How AI is transforming the world of digital marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot buzzword since many years now, and for good reason. It has permeated so many aspects of our modern life that we have reached a point of accepting it as completely normal. It has changed the way we live, work, shop, learn and entertain ourselves. But its impact is not limited to just our day to day lives. Despite being at a relatively nascent stage, artificial intelligence is also transforming the way business is done across the globe. There is hardly any industry or sector which has been left untouched by AI, and we can see it being used across finance and banking, marketing, technology, retail, medical and even the defence sector.

The advertising and marketing industry is no exception. In fact, this is among the few sectors at the vanguard of implementing AI in one form or the other – be it in the form of smart packaging materials, AI activations, AI driven campaigns and more, and this is even more evident when it comes to modern digital marketing. Things that are now considered intrinsic to digital marketing, such as the ability to analyze and profile potential customers who visit your website / app, predict their interests and behaviour and deliver customized communication to them in real time, would not have been possible without artificial intelligence. Intelligent chatbots to offer 24×7 customer service, customized recommendations on video streaming platforms and ecommerce sites, customized landing pages for unique search queries are some other common examples of AI in action.

Over the last few years, we have witnessed many exciting applications of AI in the digital marketing space, expanding our perception of what is possible. The reason for this exponential growth in AI implementation can only be attributed to one thing – performance. With the inclusion of AI in your digital marketing arsenal, you can enjoy higher marketing agility, improved cost efficiencies and gain better consumer insights. All of these when combined, can give your brand the much needed edge in today’s competitive environment.

5 undisputable ways in which AI is improving digital marketing today:

We have many current applications of AI being used across the different stages of the campaign process – from the strategy and planning to the implementation, measurement and insights. And while we will likely have more use cases as the technology evolves, I have shared the top ways in which the use of AI is transforming digital marketing.

Rich, real time consumer insights

With AI implementation, you will gain access to rich consumer data in real time, allowing you to understand exactly how your audience is responding to your campaign, what aspects are working and what are not. This data can be converted into actionable insights, and can be used to tweak or modify your campaign strategy to maximize effectiveness. You will no longer need to wait for research results, or rely on assumptions when it comes to making decisions.

Improving user experience

Creating a customized user experience is at the core of a successful AI implementation. With the real time insights derived from an AR campaign, it is possible to anticipate the needs of your consumers and create a personalized experience that is relevant to them. This can take the form of personalized recommendations based on their past behavior or even creating custom landing pages that are timely and relevant, and we can most commonly see this on online shopping portals and travel sites.

Automating campaign optimization

With the right AI tools and a smart team by your side, you can practically have your marketing program run on its own! Programmatic advertising can automate the manual tasks of buying, selling and placing your ads, and also optimizing them to improve ROI. The time and efforts saved will also drive efficient budget allocation and higher savings, enabling you to enjoy a noticeably lower cost per acquisition in lead based campaigns, not to mention freeing up your time which can then be used for adding value in other ways.

Precise targeting

Using AI can also help you focus your marketing budgets on your most relevant audience. Tracking and analyzing individual customer behavioral trends will give you a better idea of which marketing actions and platforms will be better suited for them. This will allow you to serve customized communication in the best way possible – with an apt placement, apt creative and the right geo targeting as well. In other words, AI can help you achieve every marketer’s dream – of reaching the right consumer with the right message at the right time.

Driving higher revenues

All of the above points – right from creating a better user experience, serving contextual and relevant communication with precise targeting, and optimizing your campaigns in real time will work together to increase conversions at a fraction of the cost and at a much faster pace. Not only will this increase overall productivity, but will also significantly improve ROI. A report by Marketing Profs stated that businesses which implement AI see 54% more traffic and engagement, 52% increased conversions and 58% higher revenues. This will only improve as AI gets more effective. So if this isn’t compelling data, then I do not know what is.

Having said this, no matter how tech-driven digital marketing ends up becoming, the need for human supervision cannot be undermined. It is also essential to garner the right insights from analytics, and translate them into measurable results. This can be done by closely monitoring and updating the data that you pick up from your AI campaigns, which will further improve the way AI works for you. If you haven’t already invested in AI tools or resources, now is the time to start. It is a decision you won’t regret.


This article is written by Kunal Shah and originally published here

How AI has evolved in the marketing industry – and where it’s headed next

Throughout history, the basic purpose of marketing hasn’t changed. As in generations past, the role of the marketer today is to encourage consumer engagement in hopes of driving purchases and building brand loyalty. But while the function largely remains the same, achieving the ultimate customer experience has dramatically evolved with the arrival of personalization and artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies, equipping practitioners with an entirely new and sophisticated set of tools to best connect with their target audiences.

These advancements allow for the automatic delivery of relevant, tailored customer experiences in a much simpler, faster, and more efficient way than was ever possible before.

In fact, according to a Demandbase survey, by 2019, 84 percent of marketing and sales professionals were either already using AI as part of their business operations or were in various stages of planning and implementing their AI strategies.

But what has the journey looked like for brands as it relates to these intelligent systems, how have they influenced the marketing workflow, and where do we see AI continuing to reshape the industry?

Let’s trace its recent history through the lens of Dynamic Yield’s growth within the space and evaluate the lessons learned as well as our predictions for what the future has to hold.

AI: From hype to a rethink

In the late 2000s, AI, and more specifically, machine learning algorithms, were mostly found within theoretical discussions in academia or left to the large tech companies such as Google and Amazon.

It wasn’t until around 2009 that machine learning gained its legs and initiatives like the Netflix Prize, a content recommendations algorithm contest, catapulted the industry’s know-how forward and demonstrated its potential commercial applications within the martech landscape and beyond.

Soon after, new disruptive algorithms dubbed ‘Contextual Bandits,’ ‘Collaborative Filtering,’ and more offered marketers greater accuracy, efficiency, and scale in how they delivered, analyzed, and optimized experiences across the customer journey.

These would eventually become the industry standard, but despite the many benefits and positive impacts on performance, early adopters wanted to better understand how the technology worked.

After all, if AI and machine learning were going to replace the deep product knowledge and domain expertise gained by marketers throughout the years, it only made sense that they would want to know exactly what went into the calculations and why, for example, a certain user was served a particular piece of content over another.

Simply put, AI could not function as a black box.

The shift to augmented intelligence

To meet the marketers’ growing demand for greater control over and understanding of the outputs, the algorithms implemented and technology had to adapt.

For instance, at Dynamic Yield, we introduced additional algorithms that were easy to explain, understand, and predict. This led to high adoption, and subsequently, many improved experiences which generated significant business impact.

We also allowed marketers to A/B test algorithms against the existing control or other algorithms, with the ultimate decision over which strategy to apply left to the marketer (based on the business results yielded from each algorithm).

In one AI application at Dynamic Yield, rather than automatically applying what the algorithm should recommend, our Predictive Targeting solution was designed to “detect” personalization opportunities, i.e., data-backed suggestions that teams could “click to apply” for additional projected revenue gains.

By 2017, more and more brands began to see AI not as the sole decision-maker, but as a vital tool for augmenting the decision-making process, gaining trust from marketers.

And ironically, as AI started to expand into many areas of everyday life in the form of personal voice assistants, smart home devices, web search answers, self-driving vehicles, as well as greater content and product recommendations, a shift in mindset occurred yet again.

AI is a safe zone for continued innovation

Widely adopted across industries, AI was suddenly no longer a novelty, increasingly considered a must-have from marketers who now expected smarter decision-making.

And as machine learning technology improved – with the rise of deep learning-based recommendations that made AI even more intelligent – marketers came to trust (and adopt) AI at even greater rates.

Equally important, the deployment of cloud infrastructure made AI much more affordable and scalable. This confluence of factors led some brands to put such faith in AI that they treated the technology as a black box, suitable for making decisions with little human involvement.

Today, these advanced algorithms indeed show great results, and as we hoped, are enabling a quantum leap in the quality of experiences they enable.

However, many marketers require that AI still be coupled with mechanics to see the business value, for without the ability to understand the value it yields, there can be no full acceptance, and without acceptance, further improvements to the algorithms cannot be made to yield higher performance.

Looking to the future, we anticipate a more hybrid approach, with greater investments being made in algorithms that take more responsibility in decision-making while also providing marketers with a greater level of control.

Brands should, therefore, evaluate their AI-based tools according to their distinct needs and preferences, whether that means trusting the algorithms entirely, A/B testing every step of the way, or only applying machine learning if fully educated how it works.

Whatever the case may be, I expect AI will continue to play a major role in how marketers refine the customer experience and generate meaningful results.


This article is written by Ben Aflalo and originally published here

11 Creative Ways To Use AI-Driven Conversational Marketing

Responding to consumers in real-time is the cornerstone of conversational marketing, leading businesses around the world to implement tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI) as part of their customer outreach. Taking a more personalized and interactive approach to automated communication makes it easier for businesses to guide consumers toward specialized solutions that will meet their needs.

Success with conversational marketing can be achieved using many different methodologies. Here, 12 experts from Forbes Agency Council talk about the most creative conversational marketing strategies they’ve seen employed successfully, demonstrating how well AI can support business goals.

1. Leverage Chatbots For 24/7 Service

The best example of AI being used to help customers in real time is the advent of the chatbot. This simple bit of code can make your customers feel like they are chatting with a real person at any time of day, and it is sophisticated enough to solve most problems. If it can’t, it can get the customer in touch with someone who can. A chatbot is like a customer service rep that works 24 hours a day. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing

2. Increase On-Site Engagement And Conversions

You can use chatbots to increase engagement on your website, encourage conversion and direct visitors to take the required call to action based on their queries or requirements. This will ultimately improve the overall user experience and increase conversions from the website. – Ajay Prasad, GMR Web Team

3. Use An AI-Driven Gift Guide Or Product Finder

As conversational marketing and the desire for more personalized interactions with brands are growing daily, chatbots have become a must-have for brands. One of the most creative and impactful ways brands can leverage an AI-driven chatbot is by using it as a gift guide or product finder, where the consumer answers a few relevant questions and is then presented with the best options. – JP Johl, AdTribute

4. Give Automated Conversations A Human Touch

The most successful AI-driven conversational marketing is both targeted and specific. When a consumer is viewing an item on a website, an AI assistant can start a conversation by mentioning that specific product and inquiring whether the consumer has questions or needs help comparing products. The customer will feel more of a human touch, increasing the chance of that lead converting to a sale. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

5. Filter And Respond To Inbound Messages

AI-driven conversational marketing can definitely help companies engage with and respond to customers in real time. One creative way we successfully apply conversational marketing is by automating real-time responses to inbound messages on social media and websites. We create chat flows that help filter inbound inquiries and facilitate in getting customers the solution they seek. – Jonathan Durante, Expandify Marketing Inc

6. Communicate On A One-To-One Basis

The best thing about AI-driven conversational marketing is the ability to communicate on a one-to-one basis. For instance, I’ve used a behavior-driven algorithm that combines location data with implicit and explicit behavioral patterns. When a pattern is recognized, a personalized communication is sent to that individual. – Roger Hurni, Off Madison Ave

7. Spike Awareness As A Differentiator

Sleep experts at a mattress company created a late-night chatbot designed to keep you company when you just can’t sleep. On its own, the tool creates a solid PR moment to spike awareness as a differentiator. But it also has evergreen possibilities when people share their conversations on social media well after the bot’s initial debut. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications

8. Engage Via Text-Based Conversations

A great application is text message-based conversational marketing. This underutilized channel is often overlooked because it is tied to different restrictions than others are. However, if used correctly, it can be a powerful way to speak to your customer in real time. – Corbett Drummey, Popular Pays

9. Take A Help-First Approach To Online Sales

I recently visited a site to get a new skin for my phone, and the conversational marketing chat prompt not only welcomed me back by name, but also asked if I was “still using a OnePlus 7” device. This was helpful because, when I clicked “yes,” I was directed to the latest skins for my device. The goal may have been to sell a product, but because they used a help-first approach, I almost forgot. – Bernard May, National Positions

10. Capture Real-Time Feedback To Scale CX And Drive Campaigns

Capturing real-time feedback using sentiment analysis and then routing potential problems or opportunities to the appropriate human is an easy way to efficiently use AI to scale customer experience. Over time, these datasets can be used to build segments within paid and email channels for win-back or loyalty campaigns, using the voice of the customer to drive creative and copy. – Jacob Cook, Tadpull

11. Listen To Potential Customers Across Social Media

We have used AI and big data analytics to listen to business leaders across social media in order to understand their confidence level in their business or industry. This information has been pivotal in understanding what solutions business leaders are looking for, which has allowed us to create relevant content and service offerings. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group


This article is written by Forbes Councils Member and originally published here


Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing – The Possibilities

Email Marketing has been around since forever. There are plenty of articles any of us can read on Google about Email Marketing. Why is email marketing important? How to Master Email Marketing — and so on. The game-changer now is Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing. Here is how artificial intelligence in email marketing can up your game.

Yes, you heard it right. Artificial Intelligence is slowly but surely taking over our Email Marketing efforts. Brands and businesses that are not aligning themselves with Artificial Intelligence in their Email Marketing campaigns have been left behind. And rightfully so. In a world when everything is evolving, why should Email Marketing be any different?

Around 80% of Business professionals strongly believe that Email Marketing is needed for stronger customer retention. Anything to further enhance its power is a no brainer people will jump on it.

Let’s dive right in and see how you can leverage Artificial Intelligence for your Email Marketing efforts.

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a bundle of many different native technologies like Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, etc.

The bottom line is that all of these technologies combine. The combination of technologies helps machines (programs) perform certain cognitive tasks to the level at which humans perform them. Sometimes even at a higher level than humans themselves.

Ever talked to Alexa or Siri? Yes, Artificial Intelligence right there in your daily life. They all do what they do using Artificial Intelligence. AI is used to offer customers new products or services based on their search/viewing histories or patterns. It’s all around us, and it has leveled up so many things in our lives already.

It’s time for Email Marketing to make use of AI to enhance its effectiveness.

Why use Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

Like any other area touched by Artificial Intelligence, it did wonders for Email Marketing. Email Marketing can be optimized, driven, and much more effective if done right using AI. For any marketing campaign, two really important aspects need to be optimized, and AI does just that for Email Marketing –

  1. Reduce Costs – Creating and Winning at Email Marketing campaigns becomes super easy & straight forward with AI. It has the potential to save countless person-hours your team puts in for Email Marketing campaigns to be a winning proposition. Time is money, after all.
  2. Increase Revenue – AI can dramatically increase the ROI of your Email Marketing. AI-powered campaigns show an increase in the percentage of Open/Click rates. The click and open rate drive more money in from your existing campaign than ever before.

AI makes it all possible by incorporating the data points. It uses existing insights available to make every aspect of your campaign optimized for conversion. It effectively reduces the guesswork regarding small but critical parameters of your Email campaigns. We all have been guilty of the same in the past.

How to use Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

  1. Subject Lines

    What really is the point of going through all the efforts of putting together a campaign if no one is going to open your email? Yes, Subject Lines are the first hit point with your customers, and if you lose the battle here, your email will never see the light of the day.

    With the study of historical data of your top-performing Emails as well as your recipient’s behavior trends, AI can ensure your email is at least opened and given a thought about by personalizing Subject Lines.

  2. Personalization

    To significantly boost click-through rates, personalizing every aspect of your Email for the best experience to the end recipient does the job. And no, we are not talking about something as basic as mentioning the first name of the recipient in the first line of the Email. It is more of a personalized campaign based on the interest group of your various email contacts.

    AI determines the content type user responds to and helps you design your personalized campaigns for them, which is the most powerful optimization you can perform for your Email Marketing efforts.

  3. Optimizing on the GO

    AI can help define target data points on various parameters of your Email campaigns. They monitor these data points and continuously tweak your campaign accordingly to ensure the best ROI. Any anomalies are pointed out so the future campaigns can make use of that information effectively.

  4. Newsletters

    AI can personalize your newsletters down to the single user by curating content specifically for that particular user based on past data and trends available. This would mean you are sending out a personalized newsletter to every contact on your Email List, which can skyrocket the engagement levels.

  5. Deliverability

    To improve the overall deliverability of your email campaign so that the maximum number of emails reach their intended audience, AI can do the following for you –

  • Send Time Optimization – AI can help you optimize the best/most probable time to send an email at the single user-level, ensuring maximum open rates.
  • Mini Campaigns – AI can help segregate your main campaign and develop mini-campaigns for different recipients based on their preferences. This is a compelling aspect to increase the open and click rates substantially.
  • Clean Email Lists – AI can help clean up your Email Lists to make your campaign more effective. AI can update titles/numbers or remove out of date data automatically.

Scope of Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

A lot of Marketers today do not realize nor understand the power of Artificial Intelligence. If they can only understand how to use AI in their daily roles, productivity can be at an all-time high for just about anyone leveraging AI.

AI can help marketers to better utilize their time and resources by automating daily tasks. Also, with the help of data sets and results thrown out by AI, marketers can hyper optimize their campaigns and exponentially increase the ROI.

It can improve every aspect of your campaign and finetune your efforts to send out a personally curated campaign for every single target audience on your list.

As AI continues to evolve day by day, it is time to leverage this powerful tool. Every Business needs to incorporate it into Email Marketing efforts to stay ahead of the pack.


This article is written by Aakash Singh and originally published here