Bullet trains, bulldozers, jackhammers, and forklifts have all augmented our capacity to accomplish once-impossible actions. Machines like these take the brunt of much physical grunt work in society, but they can’t relieve us of any of the cognitive tasks the way an intelligent entity could. Mechanical devices give us artificial strength and artificial speed, but they don’t understand what needs to be done and can’t make decisions for us about what to do next.
For enhanced information processing and data-based decision making, we need artificial intelligence. Something that is artificially intelligent can assess data and make decisions on our behalf, without constant human intervention and with minimal supervision.
Computerized algorithms can do things no human could ever even attempt without AI. Big-data is so big these days that flash-speed computations are required to make sense of information and process it to determine the best next action to take.
Intelligence means making decisions, and as time goes on and further advances and breakthroughs occur, computers will be able to make better and better decisions when it comes to the choices we ask them to make.
Inbound Marketers and Artificial Intelligence Marketing
Inbound methodology focuses on how to attract new customers by targeting their needs and personalizing their shopping experience. Artificial intelligence marketing harnesses powerful data-science computational power capable of assessing incalculable data points to decide among multiple options to determine the optimal courses of action.
Artificial Intelligence Marketing has already brought revolutionary innovations, but the change we’ve seen in just the last decade is only the beginning of a complete paradigm shift in the buyer experience and the way customers find and interact with your business.
What many consumers haven’t realized is the extent to which AI has altered the landscape of digital marketing already.
63% of consumers aren’t even aware that AI marketing is being implemented right in front of them (source)
but when they’re aware of it, people are generally comfortable interacting with and even buying from a personalized customer service chatbot. This is good news for companies aiming to scale their business without having to incur massive personnel expenditures.
Artificial Intelligence Acts Natural
Inbound marketing is subject to advances and innovations only made possible since the rise of AI. Most new customers today start with a search of the web. The new customers you attract will often begin their buyer's journey by asking a question out loud, either into their phone or at one of those increasingly common home-assistant devices like Alexa or Google Home.
Natural language processing (NLP) is the AI technology that allows computers to listen to human vocal activity, analyze and decipher it, apply the query and select the best response based on the available dataset. AI has made it possible for humans to use natural language to verbally interact with their devices, significantly broadening the popular adoption of such technologies that help funnel new customers into your business.
These Robots are Flipping the Script!
Believe it or not, AI software is already writing content all by itself. Most of the news articles you see today that are about things like earnings reports and sports statistics were written by automated algorithms. Artificial intelligence uses a technology called natural language generation (NLG) that deals with generating natural sounding language intended to replicate that of human authors.
It’s been predicted that by this time next year, one fifth of all content published online by companies and businesses will be generated entirely automatically by artificially intelligent writing software.
Companies like Acrolinx, Automated Insights, and HubSpot are all wagering on AI’s capability to automatically dole out compelling and effective content that reads as though it were composed by the human hand.
Machine of Many Talents (AI is no one-trick-pony)
Another powerful ability AI provides us with is propensity modeling. Propensity modeling is a kind of predictive analysis which is the ability of a computer to take in huge sets of data about consumers and prospective clients and customers and sort through the vast quantities of data to produce a usable model of who is likely to purchase what.
Crunching all this data makes more sense than relying on human guesswork when time could be put to better use. Predictive analysis uses machine learning to predict a wide variety of possible outcomes by combining customer data with statistical algorithms. With this tool, marketers are provided valuable insights about customer behavior and market trends, in other words iNBOUND iNTELLIGENCE.
Ad targeting is something else AI is exceptionally good at. Optimizing and displaying ads is one of the most critical processes to attract and convert buyers, so it only makes sense to use machine-learning technology to take advantage of its ability to make assessments with an extremely high degree of accuracy about what ads to show to who, and when. Even more effective is the power of retargeting to consumers who have begun the buying process but have not yet converted into a customer.
Computers excel at deciding which content is most likely to re-engage the attention of a consumer to generate a viable lead.
Insightful topic ideas can be auto-generated using cues from trending searches and other data points, resulting in incredibly intuitive topic development, and content can be automatically processed by combining specifics on the topic with a grammatical rules database synergized by personalization fed to the AI from the buyer personas your inbound marketing team has developed.
Behavioral marketing would be impossible without the decision making supplied by AI’s algorithms, and their unlimited ability to scale with the growth of your business. The advanced technology that allows for personally tailoring the experience of every one of your potential customers even before they know about you would look like magic to an earlier generation, but this technology is only going to become more advanced and the powerful profit potential of being on the forefront of utilizing these advances in artificial intelligence marketing, or AIM, ought to entice any business owner or CEO to carefully consider the long view.
They’re Takin’ Our Jobs!
The potential for AI to automate tasks dramatically reduces the amount of time marketers spend on repetitive tasks, which helps them focus more on their big-picture marketing strategy. Yes, as with chess and Jeopardy, computers can do it better.
Computers aren’t making human marketers obsolete, but their roles are gradually being redefined. Take the common example of GPS navigation. The driver has outsourced the cognitive task of navigating the streets and choosing between possible routes, saving a significant amount of mental effort. The driver is still essential to making it to the destination, but with the intelligent GPS unit now making decisions on directions, the driver has the extra brain-space to think about more abstract topics.
Sure, computers can do some things better, faster, and cheaper than we can, and even some things we can’t do at all, but there will always be those tasks and activities that only we humans can engage in. As the rise of AI continues, we become free to allocate our time and attention to the more human aspects of marketing.
The Future of AI and Inbound Marketing (the beginning of a beautiful friendship)
We expect that there will be a ten-fold expansion of marketing technology over the next 10 years. In fact, according to MIT Sloan Management Review, over 80% of executives surveyed are “eyeing the peaks,” viewing AI as a strategic opportunity for their company. It makes perfect sense, since digital marketers are limited by their humanity in their ability to conceptualize, produce, and roll out inbound marketing campaigns with minimal cost and maximum efficiency.
It’s important that you understand just how fast all this is happening. AI companies specializing in the development of programs to help marketers are among the best-funded. The artificial intelligence industry has made research and development of machine learning algorithms for the marketing industry a high priority, and businesses who adopt these technologies will have a salient edge over their competitors in the marketplace.
What is AI’s future in marketing?
What might the future hold for digital marketers utilizing advanced artificial intelligence-based data-driven content development and cutting-edge sales strategies?
If the rise of AI is the development and proliferation of the automobile, the breakthroughs in data-driven marketing capabilities we’ve already seen are just the Model T, not the F150.
Inbound marketing with artificial intelligence is bound to evolve toward being a profession of data curation, managing and optimizing the information being supplied to data-driven marketing algorithms. AI’s output is largely dependent on the input it receives. We rely on it to process and analyze the big data coming our way, but it falls upon ourselves to become deliberate and meticulous curators of the data going in.
Data needs to be kept up-to-date and be collected in real-time for an inbound marketing strategy to realize its full potential. The more accurate your data is, the more profitable your marketing campaign will be. Accumulating historical data as time goes on will lead to deeper insights, and future innovations will produce improved tactics and strategies for attracting, converting, closing, and delighting your customers.
The predictive analysis that AI supplies is increasingly crucial in an ever-competitive global marketplace. Large-scale inbound marketing campaigns wouldn’t be possible without artificial intelligence helping us do our jobs faster, and better. And since everything boils down to ROI when considering marketing expenditures, investing robustly in artificial intelligence proves to be the naturally smart choice.
Whatever happens, we’ll be on the forefront putting it into practice.