In the beginning of the semester we read an article titled “Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019” and one of the trends pertained to chatbots and in the article it stated “Chatbots Good to Great” (Newman, 2018). It further elaborated and explained how “huge steps continue to be made in the way of natural language processing and sentiment analytics” and explains how NLP allows companies to gather insights and improve their services based on them (Newman, 2018). The article, written in 2018, stated that some 40% of large businesses have or will adopt it by the end of 2019, which made me interested in how AI is most prevalently used in marketing and in what way it is used, so I found a piece titled “8 Ways AI Can Enhance Your Marketing Strategy Today” which outlines how marketers currently use AI to benefit the strategies they create (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
It describes how AI chatbots can be found within most industries, like sales and customer support, and also how they allow tangible improvements to user experience that customers notice, which correlates with what the previous article stated regarding companies improving their services based on NLP (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Research from Demandbase found that 80% of marketing executives believe artificial intelligence will revolutionize marketing as early as 2020 (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Additionally, this research found that 60% of marketers said AI offers increased account insights, 56% said it provides detailed marketing campaign metrics, 53% said AI assists in identifying more customers, and 53% said it increases daily task efficiency (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Interestingly enough, this same research found that only 10% of CMO’s were actually using AI in 2018 and when asked why this technology hasn’t seen “widespread adoption” senior marketers answered that “without a demonstrable impact on sales and marketing metrics like lead conversion and website traffic, AI cannot be considered a success” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The following list explains 8 applications of AI that are available to marketers now with examples of current companies that are using them in these capacities.
The first application of AI is related to customer support, with AI chatbots, which possess deep learning and allows them to “access layers of data from neural networks, including customer information that has been built up over time” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Additionally, real-time access to “customer’s preferences and purchase history” gives these chatbots an edge over humans working in customer service (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The second application is related to content creation, in the form of another type of AI chatbot, like Wordsmith (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Wordsmith is a writing both that “can transform structure data into a written document;” however, it varies in success and the use-cases are limited to articles with a “rigorous format” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). But the piece explains that there are few notable news agencies using writer bots under specific circumstances and provides the example of Yahoo, which has used Wordsmith to develop content for fantasy football drafts (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Again, the piece stresses that there are limitations regarding its capabilities, such as incorporating the “why” element into a written piece, as stated by editor, writer, and digital media consultant Jon Bernstein (Jenkin, 2016).
The third application of AI relates to a seamless user experience, due to the trend of consumers wanting information, products, and services as quickly as possible, which makes this type of user experience “vital to the growth and success of a business” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). According to the piece, the AI chatbot that delivers this is the Uber Facebook Messenger bot, which allows the user to request a ride from a car service without needing to download an extra app or leave a conversation (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The fourth application relates to personalization because an AI chatbot has the power to combine information from diverse data sets, which allows businesses and brands to interact with consumers on “unprecedentedly personalized levels” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The fifth application is related to sales and it states that “artificially intelligent sales bots can be your most powerful brand representatives online” and that by using customer’s previous purchases and support questions, these chatbots then can deliver “personalized product recommendations that consumers are most likely to purchase” and explains how many fashion industry companies, like H&M, are using them to “convince and convert” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The sixth application is social media reach, such as the Facebook Group chatbots, which allows Messenger users to add a variety of bots to their groups and call on them when necessary, and also has the “potential to boost your business or brand’s visibility” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The seventh application explains how AI now has the ability to provide some protection against cyber security issues, attacks, and breaches (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). As examples, the piece lists Bank of America and PayPal as financial organizations that are using AI to protect themselves and their customers from fraud (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Different card issuers and payment processors do this by using AI to “compare current card transactions to the user’s past behavior as well as to general profiles of fraud behavior” (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
The final and eighth application is AI chatbots handling end-to-end processes and the ability to handle purchases (“8 Ways AI,” 2018). Banking bots exist as well, and they can handle daily business purchases and invoices, like Capital One’s Eno bot, which is one of the oldest and most respected (“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
I’m interested to see if by the end of 2019, this percentage will increase and be closer to what Newman stated, with about 40% of large businesses adopting AI, since companies are already using it in these capacities, but currently, only about 10% of companies are actually using it (Newman, 2018)(“8 Ways AI,” 2018).
Are any of your organizations/companies using AI in these capacities? Which ones? If no, what is the reason it is not? Is it related to what the second article discussed, the inability to show a demonstrable impact on sales and marketing metrics? Or are there other reasons?
8 ways AI can enhance your marketing strategy today. (2018, April 27). Retrieved from https://www.clickz.com/8-ways-ai-can-enhance-your-marketing-strategy-today/207092/
Newman, D. (2018, October 18). Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2019. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/09/11/top-10-digital-transformation-trends-for-2019/#7fc9174c3c30