Its about time Marketers include AI capabilities in marketing strategy planning.

What comes to you mind when someone speaks of Artificial Intelligence?

I have been asking this question to a few people recently and have heard a range of responses from humanoid robots to computers playing chess. Most of them are intriguing conversations and while some of them are not reality yet, its probably a matter of time when we many of those ideas will become a reality.

Fun exercise: Go ahead and search ‘Artificial Intelligence’ online and look at the top image results you find!

At its simplest best, AI that is indistinguishable from human behavior or stimulates human reasoning is sometimes referred to as ’Strong AI’. And when its only a computer system that can perform tasks traditionally handled by people is referred to as ‘Weak AI’^

And what happens when we bring AI into the realm of strategic marketing, typically considered as a strong hold of qualitative decision making, taking right level of risks and being human/customer centric. Can marketers continue to see AI as something that can help make quant decisions only?

Before you make the decision, here are some examples of how AI is emerging as the next major frontier in being truly customer centric or taking calculated risks more consistently:

  1. A digital ad written for Chase Bank by humans read ‘access cash from the equity in your home.” A similar ad written by Persado, a company that uses AI for marketing creatives read “It’s true—You can unlock cash from the equity in your home.” The AI version resonated much better with customers.
  2. BMW developed an AI enhanced sports car with technology to lear about its driver and automatically adjust systems and cabin experiences to suit the individual.
  3. Nike uses AI to help customers design their own shoes and can be available in just 90 mins. The same AI then analyses what the customers are really looking for if they had the choice to make it themselves vs. buying from what is available. Most of the insights helped Nike launch better shoes for their customers.*

There is a growing tribe of marketers adopting AI Marketing as the future of strategic marketing where AI plays a pivotal role in enabling every aspect of go to market. From regurgitating data for mining insights to creative evaluation to customer recommendations. AI Marketing has helped create level playing fields for brands, where investing more money does not necessarily translate to getting more business. Small companies with extremely limited marketing resources have achieved significant growth using AI Marketing in some of the most competitive markets around the world.

Marketers can start using AI for many important aspects of their marketing strategy immediately either using off the shelf tools or working closely with agencies who can support their unique requirements:

  1. Customer centricity
  2. Marketing channel and media mix
  3. Content, creative development and personalization
  4. Competitive analysis

Similar to many other tech driven transformations in the last two decades, business adopting AI earlier will benefit from getting a head start not only for better outcomes but more importantly for understanding the immense possibilities that AI can offer for marketing.

Source credits: ^: Harvard Business Review: Competing in the age of AI | *: persado.com, concured.com

Sameer Thakkar
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