AI effectively and avoid the shortcomings, as a digital marketer, be sure to:

  1. Stay informed: Continuously update your knowledge of AI technologies, trends, and best practices.
  2. Compliance: Ensure compliance with data protection regulations and ethical data handling.
  3. Human oversight: Maintain human oversight over AI processes, especially in critical decision-making areas.
  4. Continuous learning: Invest in upskilling your teams to understand, operate, and monitor AI tools.
  5. Testing and Optimisation: Regularly test AI-driven strategies and campaigns, to optimise them based on performance data.

AI has redefined the digital marketing landscape, driving personalised, data-driven, and automated campaigns. AI can improve productivity, efficiency and performance. And it can help marketers with actionable intelligence that enhances user experience and improves the success of any digital marketing campaign.

AI won’t replace human creativity and strategic thinking, but it can greatly assist in decision- making. AI still has limitations in understanding human behaviour, empathy and cultural nuances, and of course, it doesn’t have the emotional intelligence that we do.  

It’s best to strike a balance between automation and human interaction to reap the most benefits. 

By understanding the opportunities and challenges AI presents, digital marketers can create stronger brand identities and build lasting relationships with their audiences in our ever-evolving digital world.

If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the upcoming ‘Picture This’ event in MK on the 23rd November. The focus will be on ‘AI: Friend or Foe?’ with an impressive list of guest speakers and plenty of opportunity to discuss AI, secure your ticket now. 

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Need help devising your next digital strategy? Give us a call or drop us an email. We promise it’ll be a human at the other end.